Youngkin touts job growth, asks state lawmakers to work on revised budget
The push comes as the governor announces that the fiscal year ended $3 billion over the revenue forecast
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - On Friday morning, Gov. Glenn Youngkin joined business owners in Downtown Richmond to tout Virginia’s job growth over the last 18 months.
“Since the start of our administration, 18 months ago, over 200,000 more Virginians are working than when we started,” Younkin said. “Labor force participation, how many Virginians are trying to work or are working, is at a 10-year high.”
This comes on the heels of the governor’s announcement on Wednesday that Virginia’s general fund revenues ended fiscal year 2023 $3 billion over the official revenue forecast. During this announcement, Youngkin said this will generate $5.1 billion in excess resources for the year.
During Friday’s event, Youngkin also made his push to state lawmakers to come to the table with a revised budget after negotiations came to a standstill.
“I ask leadership on the House side and the Senate side, go to work, send me a budget and then let me call a special session that is of celebration instead of one of disagreement,” said Youngkin.
Both sides are at an impasse over the push for an additional billion dollars in permanent tax cuts, but Youngkin believes the surplus can satisfy all sides.
“We can supercharge our economy by allowing Virginians to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets and yet, the government can receive fiscal support to do all the things we need to do,” Youngkin said. “We have the financial resources in order to do it all, reduce the tax burden further, continue our record investment in education and in law enforcement, fund the necessary transformation of a behavioral health system that is being overwhelmed.”
“I think any permanent long-term tax cut is irresponsible,” said Democratic Leader Don Scott, D-80th District.
Scott believes the focus of funds should be spent on public education.
“We need to be making sure that we’re taking care of our children. Our children matter, and it’s important that we make sure we give them all the tools that they need to succeed,” Scott said. “We need to make sure that we’re giving our teachers the tools that they need, making sure that we’re compensating and paying our teachers, as the professionals that they are, to make sure that we keep and retain those good teachers so they’ll stay in Virginia.”
When asked if there will be an end in sight to the budget impasse, Scott replied, “If common sense prevails, which I hope it does, I think there will be.”
“I think that too many Virginians are hurting and waiting on us to come up with a solution for us now to get this done. I think we have a historic opportunity to make historic investments in our people, our corporations, and get this thing done,” Scott said. “He’s talking about corporate tax cuts, and I think if he starts focusing on real people, he’ll figure out a way to get this tax-free weekend back into the budget, get things done for every everyday work in Virginia because that’s what they care about.”
Youngkin is set to speak at the Joint Money Committee Meeting on Aug. 23, which is when the complete accounting of all final revenue sources is expected to be released.
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