Snow Puts Strain on State and Local Budgets
By John Gramlich, Staff Writer
The heavy snowfall that has blanketed much of the mid-Atlantic region in recent days already has exhausted an entire winter's worth of state and local cleanup budgets in some places.
Virginia's Department of Transportation budgeted $79 million for snow removal this winter, with an extra $25 million available for emergencies. In the aftermath of a blizzard that dropped more than 30 inches of snow in some areas, both funds already have been depleted, The Wall Street Journal reported.
With another major storm expected to hit the mid-Atlantic today (Feb. 9), Maryland has spent about $57 million of the $60 million it allotted for snow removal, while the District of Columbia has churned through its $6.2 million cleanup budget, according to the Journal.
In southern New Jersey, "the situation seemed so uniformly dire that state lawmakers asked Gov. (Chris) Christie (R) to request emergency federal help," The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The snow couldn't come at a worse time for many state and local officials, who are already struggling to close budget shortfalls.