The final day of the 2022 General Assembly session began with a deafening peal of thunder and ended with a snowstorm—a fittingly turbulent end to this year’s legislative session. (Pictured at the right are House Republicans looking out at the snowfall.) On Saturday, March 12, the legislature adjourned, albeit without a budget. While House Republicans were prepared to work overtime in Richmond to complete the budget, Senate Democrats opted to leave town. For that reason, a Special Session must be called by Governor Youngkin in order to finalize the Commonwealth’s biennial budget.
Why the impasse? Simply stated, a philosophical difference exists between the House and Senate budget conferees. Unlike many other years, Virginia is in a strong fiscal position. House Republicans are focused on returning these tax dollars to Virginians who are burdened by runaway inflation and soaring fuel prices. Senate Democrats are committed to blocking tax relief and using the money on other spending priorities.
Although all 140 General Assembly members have returned to their districts for the time being, the fourteen budget conferees (eight from the Senate and six from the House) will soon regroup to continue their efforts to develop a compromise. Virginia’s fiscal year ends on June 30, so ample time remains for resolution.