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Northam proposes $2.1 billion boost in state spending

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, feeling flush from surging state tax receipts and a potential windfall from the federal tax overhaul, told state lawmakers Tuesday that he wants to increase spending in the current, two-year state budget by $2.1 billion.

Northam, a Democrat who took office 11 months ago, said the state’s good fortune offers a rare opportunity to boost pay for teachers and state employees, accelerate the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, expand broadband access, offer more college financial aid and beef up the state’s financial reserves.

“A growing economy and federal tax changes have come together to create a unique opportunity to strengthen our balance sheet, provide targeted tax relief to those who need it the most, and make historic investments that will position Virginia for future downturns and improve our ability to keep pace with a changing world,” he said.

Pete Buttigieg Has His Eye On The Prize

Buttigieg wore a crisp white shirt, a blue skinny tie, a tailored charcoal overcoat, and the Skagen engagement watch his husband gave him. At 36, gray has only just begun to fleck his dark brown hair that frames a babyface. He is, friends say, an old soul. He studied the machine for a few minutes, appraising which stuffed trinkets were “above the plane,” an imaginary latitudinal line through the machine. If an item lay above it, it made a better target than one that lay below it.

“There are a few things to consider,” Buttigieg told me, addressing the machine. “First of all, it matters how it’s stacked. This is pretty favorable, because there’s more than one way to win. You always want to go for the obvious way to win, which is to pick it up and drop it off. Equal, and arguably more, potential lies in when you can tip it in.” He pointed to a pink-and-purple monkey, which teetered on the edge of the bin. “Look at this guy. All you gotta do is get a piece of it—or drag something along, and tip it in. You can even get a twofer. Anytime something is above the plane, you got potential. That Tigger there? Probably out of reach, because it’s farther than the claws can go, but if you can get a piece of it, you can bring it over.”