Va. governor proposes mental heath cuts

AP News
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Posted: Dec 18, 2009 12:12 PM

Major provisions of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's two-year budget proposed Friday:

REVENUE:

_Eliminates the car tax in favor of phased-in 1 percent income tax increase.

_Increases the cost of liquor by 2 percent.

_Eliminates the dealer discount, a share of the state's sales tax merchants were allowed to keep for collecting and remitting the tax to the state once a month.

PUBLIC SAFETY:

_Cuts $270.5 million to constitutional officers such as sheriffs and commonwealth's attorneys.

_Cuts $73.4 million from local police departments.

_Leases 1,000 prison beds to out-of-state inmates to raise $19.8 million.

_Increases what the state pays to local jails to house state inmates from $8 to $12 per day.

_Changes the deputy-population ration from 1 to 1,500 to 1 to 2,000 to save about $25 million.

_Delays the opening of a new prison in Grayson and pushes back construction of another in Charlotte.

HEALTH & HUMAN RESOURCES:

_Cuts $12.2 million from community service boards that provide treatment and crisis services to the mentally ill.

_Closes Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents, the geriatric unit at Southwestern Virginia mental Health Institute and the Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute adolescent unit.

_Cuts nearly $419 million from Medicaid budget by adjusting payments to providers, and makes administration, eligibility and benefit changes.

_Continues $7 million annual cut in indigent care funding for teaching hospitals.

EDUCATION:

_Transfers $18.8 million in fees collected by colleges and universities to the general fund.

_Recaptures $134 million in unused health insurance premiums paid for school teachers.

STATE EMPLOYEES:

_Freezes salary increases for two years.

_Cuts another 664 positions.

_Requires state workers to start contributing toward their pensions.

_Increases the retirement age for new hires from 50 to 55.