Gov. George Allen last week proposed to pay for tax cuts with spending cuts that would slash state arts programs, public radio and television, university think tanks, and health care for the poor.
Allen announced $2.1 billion in tax cuts in early December. At the time state Democratic Party chairman Mark Warner was quoted as saying that the tax cuts would result in "the mother of all mandates" because part of the proposal was to eliminate a major tax collected by localities.
The commonwealth is in the middle of its two-year budget cycle and normally does not see such bold proposals in mid-cycle, budget analysts said. Any proposed changes to the budget must be approved by the General Assembly. According to news reports, the Democratic-run Assembly and some Republicans are skeptical.