PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia parents want to be prioritized in the state budget. That was the message out of a virtual press conference on Friday asking lawmakers to help parents who are struggling to make ends meet.
This comes ahead of a special session in Richmond on Monday to work on the budget. The coalition “Tax Fairness for Virginia” says it’s crucial for the governor and lawmakers to prioritize the needs of parents who are struggling to make ends meet.
There are three things the group “Tax Fairness for Virginia” would like to see.
First, they want to see a refundable state-earned income tax credit.
“Making the earned income tax credit fully refundable is the single most important tax policy on the table because it’s designed to help families living paycheck to paycheck,” said Ashley Kenneth, The Commonwealth Institute president and CEO.
They also want one-time tax rebates for parents.
“Tax relief has a direct impact on the number of families who fall below the poverty line,” said Emily Griffey, chief policy officer for Voices for Virginia’s Children. “The economic stability it provides has a direct impact on parental stress and child development.”
These advocates are also calling for fully funded K-12 public schools.
“As the work continues to finalize the budget, it’s critical that the governor and every member of the General Assembly prioritize the need of parents who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Kenneth.
Advocates say these changes are designed to help families living paycheck to paycheck.
That includes a Portsmouth woman, who is the guardian of her three grandchildren. Tyran Green says she appreciates all the programs already in place for families in need, but getting seriously ill with COVID-19 has put her way behind.
“If I was struggling before the pandemic, now I’m drowning,” said Green. “The bills piled up, I couldn’t even concern myself with it. so when the earned income tax credit was finally received, it was like Christmas in July.”
These requests come as lawmakers debate the budget and what to do with any tax surplus. They will be in Richmond on Monday for a special session.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin has said it’s a priority of his to cut taxes.