As elated as I was to be elected Governor, I was saddened to learn that I would only have $35 million in governing funds – even that was not there. Instead, not only was there no excess money, there was a deficit of $2.2 billion. That was 1990, today, accounting for inflation, that amount would be, at least, double.
There was wailing and outcry, particularly from some members of my own party, to raise taxes. I knew, from experience, who ultimately would bear the greater burden, if I were to yield to that clamor; those least able to afford it…the people.
I set out to accomplish three things to indelibly mark my administration:
1. There would be no general fund tax increases.
2. To focus on reducing the size of government with efficiency and effectiveness.
3. To establish a “rainy day fund”, and to enshrine in our state constitution as a “Reserve Fund”, so that our Commonwealth would never go broke.
The General Assembly supported my legislation which Governors have since praised and availed.
In my four year stint, Virginia was voted the best fiscally managed state in the nation, for the first time ever, and two years in a row.