Richmond, VA – Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn and House Appropriations Chairman Luke Torian released the following joint statement upon the introduction of the House Budget in the House Appropriations Committee meeting this morning.
“We entered this Special Session with the mandate to balance a budget facing significantly reduced revenues while funding new policies that will make Virginia a safer, healthier, and more just Commonwealth. This budget introduced by the House this morning meets our goals. “We are protecting our public schools by restoring previously reduced K-12 funding and providing new flexibility to local school divisions. As students across Virginia are tackling virtual schooling, we are taking steps to expand internet access by cutting red tape around broadband infrastructure projects related to online learning and telehealth. The budget also includes provisions to support the needs of our higher education institutions during these challenging financial times. The budget supports our health care system, directing Coronavirus Relief Funds toward the overburdened sectors caring for our most vulnerable Virginians.
“The budget also includes protections for Virginia ratepayers and safeguards for those facing eviction during this unprecedented pandemic. This budget meets the challenges of the current moment and looks toward Virginia’s future. We are accounting for new criminal justice reform measures such as the Marcus Alert and restoring funding to the Pre and Post Incarceration Services program. We are doing all this while protecting Virginia’s AAA bond rating under a diminished revenue reforecast.
“We were proud of the historic budget we passed earlier this year. Unfortunately, the economic crisis requires us to defer many of the initiatives we adopted last March. We will be back in session in January with a formal forecast and the opportunity to make further strides toward achieving this majority’s priorities.”