Youngkin signs long overdue amended budget
Under the shining Virginia sun, Governor Glenn Youngkin thanked Republican and Democratic legislators for wrapping up the long overdue budget process just last week.
“When we put politics down and pick common sense up, look at what we can accomplish together,” he said.
Most of the allotted funds will return to Virginians via tax rebates, at $200 per taxpayer. The standard deduction will also increase from $8,000 to $8,500 for singles and $17,000 for joint filers. Additional funds for prepping site-ready business projects, as well as other incentives to bring companies to the Commonwealth, were also included.
Retiring Democratic Senator George Barker is co-chair of the budget and appropriations committee. He too praised the funding package.
“It’s a fantastic budget. We got everything we needed to get to make things better for the people of Virginia and Virginia as a whole.”
Barker, who’s leaving his Northern Virginia seat after 15 years in office, specifically praised the nearly $650 million investment in elementary and secondary programs. But that influx of cash comes as the state reported decreases in student test scores and an increase in teacher vacancies.
Barker also warned more attention is needed for higher education in the future.
“Higher education didn’t get as much focus as the elementary and secondary education," he said. "We need to build that up much more.”
Barker won’t be part of the legislature after the 2023 elections which have all 140 legislative seats on the ballot. A new two-year budget must be passed during the 2024 session as well.