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Leader Gilbert Statement on Passage of Biennial Budget

Leader Gilbert Statement on Passage of Biennial Budget

House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert issued the following statement:

“While the budget isn’t what a Republican House of Delegates would have produced, the document signed by the Governor today is a significant improvement over the budget sent to him at the end of the Regular session. 

“Today’s budget contains no tax increases, and does not require that Virginia rejoin the failed Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. It reflects compromise, with both sides dealing in good faith to meet our most basic responsibility. Once again, Virginia’s leaders have demonstrated that Richmond is not Washington. 

“Republicans remain committed to making life more affordable for hard-working Virginia families.”




House Democrats Plan $1.3 Billion Tax Hike, ‘Study’ Pay Raises for Themselves in 2024-2026 Biennial Budget

House Democrats Plan $1.3 Billion Tax Hike, ‘Study’ Pay Raises for Themselves in 2024-2026 Biennial Budget

RICHMOND — House Democrats today proposed more than $1.3 billion in higher taxes on hard-working Virginia families, just days after telling Virginians that there’s no room in the budget to prosecute those poisoning children with counterfeit, fentanyl-laced pills.

“Elections have consequences, and this is one of the most predictable results ever. When Democrats are in charge, they will raise taxes,” said House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert.

“Democrats have hijacked Governor Youngkin’s plan to make Virginia’s tax structure more progressive and resilient by dumping all of his proposed tax cuts but keeping the offsets he proposed,” he added. “That means higher taxes for Virginia families already struggling with the aftermath of sky high inflation.”

Spending priorities in this budget are simply out of touch with everyday Virginians and their concerns.

Earlier this week Democrats said there wasn’t room in the budget for $100,000 to arrest, prosecute, and jail those who create counterfeit drugs that are poisoning our children, or fund new efforts to combat human trafficking.

Neither bill was advanced and the fentanyl legislation was “not heard by the committee due to fiscal impact,” said Del. Vivian Watts, the Democrat chair of the Courts of Justice Criminal subcommittee. The budget does contain $150,000 for Watts’ HB 884, which creates a pilot program for stopping cars with loud mufflers.

“Now we know that wasn’t true,” said Gilbert, “They would simply rather prioritize noisy mufflers in affluent parts of Virginia over kids dying of fentanyl poisoning.”

Eight kids overdosed on fentanyl in one week at a a Loudoun County High School, so Republicans brought forward a bill to crack down on people who produce counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl. House Democrats refuse to even hear the bill. Why? It’s too expensive. Cost? $50,000 over two years.

Even worse, the budget creates a study to “review the current levels of compensation” for legislators. “It’s not enough that they’re going to take another $1.3 billion from Virginia families, they’re also laying the groundwork to give themselves a massive raise next year,” Gilbert said.

If Democrats adopt the model of nearby states such as Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey, they would nearly triple their existing salaries while taxpayers have to dig even deeper into their own wallets.

Other lowlights include:

• Tying literally every dollar of state spending to returning Virginia to the failed Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a backdoor tax added to power bills that does nothing to reduce greenhouse gasses.
• Seven positions cut from the Virginia Fusion Center, a key law enforcement tool for sharing intelligence among police agencies.
• Cutting $17 million from Virginia’s proven Ceasefire gun violence prevention program.

“House Republicans will continue to work with Governor Youngkin and the Democratic caucus to craft a budget that reflects the priorities and day to day realities of hard working Virginia families,” Gilbert concluded.


Leader Gilbert Statement on Passage of Biennial Budget

Statement of House Republican Leaders on Passage of 2023 Budget Amendments

Statement of Speaker Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah

“The budget amendments we sent to Governor Youngkin are commendable in that they provide relief for Virginians struggling with rising costs of everyday expenses due to failed federal policies.

“And while it provides some help for hard-working Virginia families, it doesn’t do enough. Had Senate Democrats not been terrified of their primary voters, we could have made historic reforms to our income tax system that would have put more money back into the pockets of those who need it most. Those who make minimum wage don’t belong in Virginia’s highest tax bracket.

“Nonetheless, I am proud that our Republican conferees held firm on putting more money back into Virginians’ pockets and expanding the standard deduction. I specifically want to commend Delegates Karen Greenhalgh and John McGuire for their hard work to expand the tax break for retired veterans to all ages, a change long overdue to support those who served our country and Commonwealth.

“I look forward to working with Governor Youngkin and our Senate colleagues next year to craft a two-year budget that provides significant help for families dealing with skyrocketing costs.”

Statement of Majority Leader Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City

“I want to thank our budget conferees for standing firm and ultimately prevailing on delivering tax relief for Virginians. The budget package that we passed today not only includes tax relief that should alleviate rising costs for families, veterans, and small businesses, but also makes significant investments to restore excellence in public education.

“I am especially pleased with the significant economic and workforce investments in Southwest Virginia. For instance, the budget includes $10 million for the engineering and design work needed to develop a new inland port in Southwest Virginia.

“Overall, an additional $200 million for business-ready site development will help Virginia become a more attractive destination for businesses to operate, grow, and create jobs for Virginians.”

Statement of House Appropriations Committee Chairman Barry Knight, R-Virginia Beach

“I want to commend our entire House negotiating team for the hard work they did over the past few months. As this General Assembly comes to a close, I’m proud to say that we’ve put $10 billion in our public schools, the most in Virginia’s history, supported the highest-ever balance in our Rainy Day and reserve revenue funds, and more resources for water quality improvement than ever.

“We also secured $1 billion in tax relief for hard-working Virginia families, dedicating significant new resources to getting our children back on track after the pandemic, and bolstering our mental health system to get troubled Virginians the help they need when they need.”