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Non-general funds drive state budget growth

Virginia’s general fund grew by 3 percent between the 2004 and 2013 fiscal years — when adjusted for population growth and inflation — and 20 percent overall including non-general fund appropriations.

Without either of those adjustments, the state’s operating budget increased by $16.3 billion over those 10 years, increases of 38 percent in general funds and 82 percent in non-general funds, according to a review of state spending by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission.

A wide range of revenues are categorized as non general funds, including federal money, hunting licenses, lottery tickets and child support payments.

The general fund – filled largely with taxes paid by people and businesses — pays for core government services, including schools and police.

The state spending review reports that the agencies with the highest dollar growth in the general fund were the Department of Medical Assistance Services and direct aid to public  schools from the Virginia Department of Education. Between them, they accounted for 58 percent of the general fund growth between 2004-13.

On the other hand, nine agencies had their general fund appropriations decline in that same time frame, including the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Read the full report HERE.