Senate Democrats Applaud Bipartisan Budget

Richmond--Senate Democrats applaud the passage of a bipartisan budget that includes a 5% teacher salary increase, 1% state employee pay increase, $94 million for higher education, $194 million for K-12 public education, $7 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and $1.3 billion deposited into Virginia’s Rainy Day and Cash Reserve funds. The conference budget passed with a vote of 40-0 in the Senate.

Senate budget conferee Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) said the following about the budget:

“This budget is a product of a bipartisan process to invest in the Commonwealth’s priorities and create a plan that reflects the diverse needs of our state. Senate Democrats fought for the inclusion of a varied set of priorities that reflect the needs of our growing economy and we’re proud to support the final version of this budget.”

“Senate Democrats are proud to support this budget that invests in public education, affordable housing, and saves for our Commonwealth’s future,” said Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke (D-Hampton). “As we take the final vote of the 2019 legislative session to pass this budget, we reflect on the progress we made this year and look ahead to the work that needs to be done to continue moving our Commonwealth forward.”

“The budget is a reflection of our priorities,” said Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax). “Increases in public and higher education funding, environmental protection investments, and economic development will continue to make Virginia the best state in the union to live and work.”

 

The bipartisan budget includes:

Education

  • 5% teacher pay raises
  • 3% raises for higher education faculty
  • $35 million for literary fund school construction
  • $24.9 million At-Risk Add-On, primarily impacting minority and low income students
  • $12 million for additional school counselors
  • $52.5 million incentives to freeze in-state tuition for colleges and universities
  • $16.6 million to expand computer science degrees
  • $15.5 million in undergraduate student financial aid

Water Quality Improvement

  • $127.4 million for water quality
  • $10 million for stormwater local assistance fund

Tax Cuts

  • Reduced taxes on personal hygiene products
  • $110 tax cut to individuals and $220 to couples across the Commonwealth

Saving for our Future

  • Maintains $262.9 million deposit to the Rainy Day Fund
  • Provides $564.7 million deposit to Revenue Cash Reserve

Economic Development

  • $2 million to develop business-ready sites

Child Welfare System Overhaul

  • $1.6 million for improvements to the foster care system
  • $3 million to increase TANF benefits

Housing

  • $7 million annual commitment to Housing Trust Fund

 

 

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