McDonnell Unveils Commonwealth's Budget Plan - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

McDonnell Unveils Commonwealth's Budget Plan

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RICHMOND (WRIC) - Gov. Bob McDonnell has unveiled the Commonwealth's budget for the next two years. It's nearly $10 billion bigger than the previous one.

Some of the big takeaways from this budget proposal include additional support for mental health and public education and a bonus payment for state employees.

His proposed budget totals $95.9 billion for the next two years. That includes $38.3 million to strengthen the behavioral health services system.

"While we have an excellent mental health system and while 99 percent of the cases beds are found, the system works well. When you have that one percent with the unpredictability of a mental health crisis, bad outcomes can occur. So, we got to do better."

State employees are also set to get bonus payments of up to 3 percent before next Christmas based on their performance.

McDonnell acknowledges it's not a permanent raise though.

"As long as we're in this era of unprecedented certainty with Washington's priorities disproportionately affecting Virginia, I think doing this in these stages is probably prudent."

One of the most expensive parts of the budget is a $582.6 million dollar increase in K-12 and pre-K education funding.

The majority of that money - more than $500 million - will be used to pay for the minimum educational programs that all schools are required to provide.

This is only a proposed budget and state lawmakers could make changes before it's approved.

 

Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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