Tuesday, February 15th marked Crossover here in Richmond. Crossover is the midpoint of the legislative session by which each chamber must finish work on their own bills so that they may ‘crossover’ to the other chamber for consideration. Bills that pass both the House and Senate are then sent to the Governor for his review. In Virginia, the Governor can i) sign the bill into law, ii) veto the bill outright, or iii) offer amendments to the bill that are subsequently considered by the General Assembly.
Among the numerous bills passed this week in advance of the Crossover deadline were several items that will reduce your tax burden. With state coffers raking in money at an exponential rate, it is prudent that the General Assembly take action to return some of that money to the taxpayers.
- HB90 will repeal the tax on groceries and essential personal hygiene products
- HB1144 temporarily suspends the gas tax for a period of one year starting July 1st of this year
- HB472 will increase the standard deduction from $4,500 to $9,000 for single filers and from $9,000 to $18,000 for married filers
- HB935 will provide a tax rebate of $300 for single filers and $600 for married filers
- HB1128 will make the first $40,000 of military retiree pay nontaxable
As Virginia’s revenues continue to rise, cutting taxes is both fiscally responsible and the right thing to do. Just Friday, Governor Youngkin announced the state was expecting an additional $1.25 billion in revenue this fiscal year. Virginia can make these tax cuts while ensuring the core functions of government are funded.
Looking ahead, the House Appropriations Committee will unveil its version of the state budget on Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned for additional updates.
SENATE BILL 739
On Wednesday, Governor Youngkin signed SB 739 into law to make masks optional in public schools. Virginia is a parental rights state, and this bill ensures that parents–not elected officials–are making medical decisions for their children. I was proud to vote ‘yes’ on SB 739 and to be present for this bill signing.
I am glad to report that this bill received bipartisan support at many stages of the debate. The parents and students who advocated tirelessly for this new law are to be commended.
This bill becomes effective on March 1st.
EXECUTIVE BRANCH UPDATE
Attorney General Jason Miyares recently announced that his office would enact a policy which would immediately reduce the burden of student loan debt on working families and students struggling to pay for an education. His new policy will limit attorney’s fees to 15% on all new claims which a public university refers to the Office of the Attorney General. Previously, the maximum which was able to be charged was 30%. This cut will ease the financial burden of those struggling to pay off student debt. To read more about this policy change a statement from the Attorney General can be found here.
I enjoyed welcoming in-person visitors to my office in Richmond this week. Here’s a few pictures from folks who stopped by.
IN THE NEWS
Here are some news articles that you may find of interest:
- Youngkin launches statewide campaign for tax cuts with stop at Chester barbecue restaurant
- Petersburg Chamber of Commerce membership signs off on merger with Colonial Heights
- Colonial Heights Schools to go ‘mask optional’ this week
- How being surrounded by death helped Herbert Small live a good life
It is an honor to represent you and your family in the Virginia House of Delegates. Please reach out to me with concerns on any bills making their way through the legislative process or if you need assistance with a state agency. My staff and I stand ready to assist you in any way possible.