RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/AP) — Gov. Ralph Northam highlighted the promise of the Commonwealth’s finances when addressing state lawmakers on Tuesday, but he stressed a “cautious and strategic” approach in a growing global economy.
Northam told the Senate Finance, House Appropriations and House Finance Committees that Virginia is starting the new budget cycle “in a good place.”
The Democratic governor shared that the state ended the fiscal year with a surplus of $797 million. Much of that money is already earmarked for water quality and taxpayer relief.
Northam said the state put $344.4 million into reserves, bringing the total reserve fund to $1.6 billion by 2021, the highest amount ever. He also mentioned the new business coming to Virginia, boasting about the Amazon deal that was struck in November 2018.
“We worked together to attract new business to the state—notably Amazon, which is ahead of schedule in hiring, and has submitted its development plans for its National Landing campus,” Gov. Northam said. “Virginia Tech will offer courses in their new Alexandria location next fall. I want to thank Delegate Rush for his work with Tech, and thank all of you for the bipartisan work that went into this project.”
After the governor spoke, Del. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) told reporters that it’s time for lawmakers to get to work on a preparing a full budget.
“This is a normal, roll your sleeves up, we gotta go to work, to prepare a full budget and while there’s optimism,” Jones said, “there’s clouds on the horizon that we have to be ready to deal with.”
You can read Northam’s full address here.
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.