Virginia budget woes force cuts

| Friday, October 18, 2002

Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles is among the state agencies hit by the governor's decision to cut $858 million because of a revenue shortfall. The DMV will lock its doors on Wednesdays, offering only four days a week for drivers to take care of permitting and vehicle registration business.

Gov. Mark Warner ordered cuts Tuesday because of a $1.5 billion revenue shortfall in the state's two-year budget.

Warner warned additional cuts would occur early next year, when he and the General Assembly will craft a plan to close the remainder of the budget gap. By the time the books are balanced, entire state agencies may be eliminated, the governor said.

DMV customers will find a slow-go and less-convenient service. The agency will close all of its customer service centers an additional day a week (Wednesday) - its least busy day - and shut down 12 offices entirely because of a $45.5 million budget cut. The department will lay off 587 full- and part-time workers.

DMV officials will identify those 12 offices Nov. 1.

Prosecutors, court clerks, treasurers and commissioners of the revenue also will have to get by on leaner budgets. Warner preserved funds for basic aid to public schools, law enforcement and services for the institutionalized mentally ill and retarded.

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