State Budget Cuts Hit Southside
News Article: godanriver.com
By: Media General News Service | GoDanRiver.com
Published: October 09, 2008
2 p.m. update:
Proposed budget cuts call for a 10 percent reduction in the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research's budget along with closing the Chatham Diversion Center - costing 20 jobs.
1:30 p.m. update:
The Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville has been asked to cut its current budget by 10 percent.
Five jobs will be lost and the museum will close on Sundays, Mondays and all state holidays. The new closings begin Oct. 19.
The reduction is a part of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's spending cut plan to meet the 2009 fiscal year shortfall. A press release said the budget cut will amount to roughly $314,000.
Cuts will also call on the museum to put all employees on furlough from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2009, resulting in a loss of pay for one day each week, per employee, according.
Plans call for the museum to cut discretionary spending on supplies, travel, training, repairs, and equipment purchases.
Cell phone service and phone service to the Research and Collections Center will be discontinued, as well as a reduction in the museum's cleaning service.
Virginia will lay off 570 people immediately and will leave 800 unfilled jobs vacant to make up for a budget shortfall of $2.5 billion, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announced this morning.
Pay raises will also be delayed to state employees, who could lose the raises altogether if economic conditions continue to worsen.
Also, the governor is going to take $400 million from the state's rainy-day fund.
Kaine yesterday announced he's cutting spending in his Cabinet offices by $1.4 million.
The state employs 116,000 people. Their compensation costs Virginia taxpayers more than $5 billion a year.
In addition to the layoffs, frozen positions and delay in pay raise, Kaine's biggest cost-reductions measures include reductions of 5 or 7 percent to colleges and universities, and restructuring Department of Corrections facilities, which would involve closing some older facilities.
"I know that the layoffs associated with these cuts come at a challenging time for state employees, and I regret that they are necessary," Kaine said today. "I have instructed the Virginia Employment Commission and our Human Resources Department to help those state employees who are laid off through this difficult transition."