House Republican Leadership Statements on Passage of Budget Conference Reports

gshipley2022 General Assembly

The House of Delegates today adopted the conference report for House Bills 29 and 30, which constitute the 2023-2024 biennium budget. The bills now headed to Governor Youngkin makes record investments without raising taxes or fees.

While Virginians continue to be saddled with the increased cost of living and inaction from Washington, this budget provides nearly $4 billion in tax relief. It includes a $250 tax relief checks for individuals and $500 for couples, increases the standard deduction nearly 100 percent to $8,000 for individuals and $16,000 for joint filers, and repeals the 1.5 percent state sales tax on food and personal hygiene products.

This budget includes record investments in K-12 and higher education. It includes over $3 billion in new, direct aid for K-12, including $1.25 billion to support over $3 billion for school construction projects. With students headed back to campus in the fall, the General Assembly has provided substantial resources to higher education to freeze tuition increases.

The investments in law enforcement show Virginia’s priorities are to fund, not defund, the brave men and women who protect our communities daily. This budget also creates the Project Ceasefire program which will result in fewer gang and firearm related violence in our urban areas.

Small businesses were crippled during the pandemic and this budget protects them from incurring additional costs by replenishing the unemployment trust fund. This budget also ends the accelerated sales tax practice that put undue burdens on Virginia’s small businesses.

“Let me begin by thanking Chairman Knight and our conferees for their work on this budget,” said Speaker of the House Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah. “This budget invests in the core functions of state government and accomplishes a great deal of what House Republicans told Virginians we’d work toward when we asked for their votes in November. This budget shows our commitment to improving Virginians’ lives, helping our economy during uncertain times, all while protecting the taxpayers. This is a budget every Virginian can be proud of.”

“Virginians can feel good about this budget. With much-needed tax relief, record investments in K-12 education, funding for higher education and workforce development, well-deserved pay raises for public employees, and investments in the military and veteran community, it truly reflects our values as a people and as a Commonwealth,” added House Majority Leader Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City. “ I’m proud of the foresight and the tenacity our conferees and the entire Republican caucus have shown during this process.”

“Virginia’s relationship with the military, and with veterans and military families, is unique in our country. Our Commonwealth is home to more veterans than any other state, and we’re home to some of the largest and most important facilities that contribute to our nation’s defense,” said House Republican Caucus Chair Amanda Batten, R-James City County. “The budget we’ve sent to Governor Youngkin begins the process of exempting the first $40,000 in military retirement income for those age 55 and older, giving back to those who have given so much for us. This budget will also fund the long-overdue completion of the I-64 widening on the peninsula, strengthening our region’s connection with the rest of the Commonwealth and bringing relief for long-suffering drivers.”

“Businesses in Virginia, especially small businesses, have taken a beating in the past few years due to COVID and related measures, and now inflation. I’m proud to say that this budget takes significant steps to change that,” said House Majority Whip Michael Webert, R-Fauquier. “The budget replenishes the unemployment trust fund whole again, so businesses won’t be on the hook for higher taxes to make up the difference. It also ends the ‘accelerated sales tax’ gimmick once and for all, putting every business in Virginia back on an equal footing.

“When politicians get their hands on one-time money, they like to spend it on recurring items. I’m proud to say that in this budget, we’ve done the opposite,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Barry Knight, R-Virginia Beach. “We’ve used money that will recur year after year for one-time items. The end result is not only a structurally-balanced budget that protects our AAA bond rating, but a budget that funds our priorities while simultaneously providing tax relief. No new general fund debt, no tax hikes, no higher fees. It’s a budget we can all be proud of.”

Governor Glenn Youngkin will have seven days once he receives the budget to return amendments to the General Assembly, which will then reconvene and either accept or reject them, completing the 2022-2024 budget process.