The General Assembly has a long way to go on the budget
As lawmakers move toward the end of their General Assembly session later this month, several key lawmakers will be focused on balancing the books.
The House and Senate are on a collision course over tax cuts, and it's a conflict that’s likely to be worked out in a secret deal later this month. Governor Glenn Youngkin is working with House Republicans on a proposal that would give $350 million in corporate tax cuts. House Republican Leader Terry Kilgore says this will turbo charge the economy.
"They're also going to be creating jobs," Killgore explains. "That's what we're missing on just straight economics. The tax burden has to be such that we recruit and retain corporations to do business in Virginia."
Senate Democrats say they have no appetite for tax cuts, so now the two sides have to figure out some way to compromise. House Democratic Leader Don Scott says the governor's proposal is aimed at rich people to the detriment of everybody else.
"He's proposing a $350 million tax cut at a time when we are fighting over how do we keep and retain teachers, how do we provide support staff in education, how do we make sure that we take care of our most vulnerable workers, how do we make sure that we fund earned income tax credits," Scott says. "But instead of doing those things he's saying, ‘You know what, I've got to take care of my buddies and give some corporate tax cuts.’"
To work out their differences, a handful of senior lawmakers will meet behind closed doors in a secret conference committee that's not open to the public or the press.
This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.