A few minutes ago, the Virginia House of Delegates – which is in Special Session to deal with the COVID19 crisis, its impact on the state’s finance, and other issues – passed a budget, overwhelmingly along party lines, by a 58-40 margin. See below for video of what House Appropriations Committee Chair Del. Luke Torian (D) and Del. Marcus Simon (D) had to say about that.
Del. Torian: “…as I watched this process, it saddened me, because what has happened…we put together a budget, with all of the challenges we have in this Commonwealth…that reflects the challenges we have. And my colleagues across the aisle, everything they wanted to vote for…so they could share with their constituents, that’s exactly what they did…And now, a budget that is good for the Commonwealth, they’ll cast a vote against. And I will tell you, we have worked diligently and we have worked hard on this budget. And a vote against this budget is a vote against the work that we have put in over the last seven weeks.”
Del. Simon: “We saw a bunch of folks trying to have it both ways…What you saw happen today was a bunch of people that pulled amendments for the good stuff, without having to make the hard decisions about the hard parts. Let me very clear about what a no vote meant…A no vote meant you were voting NO providing $200 million in relief to these local school systems…voting NOT to supplement the devastating loss of revenue…because of the pandemic…voting no on ratepayer relief…voting no on all the COVID relief that was in there…So don’t think that you can try to have it both ways and vote yes on the goods stuff…and still vote no on the budget…and not expect the consequences of that no vote. You know, everybody here who voted no on that budget, voted no to fund our education, voted no to put $200 million back in our local school systems so they can educate our children during these difficult times.”