General Assembly expected to pass budget deal today

September 6, 2023
Virginia Capitol Building

The Virginia General Assembly has returned to a special session which is expected to result in the passing of the budget compromise which has been in the works since early March.

What does it mean to the Eastern Shore?

While the exact amount allocated to each budget category for Accomack and Northampton Counties hasn’t been revealed yet,  it is clear that our portion of the expected budget surplus will be helpful to all of the citizens of the Shore.

The budget proposal contains one time  tax rebates for Virginians of $200 for single payers and $400 for couples filing jointly. In addition, tax reductions of $48 million will come from a short-term change in the standard deduction which will reduce the amount of family income on which taxes must be paid.  The deal will increase the standard deduction up to $8500 for individuals and $17,000 for couples in the 2024 and 2025 tax years.

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The Virginia Community College system will get an additional $14.6 million  and $62.5 million will go toward need-based undergraduate financial aid at public colleges and universities.

Speaking of education, Virginia’s public school teachers will receive $55 million for raises making the total raise for 23-24. 7%.  This will ease the pressure on school budgets for both Accomack and Northampton counties.  Both counties voted to give the raises regardless of what the General Assembly did but the passing of the budget deal will free up some local dollars for other priorities.

State employees will see larger paychecks. The spending plan includes $44 million in raises for state and state supported local positions.  The raises for state supported local employees will go into effect on December 1 while state employees will start seeing more money on December 10.

Other increases include hundreds of millions of dollars for Virginia’s farmers for cleaning up polluition,  more money for mental health services,  $100 million for the Virginia Revolving loan program for climate change programs to assist localities where flooding is threatened.

The budget is expected to pass when the General Assembly votes today.

For a complete story on the new budget log visit www.virginia

The Virginia Mercury newspaper and reporter Sarah Voglesong contributed to this story.

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