Richmond (February 7, 2019) – House Republicans passed a budget today that would strip funding for programs that would benefit those most hurt by the inequitable and irresponsible Trump tax scheme. The House GOP budget facilitates their efforts to exacerbate the effects of the Trump plan through their bills HB2355 and HB2529, which disproportionately benefit the wealthy at the expense of working-class families.
On Thursday, House Democrats rose to object to Republicans’ efforts to strip back critical investments that expand opportunities for Virginians who need them most.
Today, House Democrats argued that doubling down on the Trump tax scheme is not more important than:
- Ensuring vulnerable individuals have legal representation in a desperate situation like dealing with an eviction notice. The House GOP budget removes funding for additional civil defense housing attorneys.
- Ensuring a complete and accurate count of all Virginians. The House GOP budget removes funding for outreach activities related to the 2020 federal census. An accurate census is critical to ensuring that Virginia gets its fair share in federal funding formulas.
- Helping vulnerable populations secure affordable housing in localities across the Commonwealth. The House GOP budget removes funding for the Virginia Housing Trust Fund.
- Improving energy efficiency to simultaneously fight the effects of climate change and save ratepayers tens of millions of dollars. The House GOP budget removes funding for the development of funds intended to incentivize private investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, alternative fuels, and similar conservation-related projects.
- Ensuring all children in the Commonwealth receive a solid educational foundation in their formative years that prepares them for success later in life. The House GOP budget removes funding for the Virginia Preschool Initiative.
- Ensuring our local school districts have sufficient resources to meet critical capital and infrastructure needs. The House GOP budget removes funding proposed for a fund swap for Virginia Retirement System payments.
- Ensuring that low-income communities with high at-risk student populations receive adequate funding. The House GOP budget removes additional at-risk funding.
- Ensuring the Commonwealth has adequate reserves set aside for an economic downturn. The House GOP budget removes funding for the Revenue Reserve.
- Preserving critical recreational spaces, historical landmarks, and the Commonwealth’s beautiful forests. The House GOP budget removes funding for the Virginia Land Conservation Fund.
- Ensuring that localities in the Commonwealth are able to provide clean water to their residents, mitigate flood damage, and work towards cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay. The House GOP budget removes funding for the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund.
- Protecting the planet from the ravages of climate change, protecting our communities from rising sea levels, and ensuring our children grow up with a healthy environment. The House GOP budget redirects revenue derived from regional climate change compacts to the general fund rather than climate change mitigation, and it also prohibits the use of funds to support participation in climate change compacts without two/thirds approval by the General Assembly.
- Preserving the investment priorities laid out in the Governor’s proposed budget. Many of these investments would have paid major economic dividends and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Virginians.
Delegate Marcus Simon (D-Fairfax) also introduced a floor amendment that would give tax breaks to Virginia families making under $125,000, who are left behind by the Trump tax plan.
Addressing House Republicans before they voted to kill Delegate Simon’s tax relief amendment, Delegate David Toscano (D-Charlottesville) said, “You’re about to vote on whether you’re actually going to give a tax break to working Virginians… Right now, all you’ve done is send money back to a so-called Taxpayer Relief Fund.”
Delegate Vivian Watts (D-Fairfax) echoed the need for tax relief for working families, saying, “The tax policy passed by this House doesn’t care about those who make under $50,000.”
Delegate Simon’s tax relief for working families was then defeated.