By Delegate Rob Bloxom
Hello. This is Rob Bloxom with this week’s Capitol Report.
We finished Week Four with the work of each chamber acting on its own legislation. Each chamber has presented its budget. Now the time has come when the amendments from each chamber are compared and we will get a good view of each chamber’s priorities.
We, in the House, included one billion dollars in tax relief, raising the standard deduction for Virginia taxpayers to keep more of their money. We also included a small corporate tax rate deduction to keep us competitive with our southern neighbors. The Senate removed all the Governor’s tax relief and spent it in other places. The staff is still analyzing the spending.
I asked the House for funding for projects for the district. Senator Lewis matched this on the Senate side. Our coordinated efforts have placed many important projects in both amended packages from their respective houses. The cost of competing for a teacher supplement for Accomack and Northampton County teachers was included in the House and Senate versions. Money to finish the Melfa hangar at the airport is in both, as well as a new roof for the Area on Aging building. The money to fulfill the state’s commitment to the Rocket Lab was also included.
There are several projects in the House amendments that were not included in the Senate’s and vice versa. The other projects I will be advocating are money to finish the Wachapreague sewer line as well as help for Chincoteague’s sewer needs. I mention these projects, not to say any of them will be in the final conference report, but they are all in play. Since some are in both chambers, that will help when we reconcile the two budgets together.
The other bills I want to focus are bills for economic development. The first one adds the ability of a locality to use the Virginia Resource Authority (VRA) to use its bonding ability to help create low and moderate-income housing. We are trying to increase the inventory of housing units in Virginia.
The second bill that falls into this category is my Windmill bill. It allows a company to take full advantage of the federal tax credit to manufacture green energy components. This is trying to keep Virginia in the running to land a large manufacturer of windmill blades. It could bring 1,500 jobs and millions of dollars in investment to the Hampton Roads area.
With only two weeks left in this session, I will continue to keep you updated as these bills move through the final legislative process. You may follow this process at http://lis.virginia.gov and during the live stream of committee and floor sessions.
I appreciate the input I have received from your phone calls and emails. As always, feel free to contact my staff or me with any questions or concerns you may have. Our district office number is (757)824-3456 and during session my Richmond office is (804)698-1733.You may continue to email me at [email protected].
Until next week,