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Del. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson County) recently addressed the Virginia House of Delegates to push for more funding for Virginia's sheriffs — especially in areas like the Twin Counties with struggling economies.
In January, the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association expressed concerned that 376 deputy sheriffs would have to be laid off in the proposed state budget. There was a $13.4 million shortfall in the year beginning July 1, 2011.
Gov. Bob McDonnell has proposed an amendment to the General Assembly to provide an additional $6.5 million, but that still leaves a $6.9 million shortfall in the sheriffs' budget.
The deficit had caused concern for local sheriffs.
Grayson Sheriff Richard Vaughan — who serves as the Region I board of directors representative for the sheriffs' association — said the budget cuts and resulting layoffs would have been detrimental to public safety.
“Grayson County citizens have been taxed enough and we cannot sit back and allow the state to decrease our funding,” Vaughan said.
Vaughan said Friday he appreciated Carrico's efforts to restore the funding as budget deliberations continue in the General Assembly.
The Virginia Sheriffs’ Association also is asking concerned citizens to urge their General Assembly representatives to reject a proposed 5 percent retirement pay option that, according to Vaughan, would reduce some deputies salaries to “near the poverty level.”