No post session per diems, last-minute deals, and burning of the midnight oil this year. While the votes were not unanimous, Senate and House lawmakers have passed a state budget that includes pay raises for state employees, college faculty, state police, and teachers.
House Minority Leader David Toscano argued that law enforcement, school faculty, and other employees are still without the support they need.
"The budget doesn't go far enough, but it is a process and we'll continue to make it---push to make it better, not just this year, but in years ahead."
Both the House of Delegates and Virginia Senate today overwhelmingly approved their respective versions of the state’s spending plan. Budget day at the Virginia State Capitol typically reveals how lawmakers really feel about the state of the Commonwealth and how dire things are.
A lot weighs heavily on the House budget, and Appropriations Chair Chris Jones insists that it has much of what Virginia needs-including pay raises for state employees, teachers, and state police, and no cuts to K-12 education.
President Obama’s budget revived a debate at the Capitol over energy policy and climate change.
As lawmakers like to say, “budgets embody values,” and on the Hill there’s no question over whether the president’s budget shows his values in regards to the nation’s energy sector. He wants to hike clean energy spending by seven percent and offer a myriad of states some four billion dollars if they clean up their air at a quicker pace. Virginia Republican Congressman Morgan Griffith says the budget would be another blow to his southwestern district.
There’s good news from the Governor and the heads of the General Assembly’s money committees. Despite dealing earlier with a significant revenue shortfall, the state is now seeing a $338-million revenue bump from withholding through corporate income tax and insurance premiums.
It amounts to $162 million more over the biennium after a $176 million deposit into the Rainy Day Fund. Governor McAuliffe says it provides a little extra money to spend as the budget is crafted.
President Obama is sending a $4 trillion budget to Congress this morning, and Democrats in the region are glad it calls for lifting budget caps on most federal agencies.
Remember sequestration? It’s those indiscriminate budget cuts that rip through most every federal agency. Many first term lawmakers like Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine say it’s dumb for that deal to tie lawmaker’s hands now.