RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) — The Virginia House of Delegates reconvened on Wednesday to pass amendments to the 2023-2024 biennial state budget.
Republican Delegate Wendell Walker (R-23rd District) and Democratic Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-11th District) said the compromise includes some important investments as well as tax relief for Virginians.
Among other things, the budget includes increased funds for education.
In addition, it includes a one-time tax rebate for Virginians and an increase in the standard deduction.
The sales tax holiday is also back in the budget.
Walker said he is glad to see the tax relief coming to Virginians.
"The best part that I like is the surplus that's going back to the voters and that's important with the inflation the way it is right now, gas prices going up," Walker said. "People need tax relief."
Rasoul adds he is also glad to see raises for teachers in the budget.
"We are trying to make sure that most importantly that we were able to get some raises for teachers. We are so behind as far as the national average is concerned," Rasoul said. "We were able to get a good bump, still have a long way to go, but we'll keep working for it."
This budget comes after months of negotiations.
ABC 13 asked both Walker and Rasoul whether they thought a good compromise was made.
"I think it was a good compromise. Not everyone got what they wanted, but we found a bipartisan way to get things done with some great investments and some tax relief at the same time," Rasoul said.
"Everybody has their opinions about compromise, but that's part of politics you have to come together to find some agreement that is in the best interest of the voters, not the party, but it's the people that are important," Walker said.
Walker said he believes this budget is going to be good for everyone going forward.
Rasoul said this was a bipartisan compromise and he thinks there is something in it for everyone.
Following the passage, Governor Glenn Youngkin issued the following statement:
“I appreciate the hard work of the General Assembly and our budget conferees to send a budget to my desk. While the process took longer than needed, more than $1 billion in tax relief is on the way to Virginia veterans, working families and businesses. Additionally, this collaborative effort ensured the funding of our shared priorities: investing in students and teachers, supporting our law enforcement community and transforming the way behavioral health care is delivered in the Commonwealth. There’s more work to be done, but I applaud the General Assembly for their work today."
(Source: ABC 13 NEWS)