The Virginia General Assembly finally agreed on a two year state budget.
The two-year spending plan passed the House 88-7 and the Senate 32-4 on Wednesday
The centerpiece of the budget is a sharp increase in the standard income tax deduction, from the current $4,500 for individuals and $9,000 for joint filers to $8,000 and $16,000, respectively. That’s just short of Governor Youngkin’s goal of doubling the amounts.
Along with the tax cuts, the budget would provide 5 percent pay raises for teachers and state employees over each of the next two years, as well as additional money for law enforcement and higher education. The General Assembly committed $19.2 billion to public education is the most the state has ever budgeted for that purpose, even when adjusted for inflation.
Along with the tax cuts, and 5 percent annual pay raises for teachers and state employees, as well as additional money for law enforcement and higher education, the budget featured $19 .2 billion to public education is the most the state has ever budgeted for that purpose, even when adjusted for inflation.
According to Accomack County Administrator Mike Mason, compensation for local law enforcement was a big winner with significant state funds approved for making local law enforcement pay more competitive. Also localities have been lobbying for years for the state to increase the per diems the state pays to localities for housing state responsible inmates in local jails. This state budget finally does that by increasing it from $12 to $15 per day.
However, Mason said, one disappointment concerns the state funding that local school systems have received for the last two years for improving teacher retention and recruitment. It exists in year one of this biennium budget, but there is no funding for year two.