RICHMOND, Virginia (WDBJ) – With a special session of the Virginia General Assembly scheduled to begin Monday, Republican candidate for governor Glenn Youngkin has urged state lawmakers to allocate $ 1.5 billion of the state’s surplus return the taxpayer.
Youngkin outlined the proposal during a campaign rally Thursday morning in Richmond.
Legislature is returning to the State Capitol for the first time in over a year to raise more than $ 4 billion in federal funding the state receives through the American Rescue Plan Act.
Democratic leaders said the General Assembly would wait until its regular session in January to deal with the state’s $ 2.6 billion budget surplus, which is separate from ARPA funds. However, Youngkin says $ 1.5 billion should be returned immediately in the form of a one-time tax refund of $ 300 per person and a year-long suspension of recent gas tax increases.
Youngkin’s priorities for the ARPA Fund include: fully funding the Virginia Unemployment Insurance Fund to prevent payroll taxes from rising in 2022, a one-year small business tax exemption on the first $ 250,000 in income, and funding for universal broadband.
Other suggestions include: paying $ 500 for each public school student to recover learning losses or paying $ 5,000 guidance and retention bonuses per sworn officer to help law enforcement maintain the strength of the armed forces .
The Youngkin proposal would allocate $ 2.6 billion to jobs, small businesses, and broadband, $ 1.2 billion to education, and $ 500 million to public safety and mental health.
McAuliffe campaign officials criticized Youngkin’s plan for the surplus, saying it would divert funds from Virginia’s public schools. And in a tweet on Saturday afternoon, McAuliffe said, “Siphoning away money from public schools, as Glenn Youngkin suggested, is the worst idea I’ve ever heard. Our public schools are the engine that keeps our Commonwealth moving. The cut in their funds will bring us a major setback. “
For more information on the Youngkin proposal, click the link below:
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