Democrats are plowing through a massive agenda, everything from raising the minimum wage to addressing climate change. But, Republicans are worried about the cost of all that.
Republicans say some of the agenda the New Democratic majority is pushing through the General Assembly carries a big price tag — raising the gas tax and increasing the minimum wage, for example. Democrats also want to cut back on fossil fuels, which Republicans say will mean higher energy bills. And Democrats also want to allow employees of local governments to engage in collective bargaining, which Republicans say will lead to higher property tax bills.
Republican House Leader Todd Gilbert says the agenda the Democrats are pushing is too expensive.
“Democrats ran their elections last year primarily on trying to take advantage of people’s various levels of anger at President Trump and the policies being enacted right now are going to be a rude awakening to the majority of Virginians," Gilbert explains. "Even people who voted for Democrats last year as they continue to have to dip into their pockets more and more to pay for this agenda.”
House Democratic Leader Charniele Herring says voters knew what they were doing.
“Virginia voters turned out because they were tired of the restrictive Republican policies on the other side of the aisle. See the thing is I believe in the promise of Virginia," she says. "We all do on this side of the aisle. We believe that we can be a good place for business but at the same time a person can earn a decent wage.”
Republicans say they’re worried Virginia will lose its spot as the number one state for business. Democrats say Virginia can keep that ranking and still take action to help working families.