Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox and House Republican leaders highlighted their legislative accomplishments for the first half of the 2019 General Assembly. The House advanced legislation to prevent the hidden middle class tax increase proposed by Democrats, passed nearly a dozen recommendations from the House Select Committee on School Safety to protect our children and teachers in school, supported pay raises for our public school teachers,started work on a balanced budget, and passed a robust legislative agenda.
“I am proud of the work we have accomplished in the first part of the 2019 General Assembly Session, advancing a robust legislative agenda to help improve the everyday lives of the people we serve,” said Speaker Cox (R-Colonial Heights). “I am confident we can replicate this success over the second half of the session and I look forward to collaborating with our Senate colleagues on our shared priorities.”
The House passed nearly a dozen pieces of legislation that were the direct results of the 24 priority recommendations from the House Select Committee on School Safety, formed by Speaker Cox during the 2018 Session. The committee presented a comprehensive final report to make our students and schools safer through threat prevention, counseling realignment and increased mental health services, and increased training for school personnel and school security.
“The people of Virginia sent us all to Richmond to work together to pass legislation that will have a meaningful impact on the lives of their family” said House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah). “I was proud to serve on the House Select Committee on School Safety and I am proud to know our work the the legislation that resulted form that work will help protect children for generations to come.”
The Republican majority was unified in stopping Governor Ralph Northam’s hidden tax increase and provide tax relief to hardworking Virginians. House Bill 2529 will allow taxpayers to itemize their state taxes regardless of how they file their federal return, increase the state standard deduction across the board, and maintain the important state and local tax (SALT) deduction as it exists today.
“In 2019 we once again found ourselves in familiar territory; Democrats attempting to raise taxes on middle class Virginians,” said Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax). “Not only were we able to stop the Democrat middle class tax hike, we advanced legislation to provide $575 million in tax relief immediately and set aside all other revenue collected from individuals, approximately $400 million, to be refunded to taxpayers.”
Republicans also advanced legislation to establish an independent redistricting commission, lower the cost of attending college, provide healthcare coverage for those with autism, increase transparency in government, provide paid parental leave for state employees, and hundreds of other pieces of legislation focused on advancing conservative solutions.
Additionally, the House Appropriations Committee has released the House budget proposal, which amends the 2018-2020 biennial budget adopted last year. The House budget proposal is a conservative and balanced budget that does not rely on the Governor’s proposed tax increase. The budget funds a 5% teacher pay raise & includes $12 million in School Safety funding, holds college tuition flat at 2019 levels, includes $4 million for credentials & $24 million for broadband, and reduces unfunded liabilities and saves $729 million over the next 25 years.
“The House Appropriations Committee, under the direction of Chairman Jones, has crafted responsible budget amendments that invests in our teachers, improves school safety, and focuses on putting more money back into taxpayers pockets” said House Majority Whip Nick Rush (R-Montgomery).
For a full list of House Republican Priorities that have passed the House, click here.