Virginia Responds

Virginia‘s spokesman, Nick Charles, sent over a response to our suggestion that she has committed to spend the same money twice.

We like the title:

Spending the Budget Surplus — Rebutting the Ben Smith Blog

Here’s what they have to say:

“Paying Down Debt

“We proposed spending $600 million per year if fiscal conditions permit- $400 million for debt reduction and $200 million to put additional capital spending on a pay as you go basis.

“Affordable Housing

“We proposed annually producing 10,000 new units and restoring 8,000 more. One thousand of these units would be created through mandatory inclusionary zoning. The remainder would cost about $900 million annually. However, this is offset by about $100 million from the Battery Park City surplus. So, the net expenditure is $800 million annually.

“Savings from the Debt Service reduction and Medicaid cost containment that we have proposed would total, conservatively, $400 million by 2009. So, our housing proposal would have a net cost after these savings of $400 million annually.

“Bottom Line: The total net cost of our debt reduction and affordable housing initiatives would be $1 billion dollars annually, well within the amount of recent budget surpluses. We are not spending the same money twice.” Virginia Responds