Virginia could fall hardest off the ‘fiscal cliff’

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Virginia could be the hardest hit state if Congress does not take action to avert the “fiscal cliff.” The commonwealth could lose as many as 200,000 jobs.

“Virginia will have a more significant impact than any other state in the country,” says House Speaker Bill Howell, R-Stafford. “We have, on a per-capita basis, more dollars that we receive from federal sources, military and non-military.”

Howell says dealing with that impact could dominate the upcoming 60-day General Assembly session that begins Jan. 9. It could push all other issues aside.

“That is going to be our number one, two and three focus this year,” he says.

Gov. Bob McDonnell has doubled the amount of money he wants the General Assembly to put into the state’s rainy day fund, which often covers unexpected expenses. That fund could soon have $690 million.

Howell says he is expecting some kind of deal to come out of Congress before the hammer drops.

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