Executive branch agency heads have until Sept. 20 to send Gov. Terry McAuliffe proposals to cut 5 percent of their budgets in fiscal year 2017 because of an estimated shortfall.
McAuliffe announced the $1.5 billion shortage in the two-year budget Friday. A memo from Chief of Staff Paul Reagan to agency heads says the state will need to cut about $844 million this year.
“We have been in this situation before and we all know this will be a difficult task,” Reagan wrote. He directed them to propose a cut of 5 percent to their agencies’ general fund budgets, which McAuliffe will review and decide whether to accept.
“Because of the very short timeframe within which we must act on these strategies, please ensure that your recommendations are both practical and consistent with preserving the known priorities or directives of the Governor as much as possible,” Reagan wrote. “While it may not be possible to protect all of his priorities, it should be a goal to minimize the impact as much as possible. Ultimately, you must still meet your reduction target.”
Cuts, including taking money intended for pay raises, will be incorporated into a budget plan McAuliffe will present to lawmakers in December.
This story originally appeared on PilotOnline.com.