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Virginia State Senate passes budget bill

History was made Feb. 19 as the first woman Chair of the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee presented the Senate budget. SB 29 and SB 30 were adopted with bipartisan support. Now a committee will resolve the differences between the House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate approved budgets.

State Senator Janet Howell (D-Fairfax), chair of the Senate Finance and Appropriations committee, along with State Senator Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax), Senate Majority Leader, and State Senator Mamie E. Locke (D-Hampton), Senate Democratic Caucus Chair, issued the following statements:

Said Senator Howell, “This budget: Prioritizes the people of the Commonwealth. Provides raises for employees and teachers – including recognizing the new funding from Senate Bill 972 for state trooper compensation. And – it includes the funding needed for the minimum wage increase. This budget starts with support for some of our youngest Virginians with investments in early childhood education. It also helps adults get training through the new G3 program – allowing our citizens to become more skilled and get a job. In healthcare, it provides funding for more waiver slots, rate increases for providers, and significant investments in community-based behavioral health services. The Committee also made large investments in water quality and land preservation. All members may not agree with all decisions – but – this budget reflects the priorities of the Senate. This budget is a great budget.”

Said Senator Saslaw, “Investing in Virginians – from preK-12, economic and workforce development, and infrastructure improvements – this is a fiscally sound and forward-looking budget ”

Said Senator Locke, “The Senate budget illustrates Senate Democrats’ deep seated commitment to investing in Virginians. We are investing in our students, expanding pre-K to ensure that every child in Virginia gets off to a good start in life, and making college more affordable so that our young adults are ready for 21st century jobs. We are investing in our teachers and in our police departments, which have been understaffed and overworked for years. We are investing in affordable housing, tackling the eviction crisis head on because no one can pick themselves up by their bootstraps if they can’t afford a roof over their head. We are investing in broadband, to bring economic development and prosperity to every corner of our great Commonwealth.”

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