Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Out Going Governor Bob McDonnell Submits His Final Budget for Upcoming 2014 Virginia General Assembly



McAuliffe gets first lesson on budget: no amendments, January 5, 2014
Panel will not hear amendments from new governor

Original Post:

The complete proposed 2014-2016 Virginia Budget can be read here. 

The 2014 Virginia General Assembly session begins on Wednesday January 8th and Governor-Elect Terry McAuliffe will be sworn in on Saturday January 11th. 

The Proposed Budget will become legislation (bills) within the House and Senate. Then amendments, edits and deletions will occur during the 2014 60-day session. Plus newly elected Governor McAuliffe will submit his own version, or edits to fit his agenda. 

At this point within this initial version, there is NOTHING directed towards the monitoring or management of Sex Offenders or those Civilly Committed as Sexually Violent Predators, issues that in previous years have been slipped in after the initial bill submission. So I will do my best to keep an eye on all the Budget Bill versions as we move though the 2014 session. 

I really expected to see something in reference to this November Politifact: Truth-O Meter.
There could still be an individual bill for it.
Politifact/Bob-O-Meter: Increase penalty for sexual battery of children, November 11, 2013
·         McDonnell Promises To: Elevate sexual battery, when the crime is committed by force or where the offender is an adult and the victim is three years younger, to a Class 6 felony.
·         Politifact Rules: No Action / Promise Broken

The Public Safety Bullets of the Budget can be read here.

The 2014-2016 Budget includes Prisoner Re-entry initiatives that can be read here. 

Re-entry Initiatives:
  • Provides funding for emergency housing for offenders upon release. This will enable the Department of Corrections to provided temporary lodging for hard to place offenders to minimize public safety risks and to assist with re-entry. Adds $533,517 the first year and second year of the biennial budget.
  • Increases funding for inmate education program. The funds are for the cost of administering GED testing and for additional computers in classrooms, and funding for part-time instructors to enable the Department of Corrections to enhance its re-entry efforts. Adds $331,660 for the first year and $482,773 the second year in general fund support.
  • Provides funding for the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment grant match. The Department of Corrections was awarded a federal grant to provide substance abuse treatment services to improve its re-entry services. The grant program serves over 300 inmates and is established in 11 correctional facilities. For FY14 the state match is $342,147; and the state match for the first year is $537,660 and $586,538 for the second year of the new biennial budget. 
All of this could change we just have to wait and see.