NORFOLK, Va. — Lawmakers in Virginia's General Assembly are set to convene in Richmond Wednesday to again review the newly proposed budget.
The number negotiators tout is $4 million worth of tax cuts over the next three years, included in which are individual rebates back to Virginia taxpayers.
"Everything had to be a compromise," Republican Del. Barry Knight, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said Tuesday.
Last week, Del. Knight and Sen. Janet Howell, chairwoman of the Senate Finance and Appropriation, informed reporters with the Washington Post and Richmond Times-Dispatch that a deal had been made. The proposal was publicly published Sunday.
"The State Senate didn’t get everything they wanted, and the House of Delegates didn’t get everything they wanted," Knight said. “We’re not Washington. We’re Richmond. We’ve gotten along on the budget process."
- An increased standard deduction from $4,500 to $8,000 for individual taxpayers and from $9,000 to $16,000 for families.
- Tax rebates of $250 for individuals and $500 for families.
- An increased exemption on military retirement income to $40,000, phased in over four years.
- Up to 15% of the earned income tax credit refundable for low-income families.
- Elimination of the state portion of the grocery sales tax; 1% option for local governments remains.
Raises for teachers, state workers
- $1.8 billion over two years for raises, one-time bonuses, and targeted salary relief for state employees, teachers and state-supported local employees, which includes sheriff’s deputies.
- Targeted pay increases for state and local law enforcement, direct-care staff at state behavioral health facilities and correctional officers.
- A $750 million deposit in the Virginia Retirement System.
Another added change comes to one of Virginia's most discussed topics: the legalization process of marijuana.
The proposal includes a new Class 3 criminal misdemeanor penalty for a person caught with more than four ounces of marijuana, which carries a fine of up to $500 plus a criminal record.
“Four ounces isn’t a lot for someone that uses it for health issues," Chelsea Higgs Wise said Tuesday, executive director of the group Marijuana Justice Virginia.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin will have seven days after lawmakers officially present him with the budget to propose amendments.