General Assembly passes two-year state budget, adjourns ahead of schedule

virginia general assemblyVirginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax), Majority Whip Jackson Miller (R-Manassas), and Deputy Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) issued the following statement on the adjournment of the 2016 General Assembly session.

“For the second straight year, the Republican led General Assembly advanced our legislative priorities, crafted a conservative and responsible state budget, and worked diligently to complete its work ahead of schedule.  While Washington remains mired in gridlock, in Virginia we continue to effectively govern and lead.  By adjourning early, Virginia taxpayers will save over $25,000.

“Our two year state budget reflects the priorities of the Commonwealth.  The budget is conservative and responsible, reduces borrowing, eliminates state liabilities and charts a responsible course of the future.  We made a significant investment into K-12 education, $73 million more than originally proposed by Governor McAuliffe, and increased flexibility for local school divisions. We also invested over $114 million to hold down tuition costs for Virginia families. The budget makes strategic investments into economic development efforts, but adds additional oversight to ensure that all taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.

“The House of Delegates continues to offer positive solutions on the issues that matter most to Virginians. We advanced a legislative agenda to grow Virginia’s economy and create good jobs, improve our schools so all children have the opportunity to succeed, and improve access and lower costs in healthcare.  We defended and advanced conservative principles, securing the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners and passing legislation to protect religious liberty.

“Washington and Richmond are only 90 miles apart on the map, but we are worlds apart when it comes to governing. As a citizen legislator, the Virginia General Assembly gets the work of the people done in a timely fashion so we can return home to our communities where we work, live, and raise our families. And unlike Washington, we balance our budget, keep taxes low, and don’t kick the can down the road.

“This was a productive and successful General Assembly session for the people of the Commonwealth.”

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