Delegate Bloxom reports on recently concluded General Assembly

March 14, 2024
 |
Delegate Rob Bloxom

By Delegate Rob Bloxom

This is Rob Bloxom, reporting from the Eastern Shore! We  adjourned last Saturday at 5:10 pm. The session was completed with the vote on the two year budget. This is typically the last vote of the session. The Governor now has thirty days to act on the budget and the legislation that we passed this session. He has more than enough work, having more than one thousand pieces of legislation before him. We also rewrote his budget so that he will have plenty of things to change.

     The major changes in his budget were eliminating the structural changes to the tax code that would have resulted in a nine hundred million dollar tax reduction for the citizens of Virginia. He also included a sales tax on digital downloads purchased through the internet, but we kept that tax, we being the legislature. I may not agree with all the changes, but as a group, we sent these amendments to the Governor for his action.

     The budget that was sent included funding for education by fully funding the “rebenchmarking cost” as well as including funding to replace lost revenues from the elimination of the grocery sales tax. There is a salary increase for teachers in both years, and all state employees will receive raises. We also appropriated funds for higher education to help keep tuition costs from rising and invested a lot in capital, mainly on deferred maintenance. Lastly, mental health services received much support as well as farmers with fully funded best management practices.

     There are a few things the Governor will not agree to such as legalizing a retail market for marijuana, rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,and raising the minimum wage. The tax increase, along with these policies, intertwined throughout the budget in the more than four hundred pages, make me believe that Governor Youngkin will veto the budget.

     Nothing is final until the Governor signs the legislation into law. I believe that he will easily pass former Governor McAuliffe’s record of ninety-one vetoes. There were 888 bills in the first year of McAuliffe’s term, and this year we have sent 1,098 pieces of legislation to Governor Youngkin. He has thirty days to act on this legislation.

     I have had a successful session so far but hesitate to report any further until the Governor signs. Much can happen until the budget is signed into law. Now that I am home, you may contact me at 757-824-3456 or stop by Bloxom Auto Supply Company in Mappsville. Again, thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent you in the one hundredth district.

Bloxom Auto Supply & NAPA April Savings

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