The Virginia House of Delegates passed an amended two-year state budget Thursday that includes no tax or fee increases, takes steps to secure the future of state employees, and makes strategic investments in K-12 and higher education. The budget goes beyond Governor McAuliffe’s proposal to include a full pay raise for state employees, additional investments in public education, and ensures oversight and transparency in economic development. The budget bill, HB1500, passed the House 98 to 2.
“The budget passed today is a reflection of the priorities of the House of Delegates,” said House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). “The investments into public safety, K-12 and higher education, the healthcare safety net, and economic development demonstrates that the House of Delegates is leading on the important issues facing Virginians. This budget also goes a long way toward securing a better and brighter future for our state employees. I want to thank Chairman Jones, Vice-Chairman Landes, and the entire Appropriations Committee for their hard work on producing this budget.”
“The House passed a strong conservative budget that invests in the core functions of government while protecting precious taxpayer dollars,” said Majority Leader M. Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights). “Our budget will give state employees a much-needed pay raise, help make college more affordable, give localities flexibility in K-12 education, and help spur private-sector economic growth across the Commonwealth. While Washington drowns in debts and deficits, Virginia is leading the way on budgeting responsibly.”
Commenting on the passage, House Appropriations Chairman S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) said, “Throughout last year’s revenue shortfall and continuing into this year, our goal has been to produce a structurally balanced budget that responsibly invests in the core functions of government. Our budget meets both of those goals. The budget we passed will secure the future of state employees, provide local education leaders with much-needed flexibility, hold down the cost of higher education and strengthen our healthcare safety net.”
“The House is governing on important issues like education, healthcare, and domestic violence. The budget that passed today makes important investments while remaining balanced and protecting taxpayers. Our budget rejects Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and instead replaces it with funding to provide critical health care safety net services to the neediest Virginians. We are building on our previous investment. This is the right approach for the Commonwealth.” said House Appropriations Vice-Chairman Steve Landes (R-Augusta).