Senate Democrats: Remember Virginia's Families in Budget

RICHMOND- Virginia Senate Democrats are urging their fellow legislators to remember the needs of Virginia's families this week as they finalize the state's FY2012 budget.
 
Earlier this month, the Democratic-controlled Senate and Republican-controlled House of Delegates passed competing budget bills. The Senate budget restores funding to K-12 education, public safety and healthcare, while the House-budget calls for funding cuts, and ending the "accelerated sales tax" for most retailers.
 
The details of a final budget proposal are being ironed out by the General Assembly's joint conference committee and will be voted upon this week by legislators.
 
Senate Democrats said today that is imperative for House and Senate members to think about Virginia's families as they pass the final FY2012 budget.
 
"Virginia families were deeply affected by the budget cuts we were forced to make over the last few years.  Our teachers struggled to provide quality education to our children with limited resources. Our local governments cut corners and faced budget shortfalls to keep our streets' safe. Our elderly and their families debated whether they should forgo paying utility bills to pay health care costs. Our state employees worried about their future retirement. This year, we have an opportunity to restore funding to our core responsibilities and restore the public’s trust in state government," said Sen. Edd Houck, D-Spotsylvania.
 
"It's time for Senate Democrats and House Republicans to move past our ideological differences and pass a budget that invests in Virginia's future.  That means, we must do pass a prioritized budget that addresses our core needs not costly new initiatives," said Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth. 
 
Houck, a senior budget writer, said he's uncertain of what will be included in the final budget considering the vast differences in the Senate and House budgets.

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