Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement after the Virginia House and Senate unveiled their budgets today:
“As my team and I continue our preliminary review of the budgets proposed by the House and the Senate today, I want to thank the legislators and staff who worked hard to put these spending plans together. Our two branches of government have worked together very well over the past three years to pass balanced budgets that invest in priorities that matter to Virginia families. I expect that trend to continue this year.
“My team and I are ready to work with the General Assembly as this process continues to pass a final budget that closes our shortfall and protects core priorities like education. As we consider new areas to invest, I am pleased that both chambers recognized the need to address glaring deficiencies in Virginia’s mental health system and combat the deadly opioid crisis that is afflicting families and communities across the Commonwealth.
“I also share the General Assembly’s desire to increase the compensation our hard-working state employees receive, particularly our Virginia State Police Troopers and Sheriff’s Deputies. I will review their proposals for a salary increase carefully in the context of the entire budget. As this process moves forward, I hope both chambers will remember the critical role that teachers play in our economy – particularly at a time when Virginia faces a shortage of qualified educators and the ones we have make $7,200 less than the national average. Retaining and recruiting the best teachers is essential to building a new Virginia economy.”
-Submitted by Sam Coleman