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April 9, 2024

Statement: Governor Proposes Significant Cuts to Legislature’s Historic Public Education and Other Key Priority Funding Proposals

Ashley C. Kenneth, President and CEO of The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis (TCI), released the following statement regarding the governor’s proposed amendments to the budget passed by the General Assembly:

“Governor Youngkin’s budget amendments reduce proposed investments into the building blocks of our communities like K-12 public education and other key priorities.

“We are disappointed to see Governor Youngkin’s proposed amendment to remove critical resources through the new economy tax from the budget. Our tax code is antiquated and has not kept up with the economy we live in today. This commonsense change, which the governor proposed in December, is something TCI has long supported. We also strongly support the actions the legislature took when ensuring businesses pay more of their fair share by including some business-to-business transactions in this critical tax modernization. Under Governor Youngkin’s initial proposal, only people would be taxed and corporations and businesses would be exempt. The legislature’s tax actions, along with rejecting tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy, are what allowed lawmakers to make long overdue investments in K-12, health care, higher education, and more in the bipartisan General Assembly-passed budget.

“Because the governor’s amendments fail to modernize our tax code, he makes a number of cuts to programs that would have supported our communities, including:

  • Reducing funding for students from low-income families and high-poverty schools by $162 million (At-Risk Add-On).
  • Reducing funding by a combined $7 million to the Victim Services Grant Program and the Safer Communities Program, which support holistic, community-based strategies that address the root causes of community violence.
  • Removing a $3 million proposal to hire 20 tax-compliance positions which would have brought in an additional $38 million by making sure everyone is paying what they owe.
  • Reducing funding by $2 million to critical Public Health Safety Net facilities (FQHCs and free clinics).
  • Reducing funding by $2 million to the Department of Social Services to improve language access for individuals across Virginia trying to access critical resources.

“It is clear we need to protect the historic investments made in the General Assembly passed budget and encourage lawmakers to reject all the harmful cuts the governor proposed. In the coming days, TCI will publish our much-anticipated side-by-side analysis for lawmakers and advocates. We look forward to continuing to fight for a budget that lifts up all Virginia families.” 

Additional context on the historic budget:

Ashley Kenneth

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