February 11, 2017 1:20 PM EST - The 12th surge in Metro’s long-term maintenance overhaul known as SafeTrack runs Feb. 11-Feb.28 on the Blue Line. Take a look at how it will affect your commute. (Claritza Jimenez, Danielle Kunitz / The Washington Post)
Today the House of Delegates easily passed amendments to the two-year budget, closing a billion dollar hole caused by slower revenue growth than predicted. The House scraped together some fund balances, eliminated a few Governor McAuliffe initiatives, and borrowed well over $500 million from the rainy day fund. Under Virginia law, the General Assembly can borrow from the fund when certain assumed revenue measures are not realized. The Code section is complicated but there are strict rules about when the money has to be paid back.
Yesterday’s session was relatively short. The day after Crossover tends to be slow because the House committees are just starting to hear the Senate-passed bills. The only real business before the body was the confirmation of gubernatorial appointments. We also put the budget amendments in proper form for debate tomorrow.
School funding and teacher salaries have been a hot topic of discussion over the past couple of years in Fairfax County. As you may know, the Commonwealth distributes K-12 funding through a formula called the Local Composite Index (LCI), a formula based on land value and income that discriminates against “wealthy” areas. The formula is “rebenchmarked” biennially to reflect updated costs and the relative property values and incomes around the Commonwealth.
In the run up to Crossover, floor sessions become lengthy as each body passes judgment on a wide range of legislation. For those of you not familiar with the term, Crossover is the point after which each body of the General Assembly can only consider legislation passed by the other body. Today is that day.