Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Virginia House budget chair says 2-year spending plan is ready

Youngkin gives remarks
Shaban Athuman
VPM News
Gov. Glenn Youngkin gives remarks flanked by Virginia House and Senate leaders during reconvene session on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 at the Virginia State Capitol. The House budget committee chair announced Thursday that a plan had been agreed upon.

The General Assembly reconvenes Monday for a special session.

Lawmakers negotiating the state budget have tentatively agreed with Gov. Glenn Youngkin on a spending plan for the next two years, the House Appropriations committee chairperson told VPM News Thursday.

Except for two significant differences, Del. Luke Torian (D–Prince William) said the compromise budget is largely the same as the one the Democrat-controlled General Assembly passed in April.

That budget included 3% raises for teachers, teacher support positions, and state employees; $2.5 billion more for education than previous budgets; and $527.8 million more for early childhood programs, according to a March summary from the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee.

The agreement reportedly does not include a digital sales tax that the governor proposed — and the General Assembly expanded against his wishes — nor does it include language requiring Virginia to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Intiative that Youngkin had the commonwealth exit last year.

The spending plan comes after an extension of budget negotiations past Virginia’s tax filing deadline. While administration budget officials projected Virginia would collect about $1 billion more in tax revenue — roughly the size of the difference between the Legislature’s approved budget and the governor’s 200-plus amendments — those projections were in part based off of hard-to-predict types of tax payments.

“Based upon what the governor shared with us … we have enough revenue coming in to make sure that we are covering all our spending priorities,” Torian said.

A Youngkin spokesperson did not confirm nor deny that a deal had been reached on Thursday.

“Governor Youngkin is grateful for all the members of the General Assembly, as well as the leadership, and conferees for their ongoing efforts to deliver a budget,” said Christian Martinez. “He looks forward to finishing the work to deliver on our collective priorities for all Virginians next week.”

The budget would be published “hopefully” by Saturday after legislative staff prepare it. The General Assembly can vote on it by Monday at the earliest, after a 48-hour waiting period — a caveat set by House of Delegates rules.

The schedule means the budget would be published on a weekend, after being negotiated behind closed doors. Virginia’s fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30.

“Would you rather have us wait until Monday? Or have us get it out as soon as possible,” Torian told VPM News in response to a question about its potential Saturday release.

If it conforms to the outline Torian described to VPM News on Thursday, it would be largely known to the public since it is based on the conference report passed weeks ago.

Jahd Khalil covers Virginia state politics for VPM News.
Related Stories