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STATE BUDGET: Constitutional Officers Spared?

Constitutional officers were spared the worst budget cuts in the state budget adopted Sunday by the General Assembly. Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Kim White said her office “fared much better than anticipated.”

According to White, former Governor Tim Kaine cut roughly 10 percent of the state’s funding to commonwealth’s attorneys last year and proposed a further 15 percent cut this year.

However, what the GA did was restore the funding and cut 4 percent from the original level, White explained.

“In these tough economic times we can work within that,” White said, noting she plans to use a mix of operating expense reductions and funding for vacant positions to fund the budget.

Also, the clerk of court’s office was cut 2 percent in the new state budget, White added.

Sheriff’s office funding from the state was restored to $98.6 million, which is a 100 percent restoration in fiscal year 2011 and 97.4 percent in fiscal year 2012.

Commisioners received funding totaling $16 million, which is 85 percent of what they had been funded in the previous budget year, and directors of finance were funded at $9.2 million or 76 percent of previous budget funding, according to state budget figures.