Augusta Free Press

House, Senate budget conferees announce conference report agreement

House and Senate budget negotiators have completed work on the budget conference reports for House Bill 1500, Senate Finance Co-Chairs Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City) and Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. (R-Augusta) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) announced Wednesday.

Under the procedural resolution agreed to by both chambers, final votes on the conference reports are expected on Friday. The conference reports will be posted this afternoon between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.

“Budget negotiators have completed their work ahead of schedule again for the third consecutive year,” said Senate Majority Leader Norment.  “Since the summer, House and Senate Republican leadership took decisive action to eliminate the shortfall.  Now, we have successfully delivered a fiscally responsible package of amendments to the biennial budget.  I am confident this agreement will earn strong bipartisan support, and want to thank the House for their strong efforts this session.”

“The conference report represents a bipartisan and bicameral agreement on Virginia’s priorities. We are investing in the core functions of state government while carefully guarding taxpayer resources,” said Chairman Jones. “We began our discussions very early in the process this year, meeting frequently with leaders in our chambers and seeking to reach agreement and consensus wherever possible. The results of these efforts could not be more positive. The House and Senate for the third straight year produced a conservative, responsible, and balanced state budget ahead of schedule. I look forward to both chambers accepting the conference report.”

“This conference report responsibly addresses the challenges facing the Commonwealth, prioritizes funding for our schools and public safety professionals, and is fiscally conservative,” said Co-Chairman Hanger.  “Crafting a budget requires all sides to forge compromises to ensure we fulfill our constitutional obligations.  The conferees took that responsibility very seriously, and the budget we have produced is testimony to their commitment to the Commonwealth and their colleagues.”

“While Washington drowns in debts and is mired in gridlock, the Republican-led General Assembly has produced a conservative budget ahead of schedule for the third time in a row,” said House Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman R. Steven Landes (R-Augusta). “We continue to chart a prudent fiscal course for Virginia. The investments in education, health care and public safety will improve the lives of our citizens and make Virginia a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

2016-2018 Amended Budget Proposal Conference Report

Key Takeaways

Public Safety
Flexibility in K-12 Education
Making College More Affordable
Economic Development
Combatting Domestic Violence
Stronger Healthcare Safety Net
Investing in Our State Employees