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State lawmakers could finally vote on a budget proposal next week

Lawmakers have yet to finalize an agreement on the budget. But, they might be on the verge of cutting a deal.

Members of the General Assembly will return to the Capitol next week to consider a possible deal on the budget, which was left undone at the end of the regular session back in March. Now, Chris Wodicka at the Commonwealth Institute says the House and Senate seem close to finally hashing out all the details.

"Based on what the disagreements were, which is why we had to go into special session to deal with the budget, the big one was around tax policy," Wodicka explains. "And so I think what we'll see is some kind of agreement reached on some of those big questions related to tax policy."

The biggest being a $2 billion price tag for doubling the standard deduction, a campaign promise for Governor Glenn Youngkin. Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington says a governor’s first budget is particularly important.

"If a governor is able to get a lot of what he wants in the budget – that will create an environment where maybe he will be more successful," Farnsworth says. "If a governor gets basically rolled by the opposition party or by the legislature, that's a sign that perhaps the governor isn't quite ready for primetime."

The stakes are also high for teachers, who would get a significantly larger raise under the Senate plan versus the House plan.

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

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.