Gov. Youngkin has called lawmakers back to Richmond to finalize the state’s biennial budget.
On Monday, Youngkin will be holding a General Assembly special session, in the legislature’s second attempt at completing the state’s biennial budget. When they last left off, a $3 billion gap still separated the spending bills of both parties, with most disagreements relating to different versions of tax relief proposals, including legislation seeking to eliminate the 2.5% tax on groceries and essential personal hygiene products, which passed the House of Delegates by a 80-20 vote in February.
Under Virginia law, the budget must be finalized at least 48 hours before July 1, when it is set to take effect. In an attempt to speed the process up and see that several of his campaign promises are kept, Youngkin has called this special session so Virginians can get some much needed relief.
“Between high gas prices and rising inflation, Virginians are more squeezed than ever and the General Assembly can deliver much needed tax relief to struggling Virginia families,” Youngkin said in a statement. “Together, we can produce the biggest tax cut in the history of the commonwealth at a time when Virginians need it the most and also make record investments in our education, law enforcement and behavioral health system, among other important priorities. Let’s get back to work.”
Also on the agenda are 50 bills still lingering in conference that the General Assembly left when it had adjourned its regular session on March 12. One of the more high profile ones is bill House Bill 563 by Del. Israel O’Quinn. This bill aims to provide up to $2 billion in bonds to help localities repair aging and crumbling schools, and would award matching grants on a competitive basis to local school boards that demonstrate poor school building conditions, commitment, and need, in order to fund the construction of new public school buildings in these local school divisions.
While previous talk have not been a complete success, hopefully some agreements can be reached, so Youngkin can get back to getting some major work done for Virginia.