SUFFOLK, Va. - Virginia state finances can weather a continued sluggish economy, but the so-called 'fiscal cliff' could cause daunting hardships unless Washington can resolve polarizing political gridlock and reach a deficit reduction deal.
That's the assessment House of Delegates budget writers are hearing from their own experts in a two-day tutorial preparing them for another year of austere budgeting in the 2013 General Assembly.
They told the House Appropriations Committee that Virginia will be hit hard from automatic cuts if Congress can't avert the fiscal cliff by Jan. 2 because it's the top per capita recipient of federal procurement spending.
Even without the fiscal cliff, job growth in the state's economic dynamo, northern Virginia, is slowing. It slipped from No. 1 last August to a ranking of 15th among metro areas.
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