Archive for April, 2012
Mr. Speaker and Members of the House:
On behalf of my fellow conferees, I am pleased to deliver the much anticipated conference committee report to House Bill 1300 and 1301.
To say it took a bit longer than we anticipated would be an understatement. However, the conference report before you is the product of consensus between the two Chambers on amendments to the current fiscal year budget and a new two year budget starting July 1st.
With regards to the specifics of the Conference Committee Report, as we started this Conference Committee the number of items in dispute were not great, however, there were several significant policy differences that we needed to resolve.
From the House perspective, we were guided by the goals outlined by the Appropriations Committee at the start of the Session, which was to:
- Provide additional funding for both our public schools and our local governments so that they can keep local taxes low,
- Use one-time savings to fund non-recurring costs such as research, capital projects, and other infrastructure needs,
- Minimize the amount of new debt,
- Provide full funding of the VRS contribution rates,
- Reduce the burden on Virginia’s businesses with fewer and lower fees,
- Provide additional support to attract new industry and promote tourism, and
- Make the largest investment in over a decade to our colleges and universities, and finally,
- To protect the health safety net for those less fortunate, and to continue reducing the waiting list for families with a loved one in need of either an ID or DD waivers
Mr. Speaker, I believe that the House conferees succeeded in their mission. The conference report upholds many of the goals and priorities we outlined. More >
Emphasize the Importance of Passage During Tomorrow's Budget Session
RICHMOND, VA - Ahead of tomorrow's crucial vote on the Commonwealth's Fiscal Year 2012-14 budget, House Republicans emphasized the importance of quickly passing Virginia's biennial budget. House and Senate Budget conferees agreed to the conference report on the $85 billion budget before the Easter Holiday and localities, agencies and schools across the Commonwealth are waiting for final passage before creating their respective budgets for the upcoming fiscal year. This afternoon, Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William J. Howell (R - Stafford) issued the following statement urging passage of Virginia's financial blueprint for the coming biennium:
"Under the leadership of Chairman Putney and Chairman Stosch, the House and Senate budget conferees produced a structurally balanced budget that strategically targets economic development priorities, funds the core functions of government and does not raise taxes," said Speaker Howell. "While the budgetary process advanced in an unconventional manner this year, tomorrow we have the opportunity to bring the budget process to an end with the passage of the conference reports for HB 1300 and HB 1301." More >