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September 6, 2023

Statement: Budget Compromise Rejects Proposed Tax Handouts for Corporations, Millionaires and Invests In Virginia Families

Today, Amy Wentz, Director of Outreach and Engagement for The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis (TCI), released the following statement on the conference budget following months of negotiations:

“Throughout the budget process, TCI has called on lawmakers to put Virginia families first, ahead of big corporations, and to prioritize students and families who are struggling the most in the face of rising costs. After all, the state budget reflects who and what we value as a commonwealth. 

At the beginning of the year, Governor Youngkin and the House of Delegates proposed nearly $1 billion in permanent, costly tax cuts that would benefit corporations and the wealthiest individuals in Virginia and largely leave out our neighbors with low and moderate incomes from receiving much-needed economic support. These proposals would have also drained resources from our budget — even more so in future years. 

For all of the discussion about a ‘budget surplus,’ the reality in communities across the commonwealth is that too many families are struggling to make ends meet and public education — one of the true cornerstones of economic opportunity and thriving communities — remains underfunded. Thankfully, the worst of the proposed tax cuts have been rejected in the budget compromise passed by the General Assembly today, protecting resources in this and future budgets so that Virginia can invest in important services like public education, health care, affordable housing, and more.

“This budget makes important investments in public education. One of the biggest wins this year is mostly lifting the arbitrary cap on state funding for support staff. This means the state will be paying its share of the costs for 3,670 additional support staff this year. Additionally, the one-time flexible funding for public schools will help students in the short term, particularly in school divisions with a significant number of students from low-income families.

“On health care, one of the biggest wins in this budget includes language to continue Virginia’s reinsurance program, with a target of reducing individual Marketplace premiums by 15% in 2024. Without this language, the Virginia State Corporation Commission estimated these plans would increase by 28%. The budget compromise also includes important investments in behavioral health and improvements to Virginia’s Medicaid program.

“Much of this budget compromise includes one-time policy decisions that will help students and many families in the near term. With new budget opportunities on the horizon, TCI and advocates will continue to fight for a more fair tax code that can lift up families with low incomes and raise the shared resources we need and for a budget that makes long-term investments in strong public schools, accessible health care, and more. And just as critical, TCI will continue to work with our partners to lift up the voices of people most impacted by these policy decisions.”

Amy Wentz

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