LYNCHBURG, Va. – After months of back and forth over the state’s two-year spending budget, Virginia’s General Assembly will vote again Wednesday in Richmond.
But the clock is ticking for lawmakers to reach a deal — with the new fiscal year beginning July 1.
Democratic Delegate Sam Rasoul and Republican Senator Steve Newman tell 10 News this latest proposal should make it to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s desk.
“I expect that the agreement will be passed tomorrow. The only thing left is for the governor to sign and pass it,” said Del. Rasoul, who represents Virginia’s 11th District.
“[The governor will] have an opportunity to make some amendments around the edges, but I imagine in the end, the governor will sign this budget and it will be in place before July first,” said Sen. Newman, who represents Virginia’s 23rd District.
The compromised budget includes cutting the 1.5% grocery tax, leaving a 1% local levy.
Youngkin’s proposed gas-tax holiday is not included, but Virginians will receive rebate checks.
“I think that’s the best way to do it, is to give it directly back to Virginians,” said Rasoul.
Help is on the way directly to Central and Southwest Virginia, too.
The budget eliminates a $25 million debt the state owes in bonds for the now-closed Central Virginia Training Center in Amherst County.
Newman pushed for the deal so the 300 acres could be sold and create an economic boost.
“If we had not done this, those bonds would have remained in place for 14 more years; and that beautiful property would have continued to rot,” said Newman.
Rasoul pushed for $750,000 to go to Catawba Hospital in Roanoke County, so they can transform the facility to help fight substance abuse.
“[The substance abuse crisis] has touched nearly every family, and we’ve got to do something,” said Rasoul.
Virginia’s General Assembly looks to end this battle of the budget, with one month left before the deadline.