RICHMOND, VA — On Wednesday, June 1st, Virginia House Democrats scored significant victories by focusing on the needs of Virginia working families and countering efforts by House Republicans to push an extreme agenda in Richmond. Democrats fought for and won record investments in public education and healthcare, while helping get money back into the pockets of Virginians as they struggle with rising prices.
Democrats overcame Republican objections to secure a 5% annual pay raise for teachers over the next two years, new investments in dilapidated public school infrastructure, improvements in nursing home care, and additional access to affordable dental and mental health services. Democrats were proud to support tax breaks for military retirees and to fully refund 15% of the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit for Virginians who are struggling.
Democratic successes stood in sharp contrast to the extreme agenda pushed by House Republicans.
Despite historic gains in education funding, Republicans diverted $100 million from public schools to fund pet projects of the Governor.
As Roe v Wade is under attack by the Supreme Court, Republicans voted against prohibiting interference by the Governor and Attorney General in a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy as well as the ability of Virginians to access birth control.
Despite increased gun violence and the terrible tragedies in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX, Republicans shamefully reduced by more than 60% funding for the Firearm Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Fund, building on their extreme record of trying to put pistols on playgrounds and undo Virginia’s “Red Flag” law to keep firearms out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves and others.
And while Virginians continue to suffer from rising costs, Republicans refused to tackle the high cost of everything, while making severe cuts in Democratic efforts to increase access to affordable housing. As the budget passed and Virginians continue to struggle to make ends meet, Governor Glenn Youngkin continued his months-long refusal to use his power to stop price gouging at the pump.
“We know the struggles Virginians face with rising costs. We know how hard a year it’s been for students and teachers. We share Virginians’ concerns about an extreme agenda that prioritizes the profits of gun manufacturers over public safety and puts Richmond politicians in between a woman and her health care provider. House Democrats are fighting back, and we will keep fighting for a Commonwealth that works for every Virginian,” said House Democratic Leader Don Scott.