JLARC issues update on state spending

October 18, 2016

On October 11 the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) issued its report on state spending between FY 2007 and FY 2016. JLARC’s report is available at this link: http://jlarc.virginia.gov/state-spending2016.asp.

According to the report, Virginia’s operating budget grew from $35.1 billion in FY 2007 to $49.5 billion in FY 2016. Adjusted for population growth and inflation, this represents a 13 percent increase. The lion’s share of the growth in Virginia’s budget has been in its non-general fund programs. While non-general fund spending grew by 35 percent, there has been an 11 percent decrease in spending on general fund programs. Programs paid for out of general funds include much of the public education budget, public safety, courts, and others.

Examples of non-general fund revenues are federal funds, college tuition payments, proceeds from vehicle and gasoline taxes, child support payments, payments by state employees for health insurance, and hunting and fishing license fees.

JLARC’s report also indicates that ten programs managed by the state accounted for 68 percent of growth in spending. The two programs experiencing the most dramatic growth were Medical program services (Medicaid) and Higher Education. Over the past 10 fiscal years Medicaid-related expenditures increased by $3.8 billion, representing a growth rate of 76 percent. Costs associated with higher education increased by $1.17 billion, representing a 36 percent increase. Spending for highway construction programs increased by $700 million, a 47 percent increase.

Over the past 10 fiscal years, tax-supported debt service in Virginia grew from $400 million to nearly $900 million, representing a 4.5 percent share in total state revenues.

VACo Contact: Larry Land, CAE

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