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Could Virginia soon have its own version of the earned income tax credit?

FILE - In this June 15, 2018, file photo, cash is fanned out from a wallet.
Elise Amendola
AP, File
FILE - In this June 15, 2018, file photo, cash is fanned out from a wallet.

People struggling to make ends meet in Virginia might be about to get some help.

Democrats in Richmond are pushing a $30 million plan that could lead to hundreds of extra dollars in the pockets of struggling families the next time tax refunds arrive in the mail. It's called an earned income tax credit, and Delegate Cia Price is a Democrat from Newport News who says this is a way to help those most in need.

"We can provide economic relief for families actually struggling to pay the light bill, actually struggling to pay for their groceries and those living paycheck to paycheck," Price says.

Her bill hit a roadblock this week when a subcommittee recommended that the idea be studied until next year, although it still could be included in the House's proposed budget later this month. The Senate version of the bill was introduced by Senator Aaron Rouse, a Democrat from Virginia Beach.

"The earned income tax credit is something that should matter to all of us in the Senate because it would help people in all corners of our Commonwealth, both rural and urban," says Rouse.

His bill will be considered by the Senate Finance Committee later this week.

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.