RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) believes Virginia is better off than last year, but he called on state lawmakers to “press the accelerator” to help draw more people and investments to the commonwealth.
To accomplish this goal, Youngkin is pitching a series of tax cuts and funding for education, law enforcement and to bolster the state’s mental health services.
The governor laid out these priorities and highlighted accomplishments during his tenure in his second State of the Commonwealth address on the first day of the 2023 General Assembly session.
“This is no time to set the cruise control, because we have a long way to go and a short time to get there. It’s time to press the accelerator,” Youngkin said Wednesday. “For the commonwealth, accelerating means getting more done and doing it faster, and Virginians don’t have time for political posturing or foot dragging.”
Youngkin also pushed for lawmakers to approve a ban on most abortions after 15 weeks, an unlikely outcome as Democrats have promised to block any effort to impose restrictions on access to the procedure.
The governor shared his “Day Two Agenda for Virginia” during the annual address Wednesday, a plan that includes proposals for immediate tax cuts and investments to support behavioral health, education and other sectors.
Youngkin (R) wants lawmakers to approve $1 billion in tax cuts in the two-year budget. The governor’s proposed budget amendments include major tax cuts for corporations, a tax break for small businesses and lower income taxes for Virginians.
The governor is also proposing more than $2.6 billion in new spending, including more than $420 million for public education and nearly $150 million to address behavioral health.
Despite showing support for some of Youngkin’s proposals, Democrats have also raised concerns about the governor’s plan to cut the tax rate for corporations.
Virginia Democrats do want to make the state’s earned income tax credit for low-income households fully refundable, according to the platform. Currently, 15% of the federal credit available for eligible Virginians is refundable on state tax returns.
Two of the top Virginia Democrats in the legislature, Senate Caucus Chair Mamie Locke (Hampton) and House Minority Leader Don Scott (Portsmouth), followed the governor’s address with the party’s rebuttal.
Stay with 8News for updates to this developing story.