The Virginia House of Delegates passed its budget proposal on a bipartisan vote Thursday. The structurally-balanced budget sets aside over $300 million in state savings, including $240 million for the rainy-day fund, while increasing funding for K-12 and higher education, public safety and the health care safety net. The House budget includes over $500 million for K-12 education, $20 million for tuition moderation, $6 million to fund more in-state spots at Virginia universities and includes $118 million in inflation adjustments for hospitals to provide indigent care.
“The House of Delegates prides itself on adopting conservative, responsible budgets that are structurally balanced and prioritize the core functions of government,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk). “This is a strong budget that takes a savings-first approach, setting aside over $130 million for revenue adjustments and over $240 million for the state’s Rainy Day fund. It is structurally balanced and without gimmicks. It invests in the core functions of government like K-12 and higher education, public safety, transportation and the health care safety net. I am incredibly proud of the work the House of Delegates has done on this proposal and look forward to begin working immediately with the Senate conferees so the General Assembly can adjourn on time on March 8.”
House Speaker William J. Howell applauded the House Appropriations Committee for their timely, efficient and effective work. Howell urged the conferees to begin their work immediately so the General Assembly could adjourn on time in just over two weeks.
“For the first time in as long as I can remember, the House Appropriations Committee finished its work ahead of schedule. This is a testament to the hard work of Chairman Jones, members of the committee and their staffs,” said Howell. “The House budget invests over $500 million additional dollars in K-12 education to fund our teachers and classrooms, includes $20 million to help keep the cost of college tuition down for Virginia families, puts nearly $50 million into our mental health system to help create new beds, response teams and intervention centers, and includes over $200 million to help Virginia hospitals and nursing homes care for Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens. This is a really strong budget proposal.
“I urge the conferees to begin their work immediately. Virginia teachers, law enforcement officers, local governments and health care providers are counting on us to complete our work on time,” said Howell. “I have great confidence they will get the job done.”