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A look at some of the budget proposals lawmakers will take up next week


House and Senate leaders may be on the verge of cutting a deal on the budget.

When members of the General Assembly arrive at the Capitol for a session on the budget on June the 1st, they'll be considering a proposal that does not have a gas tax holiday or suspend an increase to the gas tax.

It also does not double the standard deduction, although it comes close – allowing lawmakers to fund things like making the earned income tax credit fully refundable. Chris Wodicka at the Commonwealth Institute says making that tax credit fully refundable will help low-income families.

"In states like Virginia, the amount of the credit that families receive is essentially capped," Wodicka explains. "And so they get a smaller credit in many cases. And so as a result of that the credit in Virginia was not really as effective as it could have been."

Housing advocates were pushing for a $300 million investment in the Affordable Housing Trust fund, and the proposed deal has half of that. But Kim Bobo at the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy says the proposal also has an incentive for developers to build more affordable housing.

"They've added $140 million in low-income housing tax credits that will match some of the federal low-income housing tax credits," Bobo says.

The proposal would give military veterans a tax exemption. Teachers and state workers would get a 5% raise. Leaders of the money committees need to persuade their colleagues in the General Assembly to agree to all of that, and then the governor gets to make changes before a final budget is ready for the July 1st deadline.

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.