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October 9, 2008

Press Release: Martinsville Bulletin

Thursday, October 9, 2008


RICHMOND - Gov. Tim Kaine on Thursday ordered 570 layoffs, cut college funding by at least 5 percent and postponed state employee raises from next month until next summer.

As part of the spending reduction plan to meet the fiscal 2009 shortfall, the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville was asked to cut its current budget by 10 percent, or $314,106, according to a news release from the museum.

To accommodate the reduction in state funding, the museum is eliminating five staff positions and will be closed to the public on Sundays and Mondays, as well as all state holidays. The closings will begin on Sunday, Oct. 19, the release said.
The museum will make other reductions as well to trim its budget.

The austerity moves Kaine ordered Thursday are intended to cope with a state budget in which tax collections will be at least $2.5 billion short of previous estimates.

The cuts are the deepest in at least five years and come in the midst of a worsening global economy. Kaine projected that revenues for the current fiscal year which began in July will be about $973 million short of their targets. For the fiscal year that begins next summer, the shortfall is estimated at more than $1.5 billion.

To balance the current budget, Kaine will pair savings - which include the layoffs and spending cuts - with other steps, including $400 million in cash from the state's reserve fund.

Check back with the Bulletin for more on this developing story.