Richmond, VA – As the special session begins today, it is clear that Governor Youngkin’s incompetence continues to harm Virginians, with most glaring example being his failure to secure an agreement on the budget despite holding the majority in the House. Now, through his failed leadership, crucial funds localities rely on to function are at risk. This comes after Governor Youngkin called legislators back to Richmond through a privately funded campaign ad – taking some members of his own party by surprise – while still refusing to agree to key funding issues for our public schools and health care infrastructure in our communities.
Senate Democrats this session proposed a comprehensive budget that will invest in Virginia’s public schools, support hard-working teachers and prepare students for good-paying jobs of the future in the energy, health, and education sectors. They will continue to push for smart tax cuts for everyday Virginians in addition to essential community investments. The future of the Commonwealth’s economy depends on strong health, wellness and education infrastructure, as well as access to opportunity for each and every resident.
This session, Republicans launched attack after attack on Virginia’s public schools, teachers and students. They have repeatedly threatened to defund public education and their budget is proof of their true intentions. The proposed House budget cuts hundreds of millions in funding for public education, including gutting teacher pay raises by 20% and slashing tens of millions in funding for early childhood education.
The budget proposed by House Republicans also includes millions of cuts to successful and proven programs like the Virginia Mental Health Access Project, which provides critical care to young people and slashed more than $10 million in funding for permanent supportive housing, a program that provides housing and wraparound services, allowing individuals experiencing mental illness to live in community-based settings.
““It is embarrassing and unprecedented for a Governor who has the majority in the House to still not have an agreement on the budget after calling legislators back to Richmond – a move that cost taxpayers $40,000,” said DPVA Chairwoman Susan Swecker. “Governor Youngkin’s failure to pass a budget and support important investments in our childrens’ futures and our health care infrastructure is now hurting local governments and Virginians. His incompetent leadership is a danger to our Commonwealth and I am thankful that Virginia Democrats are fighting for generational investments in our futures and ensuring the longevity of our Commonwealth.”