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Group: U.S. aid helps Va. balance budget

August 19, 2010 | Virginia News

Gov. Bob McDonnell decries rising federal spending, but a handout from Washington is helping him balance Virginia's cash-strapped budget, a fiscal think tank says.

If not for $2.5 billion from President Barack Obama's economic-stimulus program, the state's shortfall would have swelled from more than $4 billion to nearly $5.5 billion, according to the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis.

Michael J. Cassidy, institute president, said yesterday that the federal aid helped shrink the hole by 16 percent, allowing Virginia -- at the height of the recession -- to avert "further cuts to key areas like health care, education and public safety."

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