Virginia’s Republican leaders ask Northam to amend state budget during COVID-19 crisis

Virginia Politics

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Republican leaders from the Virginia Senate are asking Gov. Ralph Northam to amend state budget bills passed this year to prevent further economic hardship on residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter was sent to Northam on Tuesday and signed by six state Republican leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Thomas “Tommy” Norment, Jr., of Williamsburg. The letter addresses economic hardships brought on Virginians by COVID-19 and a “stay at home” order issued by Northam on Monday that could be in effect until June 10.

“Provided the June 10 expiration of Executive Order 55 remains operative, most of Virginia’s economy will have been shut down for a three-month period,” the letter states. “Legislation approved during the regular session that increased taxes or fees, added regulation, or placed new limits on free commerce and economic growth should either be vetoed or amended with a reenactment clause.”

The letter specifically addresses two of the commonwealth’s budget bills passed in the 2020 Virginia General Assembly — House Bill 29 and House Bill 30.

“With a profoundly negative effect on anticipated state revenues inevitable, it would be fiscally reckless to enact House Bills 29 and 30 without extensive revisions reflecting the expected shortfall,” the letter states. “As the April 11 deadline for amending the 2018-2020 and 2020-2022 Biennial Budgets is now less than two weeks away, we urge you to submit amendments that accurately reflect our new fiscal reality.”


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