Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax), Majority Whip Jackson Miller (R-Manassas) and Deputy Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) issued the following statement Friday:
“The 2015 General Assembly session has been a successful and productive one for the people of the Commonwealth. We adjourned early for the first time in 15 years, adopted a balanced budget ahead of schedule and offered positive solutions on the issues that matter most to Virginians.
“The budget we adopted spends $1 billion less from the general fund than last year’s original budget. It eliminates more than $30 million in debt and $11 million in fees proposed by the Governor and rejects Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. We also made strategic investments to make college more affordable, provided pay raises for teachers, state police officers and state employees, and strengthened the existing healthcare safety net for our neediest citizens.
“At the start of the year, the House of Delegates pledged to focus on the issues that matter most to Virginians. We spent the session passing conservative solutions to create good jobs, improve our schools, and make college more accessible and affordable for middle class families.The House also led the effort to enact stronger ethics laws that will improve transparency in government. We passed legislation to aid victims of sexual assault, protect students on college campuses and combat human trafficking. We passed legislation to streamline and simplify our transportation funding system.
“Completing our work early saves taxpayer dollars and illustrates that Richmond can rise above the partisan gridlock so easily visible in Washington. While Congress is at a stand still, under Republican leadership the House has worked diligently and efficiently to finish ahead of schedule.”