Deeper Budget Cuts May Loom for Va. Cities & Counties

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia state government agencies have sent Gov. Bob McDonnell suggestions for cutting their spending by more than $132 million over the next 18 months should he need them to balance the state budget.

Shortly after the Nov. 6 election, McDonnell cited the prospect of deep federal spending cuts without a congressional debt reduction deal in ordering department heads to prepare contingencies for cuts of 4 percent.

He will consider them as he assembles budget amendments to present lawmakers in three weeks.

The largest cuts, nearly $53 million, are proposed to public safety. Health and Human Resources proposes cuts of nearly $34 million.

But in many cases, the cuts would come to local governments, forcing city councils and county boards of supervisors to make cuts or increase revenues.

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