Legislators return to Richmond next Wednesday, and local governments across the state are worried about what's ahead.
 
As state lawmakers head back to Capitol Square, they 'll find a state economy on the mend, but a modest recovery won't prevent more budget cuts, and local governments are concerned.

"What we're concerned about in this upcoming session is what will they do next to us," said Neal Menkes with the Virginia Municipal League. "Will they shift more funding responsibility of programs that the state itself used to pay for?"

Speaking with reporters last month at a conference organized by the Associated Press, representatives of local governments said they're already dealing with major cuts in state aid at a time when the demand for services is growing.

And real estate taxes, local governments' bread and butter, haven't begun to recover.

The new House Majority Leader, Colonial Heights Delegate Kirk Cox, says the state's budget picture has improved since last year, but revenue growth will be slow.

"It's not as tough, but I think you're naive to think it's not going to be tough,"Cox told News 7.  "I do think that local government makes a good point, real estate is still not rebounding at all so we've still got some very tough decisions to make," Cox said.