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Governor Youngkin's promise of cutting the grocery tax could be in trouble

Plastic bags in a grocery cart.
Fiona Goodall
Getty Images

One of the governor's top priorities for cutting taxes may be in trouble.

Senate Democrats are engaged in some comparison shopping. Instead of approving the elimination of the grocery tax – one of Governor Glenn Youngkin's top priorities – Democrats in the Senate Finance Committee want to shop around a bit and see if they can get a better deal. The bill introduced by Senator Jennifer Boysko to eliminate the grocery tax was initially rejected, and then members of the committee resolved to continue trying to work out the details. Boysko says the bill is not in trouble.

"No, I don't think so. I think it just needs a little bit more time," Boysko explains. "This is a major policy change, and I think that members are right to want to get it done correctly so that everybody wins on it."

Senator Louise Lucas says she will not vote for any bill that risks taking money out of public education.

"And until that's clear for me, I'm going to stay with what I campaigned on and that is to fully fund education, K through 12," Lucas says.

The bill is on track in the House. But in order to get through the Senate Finance Committee, supporters for eliminating the grocery tax are going to need to find about $500 million for education and then another $250 million for transportation projects – funding that currently comes from money raised by the grocery tax.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.