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Gov. Northam announces historic surplus to help with pandemic

Virginia is recording a $2.6 billion surplus.
Virginia is recording a $2.6 billion surplus.(VPM)
Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 12:58 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2021 at 7:18 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor Ralph Northam is out with a good economic forecast for the state. Virginia is recording a $2.6 billion surplus.

“That tells us all that what we’ve been doing is working—making targeted investments for the future while helping people get through the pandemic. Revenues are exceeding official forecasts, even during a pandemic,” said Governor Ralph Northam, (D) Virginia.

Wednesday, Northam addressed the Joint Money Committees of the General Assembly to kick off the state’s budget process. Lawmakers work on two-year budgets in Virginia, so this money is actually for the fiscal year 2022.

But the governor’s office says the $2.6 billion surplus can be used to help in the state’s recovery including utility support, rent relief and public health service.

“At the same time, we don’t know what the future holds. If you’d asked me about the pandemic in June, I would have said we could have a fall that looked almost normal. But now we know that won’t be the case, thanks to the Delta variant,” said Northam.

Revenues are up across the board. Income and sales taxes and booze sales at state ABC stores.

“For the most part yes, I think we’ve seen very strong growth in online and internet sales for example faster than we expected and probably a direct result of the pandemic,” said State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, (D) 9th District.

But, there are still concerns for other sectors still struggling.

“There are certain sectors of the economy that are still struggling, brick and mortar retail and restaurants, hospitality for example,” said State Sen. McClellan.

NBC12 reached out to a few Republicans to see if any wanted to talk about the economic news. They declined the request.

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