VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — On Tuesday, Gov. Glenn Youngkin visited Virginia Beach and met with community members at Green Run High School to discuss his budget plan, COVID-19 and inflation.
“Since February 1, 94,000 Virginians have gone back to work,” said Gov. Youngkin.
Despite touting those employment numbers, Youngkin said inflation is putting a burden on too many people.
“Inflation is the number one topic on everyone’s mind. No matter where I go, everybody is worried about rising grocery prices, fuel prices, utility bills," said Youngkin.
At the event, Youngkin insisted he wants to lower Virginia's tax burden more.
“What we’re working on is how to get taxes down and to reduce the tax burden on Virginians. And one of the areas we’re spending a lot of time on is housing and the ability to access housing they can afford. That’s going to be a big initiative for us over the course of the next year," said Youngkin.
The other topic of concern for the governor is COVID-19. He's urging Virginians not to let their guard down.
“We won’t mandate a vaccination, but I encourage people to talk to their physicians and get it. I got the vaccine. I got the booster, and I think it’s great for people to protect themselves," said Youngkin.
The 2022 state budget consists of about $1 billion in tax relief and one-time rebates of $250 for individuals and $500 for families.
Youngkin said he's concerned about how some people still are dealing with the effects of the pandemic.
“We see a path to normalcy out of this pandemic, but we’re not on the path to normalcy out of this mental health crisis," said Youngkin.
While the new budget eliminates the state portion of the sales tax on groceries and essential personal hygiene products, it does not include a cut in the gas tax, which would have cut funding for transportation projects.
The 2022 budget also provides $400 million in compensation and support for police officers and other first responders.
After the discussion about the budget, Youngkin went to the National Night Out police event in Virginia Beach.