Governor says Virginia is in a ‘good place’ financially

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, left, greets his wife, Pam, after delivering his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, left, greets his wife, Pam, after delivering his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, right, greets Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, left, as he prepares to deliver his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, right, greets Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, left, as he prepares to deliver his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gestures as he delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gestures as he delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam greets legislators and staff after he delivered his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam greets legislators and staff after he delivered his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, front, delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, front, delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, top at podium, delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, top at podium, delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP/Steve Helber)
Senate finance committee chairman, Sen. Thomas Norment, left, R-James City County, and House Appropriations committee chairman, Del. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, listen as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Senate finance committee chairman, Sen. Thomas Norment, left, R-James City County, and House Appropriations committee chairman, Del. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, listen as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP/Steve Helber)
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, left, listens along with Virginia First Lady Pam Northam, right as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, left, listens along with Virginia First Lady Pam Northam, right as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP/Steve Helber)
(1/9)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, left, greets his wife, Pam, after delivering his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, right, greets Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, left, as he prepares to deliver his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gestures as he delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam greets legislators and staff after he delivered his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, front, delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, top at podium, delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Senate finance committee chairman, Sen. Thomas Norment, left, R-James City County, and House Appropriations committee chairman, Del. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, listen as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, left, listens along with Virginia First Lady Pam Northam, right as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Ralph Northam has told state lawmakers that Virginia is starting the new budget cycle “in a good place.”

In a speech to the General Assembly’s money committees Tuesday, Northam said the state ended the fiscal year with a surplus of $797 million. Much of that money is already earmarked for water quality and taxpayer relief.

Northam said the state put $344.4 million into reserves, bringing the total reserve fund to $1.6 billion by 2021, the highest amount ever.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the governor warned lawmakers that despite the state’s strong financial position now, it doesn’t mean they will have a large surplus to spend in the budget he will propose in December. He said the state must be “both cautious and strategic.”

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up