RICHMOND, Va. – As the Virginia General Assembly gathered for its first day in session, Governor Glenn Youngkin delivered his State of the Commonwealth address.
Given annually, the address is a chance for the current governor to talk about the areas in which the Commonwealth is growing or lacking.
Early on in his speech, the governor got straight to the point about the progress made in his first year.
“I’m here this afternoon to communicate that the state of our Commonwealth is substantially better than it was last year,” Youngkin said.
Throughout 2022 and early into 2023, Gov. Youngkin along with the state has made historic investments in education and law enforcement. Teachers and police officers are being paid more now than in previous years.
Youngkin also consistently talked about the tax cuts made throughout the year, including the recent abolishment of the state grocery tax.
“That is definitely a clear sign that there is bi-partisan momentum for more tax relief this session,” Youngkin said.
While education, public safety, and tax cuts are the areas where Gov. Youngkin said progress has been made ... they are also the areas he wants to see more growth in 2023.
When it comes to taxes, an area of concern is people leaving Virginia to go to neighboring or nearby states with fewer taxes.
“For the Commonwealth to become truly competitive with our neighboring states, we are going to have to systematically move to lower taxes,” Youngkin said.
Gov. Youngkin did not shy away from the issue of gun violence throughout the Commonwealth. Throughout his speech, he talked about the shootings in Charlottesville, Chesapeake, and most recently Newport News.
Alongside Attorney General Miyares, the governor hopes to make tremendous strides in getting more badges on uniforms.
“We need more police on the street, more prosecutors to put criminals behind bars, tougher penalties for those who commit crimes with guns, and more support for witnesses and community prevention,” Youngkin said.
While most of 2023 is still ahead of us, the legislative session will come to an end before you know it. Gov. Youngkin said they will need to make more decisions faster.
“Virginians don’t have time for political posture or for foot-dragging. They want results now, not next year but now,” Youngkin said.