Emmett Hanger: Tackling the budget responsibly
After the Virginia budget stalled in Richmond, I was asked by Republican leaders to serve on the budget conference committee to take a leadership position in making the tough choices. While we can certainly point to irresponsible spending by national Democrats over the years, we have to honestly admit that Republicans have missed opportunities to correct irresponsible national budgets – and this year we have to step up to the plate and insist on tough choices at the state level.
I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you my thoughts and my plans to ensure that a deal gets completed in a responsible manner. As one of the six senators selected to lead efforts during this process (four Republicans and two Democrats), I have resolved to be a strong advocate and to stand up for Republican principles and priorities. In this role, I have taken a step-by-step approach and have reached across the aisle to work out the biggest differences between our two sides. Consequently, real progress has been made. Tough choices still remain, but like the overwhelming majority of Virginians, I believe in the need to be fiscally responsible, the need to have a balanced budget, and the need to do more with less.
Moving forward, the clear and direct path for a budget deal will be made by Republicans leading from the front and by making certain every dollar spent or allocated is absolutely necessary. With your support, I will continue my commitment to fight for a budget deal that keeps Virginia on the right economic path.
Emmett Hanger is a member of the Virginia State Senate.