The Virginia State budget is currently one of the most hotly contested pieces of Virginia legislation, and as the deadline looms closer, Lt. Governor Winsome Sears has taken a firm stance on any further delays.
As of now, the General Assembly is set to reconvene its special session on June 1, ahead of a June 30 deadline to complete the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Sears however expressed her incredible frustration that the process is taking so long, blaming the Democratic-led Senate for the delays, and promising to introduce legislation to prevent this kind of political gridlock in the future.
As guest speaker at the Amherst County Republican Committee meeting Monday night, Sears expressed her frustration.
“Next year, I am putting in a bill that if you don’t pass a budget within the constitutionally allotted time, 45 days or 60 days, then you, Mr. Legislator or Mr. Delegate or Mr. Senator, you are going to pay the Commonwealth of Virginia $500 for every day there is not a budget passed.”
Governor Glenn Youngkin and the Republican-controlled House of Delegates have pushed for a major tax relief package, while the Democrat-controlled Senate has put forward smaller tax relief measures with more one-time spending as a way of protecting future revenue. Despite attempts to lock in a budget early, legislators were not able to come to an agreement.
Sears, a former marine, is clearly a woman of action, and the political gridlock that Virginia Democrats is not something that she can be expected to take lying down. Perhaps this legislation will help clear some of the road blocks that are slowing the Virginia State budget process down.