Monday, January 23, 2023

Episode 647 (1-23-23): Virginia’s State Budget and Money for Water

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:50).

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Extra Information

Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).

Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 1-20-23.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the weeks of January 23 and January 30, 2023.  This update of a January 2015 episode is the second of three planned episodes this winter on Virginia’s General Assembly.

MUSIC – ~15 sec – instrumental.

That’s part of  “World’s Too Big,” by Blacksburg, Va., musician Kat Mills, from her 2006 album, “Two.”  It opens an episode on what is one of the biggest jobs, and has some of the biggest impacts, of any General Assembly session: the state budget.  The Commonwealth operates on a biennial budget, covering two fiscal years, which run from July 1 through June 30.  In sessions in even-numbered years, the General Assembly sets the budget for the upcoming two years, and typically in every session the Assembly considers amendments to the current budget.  Virginia’s current two-year budget, as approved last year by the Assembly and the governor, is about $163 billion dollars, with about $159 billion for operating expenses and the rest for capital expenses.

Now, have a listen to the music for about 20 more seconds, and see how much of that amount you think goes to water-related matters.

MUSIC – ~22 sec – lyrics: “World’s too big to see in one lifetime.  The world’s too big to see in one day.  And we work too hard to get much perspective; I’d like to see things a different way.  World….”

According to the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, the Commonwealth’s current two-year operating-expense budget funds about 210 programs.  Of these, Water Radio identified 23 that relate to activities that can affect water, either directly, or indirectly through air, land, or energy management.  Those 23 programs account for about $3.3 billion in the current two-year budget.  Here’s a sample of those programs, to give you a sense of where Virginia’s water-related dollars go: some direct water-connection programs are boating safety, coastal lands mapping, drinking water improvement, marine life management, port facilities, seafood promotion, and water protection; and some indirect water-connection programs are air protection, disaster and emergency preparedness, forest management, minerals management, and regulation of public utilities.

If you’d like more information about the big, complicated subject of Virginia’s state budget, you can get details from the Department of Planning and Budget, online at

Thanks to Kat Mills for permission to this episode’s music, and, in the spirit of a subject too big for one short Water Radio episode, we close with about 35 more seconds of “World’s Too Big.”

MUSIC – ~38 sec – Lyrics: “World’s too big to see in one lifetime.  What do you think you’ll do this year in the world, world, world, in the world?”


Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Ben Cosgrove for his version of “Shenandoah” to open and close this episode.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


“World’s Too Big,” from the 2006 album “Two,” is copyright by Kat Mills, used with permission.  More information about Kat Mills is available online at and at

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (2 min./22 sec.) of the “Shenandoah” arrangement/performance by Ben Cosgrove that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Cosgrove is available online at


Screen shot of the title page of Governor Glenn Younkin’s proposed amendments to the 2022-2024 Virginia budget, being considered in the 2023 General Assembly.  Budget proposal accessed from the Virginia Legislative Information System’s site for budget bills in the 2023 session, online at, January 23, 2023.  The 2023 budget bills are House Bill 1400 and Senate Bill 800.


Information on Virginia’s 2022-2024 Biennial Budget, as passed by the 2022 General Assembly, is available from the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, online at this link.  The information in this section is taken from that site, as of January 20, 2023.  More details on each budget area are available at that site.

Operating Budget Area

Fiscal Year 2023

Fiscal Year 2024

Health and Human Resources















Public Safety and Homeland Security



Central Appropriations



Independent Agencies



Natural and Historic Resources



Commerce and Trade









Veterans and Defense Affairs



Agriculture and Forestry






Executive Offices






Capital Budget Area

Fiscal Year 2023

Fiscal Year 2024

Central Appropriations









Natural and Historic Resources






Everything Else






Details of the 2022-2024 Operating Budget by program are available online at this link.  The entire table at that link includes 212 program lines (“Administrative and Support Services” is repeated in 7 lines).  Following are 23 line items from that table that are directly or indirectly (as assessed by Virginia Water Radio) related to water.

Operating Budget Program Area

Fiscal Year 2023

Fiscal Year 2024

Agricultural and Seafood Product Promotion and Development Services



Air Protection



Boating Safety and Regulation



Coastal Lands Surveying and Mapping



Disaster Planning and Operations



Drinking Water Improvement



Emergency Preparedness



Emergency Response and Recovery



Emergency Response Systems Development Technology Services



Environmental Financial Assistance



Environmental Health Hazards Control



Environmental Monitoring and Evaluation



Financial Assistance for Port Activities



Forest Management



Land and Resource Management



Land Protection



Marine Life Management



Minerals Management



Plant Pest and Disease Control



Port Facilities Planning, Maintenance, Acquisition, and Construction



Regulation of Public Utilities



Water Protection



Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Management







Used for Audio

David Mudd, “Inside Virginia’s State Budget for Water,” Virginia Water Central Newsletter, Virginia Water Resources Research Center, April 2001, online at

Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, online at  Specific pages/documents used were the following:
“Virginia’s Budget,” online at; and
2022-2024 Biennial Budget, online at this link.

Virginia Legislative Information System (LIS), online at  Budget information is online at; the budget bills in the 2023 General Assembly are House Bill 1400 and Senate Bill 800.  The LIS site to access specific budget amendments in 2023 is  That page has links to “Member Request” and “Committee Approved” amendments for each proposed budget bill (the House version and the Senate version); the amendments are organized by Executive Office, with many of the water-related amendments located under the Natural and Historic Resources Office.

For More Information about the Virginia General Assembly

Ballotpedia, “Virginia General Assembly,” online at

Virginia General Assembly main Web site, online at  See particularly the following specific pages:
About the General Assembly;
Citizen Involvement
Legislative Terms
Senate of Virginia
Virginia House of Delegates Member Listings

Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, “History of Planning and Budgeting Agencies,” online at

Virginia Water Resources Research Center, “Virginia Water Legislation,” online at  This site provides access to inventories of water-related bills in the Virginia General Assembly from 1998 through 2023.


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (  See particularly the “Community/Organizations” subject category.

Following is the link to a previous episode focusing on the Virginia state budget.

Episode 247, 1-5-15 – “January Means State Budget Time in the Virginia General Assembly.”

Following are links to other episodes on the Virginia General Assembly.

Episode 143, 1-7-13 – “Music for the Past and Present of the Virginia General Assembly” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 147, 2-4-13 – “Committees Guide the Flow of Bills in the Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 196, 1-13-14 – “The Virginia General Assembly on its 396 Opening Day, January 8, 2014” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 252, 2-9-15 – “Voting on Water in the 2015 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 297, 1-4-16 – “Water’s on the Agenda—along with a Whole Lot Else—When the Virginia General Assembly Convenes” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 302, 2-8-16 – “Voting on Water in the 2016 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 350, 1-9-17 – “Old English Music Helps Preview the Old Dominion’s 2017 General Assembly” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 353, 1-30-17 – “Voting on Water in the 2017 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 359, 3-13-17 – “Subcommittees are Where Many Proposed Virginia Laws Start to Float or Sink.”
Episode 402, 1-8-18 – “The Virginia Legislature Begins Its 400th Year in 2018” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 405, 1-29-18 – “Voting on Water in the 2018 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 410, 3-5-18 – “Virginia Electricity Regulation and Water” (on legislation in the 2018 session on electricity regulation).
Episode 454, 1-7-19 – “The Virginia General Assembly, from Jamestown in 1619 to Richmond in 2019” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 460, 2-18-19 – “Voting on Water in the 2018 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 506, 1-6-20 – “Action on Budget, Bills, and Other Business Commences January 8 for the 2020 Virginia General Assembly” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 510, 2-3-20 – “Voting on Water in the 2020 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 522, 4-27-20
– “Virginia Enacts a New Energy Era” (on legislation in the 2020 session on electricity generation, carbon emissions, and recurrent flooding).
Episode 558, 1-4-21
– “January 13 is Opening Day for the 2021 Virginia General Assembly” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 562, 2-1-21 – “Voting on Water in the 2021 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 611, 1-10-22
– “The Second Wednesday in January Means the Virginia General Assembly Convenes” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 614, 1-31-22 – “Voting on Water in the 2022 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 646, 1-9-23
– “Near Richmond’s James River Falls, Each Second Wednesday in January Calls the Virginia General Assembly to Order” (annual General Assembly introduction).


Following are some Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) that may be supported by this episode’s audio/transcript, sources, or other information included in this post.

2020 Music SOLs

SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

2018 Science SOLs

Grades K-5 – Earth Resources
3.8 – Natural events and humans influence ecosystems.
4.8. – Virginia has important natural resources.

Grade 6
6.9 – Humans impact the environment and individuals can influence public policy decisions related to energy and the environment.

Life Science Course
LS.9 – Relationships exist between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Earth Science Course
ES.6 – Resource use is complex.
ES.8 – Freshwater resources influence and are influenced by geologic processes and human activity.
ES.10 – Oceans are complex, dynamic systems subject to long- and short-term variations, including effects of human actions.
ES.11 – The atmosphere is a complex, dynamic system subject to long-and short-term variations, including effects of human actions.

Biology Course
BIO.8 – Dynamic equilibria exist within populations, communities, and ecosystems, and natural events and human activities influence local and global ecosystems and may affect the flora and fauna of Virginia.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

Virginia Studies Course
VS.10 – Knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.1 – Social studies skills that responsible citizenship requires.
CE.7 – Government at the state level.
CE.10 – Public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.18 - Cooperation among political jurisdictions to solve problems and settle disputes.

Government Course
GOVT.1 – Social studies skills that responsible citizenship requires.
GOVT.8 – State and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – Public policy at local, state, and national levels.
GOVT.15 – Role of government in Va. and U.S. economies, including examining environmental issues and property rights.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at (as of 2-23-23).

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.
Episode 524, 5-11-20 – on sounds by water-related animals, for elementary school through high school.
Episode 531, 6-29-20 – on various ways that animals get water, for 3rd and 4th grade.
Episode 539, 8-24-20 – on basic numbers and facts about Virginia’s water resources, for 4th and 6th grade.
Episode 606, 12-6-21 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.