"Sin Tax" Solution?

By: Susan Bahorich
By: Susan Bahorich

A $1.5 billion state budget shortfall can be nipped in the bud. That's according to a valley political analyst.

Gov. Mark Warner announced $858 million in cuts Tuesday night, and said more are on the way in December.

Cuts could focus on Medicaid, education and public safety.

Dr. Bob Roberts says cuts in these areas can be avoided if legislators are willing to take some chances.

"There's a lot of support in Virginia, outside the legislature, for raising the sin taxes- tobacco and alcohol," said Dr. Roberts. "If we put it to a vote it would pass overwhelmingly. But legislature is much more conservative than population as a whole."

ABC stores were some of the facilities cut by Warner in Tuesday's address to the state.

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