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Tipsheet

Gov. Glenn Youngkin Signs Budget, Fulfilling Notable Campaign Promises

AP Photo/Steve Helber

On Tuesday, Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) ceremonially signed the Virginia state budget at a ceremony at the Tom Leonard's Farmer's Market in Glen Allen. Among the proposals in the signed budget included eliminated the 1.5 percent state grocery tax, as promised by the governor on the campaign trail. 

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The budget delivered on many of Youngkin's promises and his "Day One Game Plan," including almost $4 billion in tax relief to Virginians, the largest in the commonwealth's history.

It also touched largely upon education, by boosting education spending, raising teacher pay by 10 percent, and provides funding to launch lab schools for colleges, including historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). There's also funding to help students who need it, and, as a press release highlighted, the budget "Requires each public college to adopt an official policy on academic freedom and begin reporting on the state of free expression and diversity of thought on their campus."

The budget also touches upon public safety, including when it comes to funding school resource officers. School safety had been a particular concern in Loudoun County, where a student had been moved around the district as he raped multiple fellow classmates. Youngkin had also signed House Bill 4 last month, which reinstates sexual assault reporting requirements in schools. In 2020, then Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, had signed House Bill 257, which allowed school districts to decide if they were going to alert law enforcement about misdemeanors, including sexual battery.

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There's also funding in the budget "to attract job creators" and "to support transformation initiatives" at state agencies. 

"Every day we have worked hard to build a more prosperous Virginia, with greater opportunity for future generations," said Governor Glenn Youngkin. "Together, we enacted historic tax cuts and made record investments in education and public safety. Together, we stood for greater accountability and transparency in government. And together, we are building an opportunity society, where Virginians can find the jobs they are looking for right here in the Commonwealth. This has always been about the movement we created together. It’s the people who sent us all to Richmond who make this Virginia we love so great."

It's also noteworthy what's not included in the budget, thanks to the Democratically-controlled State Senate. Youngkin had proposed a budget amendment, lauded by Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, that reinstated Hyde amendment like language to end taxpayer funded abortions in the commonwealth. 

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Virginia Democrats referred to the proposal as "vile" over Twitter and bragged about stopping the proposal.

"The governor has made it very clear from the beginning that he is pro-life. The governor proposed the reinstatement of the Hyde language to make it clear that Virginia taxpayers will not be forced to pay for abortions," said Youngkin Press Secretary Macaulay Porter in a statement for Townhall. 

The gloves also came off as Youngkin repeatedly blasted Democrats for their resistance to a gas tax holiday, which has been considered in other states and even at the federal level

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A press release from the governor's office notes that the "re-enrolled Virginia State Budget for Fiscal Year 2023 and Fiscal Year 2024, HB 30, will be formally enrolled in the Acts of Assembly this week."

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