In a letter sent to Democratic and Republican leadership in the House of Delegates and the Senate Monday, Gov. Bob McDonnell asked lawmakers to come to an agreement on the state's two-year budget for fiscal years 2013-2014 and the "caboose" budget for fiscal year 2012 once they reconvene in special session Wednesday.
McDonnell said he is "very concerned that members of the Senate Democratic Caucus have asserted in a March 7, 2012, letter to me that adopting a timely budget in the immediate future is not imperative, using previous missed deadlines and late budgets as rational," McDonnell wrote.
"Such delays are not only unacceptable to the citizens of Virginia, but they also jeopardize many essential functions of state and local governments that require action well in advance of July 1," he warned.
A budget must be passed by June 30 as the new fiscal year begins on July 1. The McDonnell administration contends that the governor is not authorized to spend any money after that date.
In his letter McDonnell said the deadline is actually sooner. The governor said a spending plan must be in place by June 10 or state employees will have to be "furloughed" because on that date their salaries are scheduled to be paid on July 2.
McDonnell also outlined other problems with waiting until the last possible date to pass a budget including a hit to the state's triple-A credit rating and localities ability to pass their own budgets - including those for local schools - which are usually done in May.
"I therefore respectfully request that you immediately and actively complete the substantive budget negotiations in this special session in the best interest of the 8 million citizens of Virginia and over 100,000 state employees who eagerly await the new two-year spending plan," McDonnell wrote.
Read the governor's full letter to lawmakers here: