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Virginia House of Delegates Passes Amended Biennial Budget

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From the VA House Democratic Caucus:

House of Delegates Passes Amended Biennial Budget

RICHMOND, VA—Today the Virginia House of Delegates passed the amended 2020-2022 biennial budget (HB 1800) by a vote of 68-30.  

The House’s package of budget amendments will fund policies that support the House Democratic Caucus’s 2021 agenda aimed at building a better Virginia. This fiscally responsible budget will also protect the Commonwealth’s “AAA” bond rating by placing an additional $130 million into Virginia’s revenue reserves.

The House Appropriations Committee released its recommended amendments to the FY 2020-2022 budget on February 10.

The updated budget includes funding to:

Protect Virginia Families

  • Improving education by allocating $231.4 million for five percent teacher pay raises
  • $429.5 million for no-loss payments to public schools, in addition to $1.3 billion in Federal relief and $51.1 million to address COVID-19 learning loss
  • Funding to reach a 1:325 school counselor-to-student ratio 
  • A 3.5 percent pay raise for state employees
  • $84 million to maintain affordable access to Virginia colleges and universities and $8.5 million to increase Tuition Assistance Grant awards and include online students

Keep Virginia Healthy

  • Paid sick leave for essential workers
  • A $12 per patient, per day increase in nursing home payments
  • Prenatal care through Medicaid/FAMIS regardless of the pregnant person’s citizenship status
  • $300,000 for an actuarial study on creating a paid family and medical leave program
  • Funding for worker’s compensation for health care workers and first responders who die from, or are totally or partially disabled by, COVID-19 as an occupational disease suffered in the line of duty

Rebuild a stronger, cleaner economy

  • An additional $20 million in funding directed to Rebuild VA grants, bringing the program total to $140 million
  • Funding for a pilot program allowing public broadband authorities to compete for 10% of Virginia Telecommunications Initiative grants
  • A one-time $5 million capitalization to fund electric vehicle rebates
  • Additional funding for agricultural best management practices to meet Chesapeake Bay clean-up benchmarks

The Democratic House Leadership released the following statements:

“Today, our Democratic House Majority has passed a budget proposal focused on protecting families, keeping Virginia healthy, rebuilding our economy stronger and putting our Commonwealth on a path to come back from this pandemic better than before,” said Virginia House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn. “With this budget, Virginians will be safer, healthier and more prosperous. I am grateful for the hard work by Chairman Torian, the Appropriations Committee and our entire House Democratic Majority. I look forward to working with the Senate and Governor Northam to pass a budget focused on building a better Virginia.”

“The updated biennial budget addresses the hardships felt by Virginians during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis, while still investing in our many priorities designed to make the Commonwealth a better place for everyone to live, work, and raise a family,” said House Democratic Majority Leader Charniele Herring. “It is important that we not only address the public health, economic, and social justice difficulties we are facing head-on, but also prepare for the future.” 

“We are grateful that the House Appropriations Committee has produced a budget that allows us to move forward in building a stronger Commonwealth, despite the major setbacks which Covid has caused since early last year,” said House Democratic Caucus Chair Rip Sullivan. “Our focus is on getting our children safely back to school and our economy up and running again, but we are also proud of the continued progressive changes brought to the Commonwealth in the last year by our new Democratic majority.” 

“I am proud of the forward-looking budget we put together and glad to see it pass the House today. This budget’s first goal is to help pave Virginia’s way out of the pandemic, fully funding vaccine distribution efforts. It will foster financial security for all Virginia families through a redoubled emphasis on workers’ rights, much-deserved pay raises, and paid sick leave for our frontline workforce. It will protect our public schools from lost funding resulting from COVID-19 and maintain affordable access to our colleges and universities,” said House Appropriations Chair Luke Torian. “Virginia is in a strong fiscal standing today thanks to prudent funding decisions made throughout the last year. This budget maintains the focus on fiscal responsibility that has kept our commonwealth on solid footing thus far. We are looking ahead and ready to meet Virginia’s needs in 2023 and beyond.”

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