Will Smith 


Nathan Dowdy


Conference Committee Finalizes Biennial Budget

RICHMOND, VA – We are pleased to announce that we have an agreement on the budget.  We have worked well together, and the General Assembly will adjourn on time – which hasn’t happened in a number of years.

We have preserved our shared priorities in education, health and human resources, public safety, and in protecting Virginia’s environment.

In education, we were able to provide raises of three percent in each year for teachers.  These increases are well deserved, and we are committed to ensuring that Virginia’s teachers’ pay will be above other states by the end of the next biennium.  In addition, we maintained our commitment to backfill the revenue loss from the elimination of the sales tax on groceries. The conference report also contains unprecedented funding for other important programs including At Risk and English Language Learners.  These investments will ensure that we will have an educated workforce in the future and that our students will be successful.

We were also able to allocate funding for three percent raises for state and state-supported local employees in each year of the biennium and make investments in state government to meet our current commitments.

This budget includes additional investments in health and human resources to address behavioral health and in public safety to make communities safer through funding for violence prevention and supports for victims of crime. We have also ensured guaranteed funding for WMATA as we work to find a long-term solution for their continued financial viability.  Other investments include toll relief to those who desperately need it and funding for deferred capital maintenance.

In conclusion, this budget is in the best interest of the Commonwealth and we look forward to sharing the details with you.

By the end of the day, the amendments will be posted to the state budget webpage on the legislative information system and members will receive an email link to the conference report. This will allow for a vote to be held on this conference report on Saturday prior to the timely conclusion of the Session.