September 23, 2023

The brand new fiscal yr has began, and Virginia’s lawmakers have (up to now) failed to achieve an settlement on the way to spend the commonwealth’s income surplus. 

Leaders in Virginia’s Republican-controlled Home of Delegates and Democratic-majority state Senate failed to achieve a funds settlement by July 1, which kicks off the state’s new fiscal yr, and there’s no indication of when or how lawmakers and the governor would possibly come to an settlement.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin and his allies within the Home have insisted that amendments to the state’s funds embrace roughly $1 billion {dollars} in everlasting tax cuts; these could be along with the $4 billion in tax cuts that Republicans and Democrats agreed to final yr. Democrats within the Senate need to as a substitute spend that cash on chronically underfunded Okay-12 schooling, larger schooling, and psychological well being. 

Lawmakers have been on this funds stalemate for the reason that finish of the Common Meeting session in February, when funds conferees from the Home and Senate had been unable to achieve an settlement on the way to amend the state’s two-year funds to spend Virginia’s income surplus. In accordance with state Sen. Creigh Deeds, the Senate conferees needed to provide taxpayers a one-time tax rebate totaling $500 million, however this suggestion was rejected by the Home conferees. 

Negotiations slogged on from the tip of February by means of June, however points just like the now-resolved federal debt ceiling stalemate and legislative primaries prevented lawmakers from making significant progress till very just lately.  

However with the primaries completed, lawmakers returned to in-person negotiations over the past week of June. Senate negotiators upped their tax rebate proposal to $670 million of their quest to achieve an settlement with Home Republicans, however the GOP rejected this proposal, too.

The Senate then reportedly gave much more floor to Home Republicans’ calls for, basically agreeing to the tax lower quantity the Home and the governor needed. The Senate refused, nevertheless, to make these tax cuts everlasting. The Home conferees rejected this Senate proposal, too, and ended deliberations. Deeds described it as “a disappointing finish to a few of the most crucial work of the legislature.”

Deeds and Republican Del. Terry Austin each informed WDBJ that they continue to be optimistic that the perimeters will attain an settlement. The governor is rumored to be planning to name the legislature right into a particular session throughout the week of July 11, basically forcing lawmakers to return to the desk.

The unresolved state funds is creating fiscal uncertainty on the native authorities and college board ranges, that are scrambling to set budgets for the approaching yr with out figuring out how a lot cash they will depend on receiving from the state.