Did She Say Indictments?

DebSF -- February 26th, 2008


Demographics. She said demographics.


From the Weldon Cooper center, Final and Provisional population estimates for 2006 and 2007, released 1/28/08

July 1 estimates
Provisional 07 –H’burg 44,707 –R’ham 74,160
Final 06 —H’burg 44,304 –R’ham 72,907
4/2000 census — H’burg 40,453 —R’ham 67,714
April , 2000 – July 1, 2007

NumericH’burg 4,257 —R’ham 6,446
natural H’burg 1,833 –R’ham 2,130
net migration H’burg 2,422 —R’ham 4,316
Percent change H’burg 10.5% —R’ham 9.5%
natural increase –H’burg 4.5% —R’ham 3.1%
net migrationH’burg 6.0% —R’ham 6.4%

From the site’s press release:

Overall, Virginia’s population reached 7.7 million on July 1, 2007, increasing by more than 633,000 new residents since the 2000 Census. The Commonwealth has the 12th largest population in the nation. While Virginia’s population continues to increase annually, the growth rate has declined in recent years.

The pattern of population change in Virginia is dramatically uneven throughout the state. A relatively small number of very fast growing localities in and around Virginia’s three major metropolitan areas fuel the Commonwealth’s population increases.

There’s also this, from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, which reported yesterday (2/26/08) that :

At least twenty-five states, including several of the nation’s largest, face budget shortfalls in fiscal year 2009. Of these 25 states, specific estimates are available for 21 states; the combined deficits of these 21 states are expected to total at least $36 billion for fiscal 2009 — which begins July 2008 in most states.

The 21 states in which revenues are expected to fall short of the amount needed to support current services in fiscal year 2009 are Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The budget gaps total $36.1 to $38.4 billion, averaging 8.3 – 8.9 percent of these states’ general fund budgets. (See Table 1 from the link above)

According to the press release, VA’s FY 2009 gap is expected to be $1.2 billion, which comes to 6.9% of the general fund. Ah. So that’s why we’re cutting drug court funding.

Maybe we should be talking about indictments.

12 Responses to “Did She Say Indictments?”

  1. JGFitzgerald says:

    Of course Weldon Cooper had us estimated at 37-point-something thousand in 1999. I asked several people if that was right. Many shrugged, some said maybe, and Roger Baker said the number was at least 38,500. I mention his guess because it was the highest. Actual was, as listed above, over 40. Wonder how accurate they are this time? Any guesses?

  2. finnegan says:

    So, the point is that the population is increasing, but the state tax revenues don’t reflect that.

    There is something very wrong with that picture. Sounds to me like every member of General Assembly needs to take Economics 101.

    How many different population estimates and censuses are there? WSVA reports that the city schools are conducting their own census:

    Harrisonburg City School Board is among those locally that are sending out a school census.

    Supervisor for Research, Planning and Operations for Harrisonburg City Schools, Craig Mackail, says the count that occurs every three years helps determine the equal distribution of the state sales tax revenues to schools. He says they are also hoping that households without children will respond to the census as well.

    Augusta and Rockingham Counties are also conducting their school censuses.

  3. finnegan says:

    Along the lines of broke state infrastructure, I heard this story on NPR today about Maine roads. Virginia is certainly not alone.

    “They want better roads. Nobody wants to pay more taxes,” Young says.

    Maine would need an estimated $2 billion over the next decade to fix its ailing transportation infrastructure. And no one knows where that money will come from.

  4. cook says:

    Just curious whether Harrisonburgers would prefer to cut $5.9 million from the drug court program (which we do not yet have in Harrisonburg) or the $40,000,000 budget earmark for “Stadum Expansion & Renovation at James Madison University.”

  5. Don says:

    I’m with Cook.

  6. JW says:

    Cut the $40M earmark of course…

  7. $40,000,000 budget earmark for “Stadum Expansion & Renovation at James Madison University.”

    That is IN Harrisonburg’s budget? Or is it what JMU plans to spend. I do not know where to look for our budget but if that money is coming from the taxpayers, then someone in council needs to explain or am I insane…( I know I hear you laughing already).

  8. JGFitzgerald says:

    I’m pretty sure what Cook is referring to is all in the state budget. But it opens up an interesting issue regardless. There are areas of any government budget that are discretionary, and some that aren’t. Recreation theoretically should be, but then there’s the issue of shutting down a program or facility in a bad year and having startup costs in a good one. There’s also the issue of what sports can add to a community, best addressed by New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose, in his book “One Dead in Attic”, describing what it meant to his city to have the SuperDome reopen. (And worst addressed in anything having to do with this city’s golf course, which I add to save some the inevitable trouble.)

    There’s a rule, it may even have a name, that says in any large budget, anyone with a keen eye can find two things to compare to produce an example of waste or foolishness. That’s not meant to disparage the ones doing the comparing. One could possibly even edit the rule to simply state that the waste and foolishness are there.

    Approaching it more globally, are we willing to give up government spending on sports, from JV basketball on up, and strip all education to the core, until we solve some of our more basic problems, or are we going to acknowledge that middle-class people who are more likely to vote are going to get more out of the state budget than people at the bottom social stratum?

  9. cook says:

    Look at Item “C-39.10 #1s” on page 149 of this pdf document which I believe is a listing of the budget earmarks as currently approved by a Senate committee. Caveat: I may not fully understand the document or the process, but I am willing to learn.

  10. So, I think that is for Bridgeforth Stadium. I thought it was to help them re-build Veterans Stadium, but either way, why are WE paying for something that we must PAY to use (as spectators in Bridgeforth or players at Veterans) them?

    Maybe, I too, am missing something.

  11. cook says:

    In response to a telephone call moments ago, “No, I do not read the budget for fun.” I was actually trying to determine the status of Mark Obenshain’s proposed earmark (see page 418) for $220,000 “to offset the loss of federal funds for a full-time Assistant Attorney General who serves as Special Counsel to the multi-jurisdictional grand jury to prosecute gang and violent crime in the Shenandoah Valley.” If I understand what I am looking at, the earmark was not approved by the Senate committee.

    Has the “loss of federal funds” been reported or explained? I had not heard about that.

  12. Reagandem says:

    Silly Cook, of course the federal funds dried up once the gang problem was solved! Or, did the gang problem get solved by the drying up of federal funds?

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