After calling state legislators back to Richmond for a special session to pass a state budget, Governor Youngkin’s $5.5 billion package of proposed tax cuts remains stuck in gridlock between the republican-controlled House and democrat-controlled Senate.
- Setting the stage: the divided General Assembly failed to pass a state budget during the legislative session at the beginning of the year and is now being called back to the state capital by Governor Youngkin to pass a budget and fund the state.
- What Republicans are saying: House Appropriations Chair Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach) claims there is a “zero” percent chance the budget is passed on Monday – the first day of the special session. He added, “I know that the governor has called us back … but we’re just working to get this right.”
- What’s next: leaders from the House and Senate have been meeting this week to begin negotiations to pass a state budget when the special session begins on Monday. There is currently an approximated $3 billion gap between the proposed bills from each chamber.
- The gap: between the two budget proposals largely centers around how to allocate the billions of dollars generated in state revenues during the pandemic. Youngkin and republican legislators have pushed to give this money back to taxpayers in the Commonwealth by way of a one-time tax rebate and cuts in taxes on incomes, gas and consumer goods. Democrats believe the revenue should be allocated to public investments into education and healthcare.
- What Youngkin’s office is saying: “There are experienced legislators on both sides working through this and the governor’s expectation is that he is going to get a budget quickly, because that’s what Virginians deserve. Next week is going to be a busy week, it’s time for us to provide tax relief and move forward with the shared priorities of investing in education, law enforcement, and the mental health system,” said Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter.
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