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Northam budget proposal to include some Youngkin campaign promises

Steve Helber/AP
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, second from left, speaks to the media as Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin, second from right, and his wife, Suzanne, right, as well as Pam Northam, left, listen after a luncheon outside the Governors Mansion at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021.

Governor Ralph Northam will unveil his final, two-year budget proposal on Thursday. And, it includes some suggestions from his successor.

On the campaign trail, Glenn Youngkin promised to do away with the state’s grocery tax and offer tax cuts to working families in Virginia.

And those proposals have found their way into the outgoing governor’s budget plan.

On Tuesday, a statement from Northam’s office outlined the tax-related suggestions lawmakers will take up next month. It noted that the tax cuts – including cutting the grocery tax – were proposed by Northam either before or during his tenure.

Most states don’t tax groceries, and the governor’s office says the move won’t impact local government revenues.

Northam also wants to include one-time rebates for people who file state income taxes in Virginia. If the legislature approves it, that would amount to $250 for individuals and $500 for couples.

In a statement, Youngkin’s transition team says Northam’s proposal is a step in the right direction, but doesn’t “entirely fulfill Virginians’ mandate.”

Here's the full statement from the governor-elect's transition team:

Governor-elect Youngkin campaigned on reducing the cost of living, fully funding our law enforcement personnel, raising teacher pay, increasing HBCU funding, expanding broadband access, and eliminating the grocery tax for all Virginians as part of his Day One game plan, Virginians throughout the Commonwealth overwhelmingly embraced those ideals.

Governor Northam's budget proposal is a step in the right direction but does not entirely fulfill Virginians' mandate. We appreciate the Northam administration laying the foundation for these elements of the Day One game plan so that Governor-Elect Youngkin can hit the ground running on January 15th to begin executing on his key campaign promises and finish the job.