Virginia Police Benevolent Assocation Endorses Delegate Wilt

May 31, 2023

Harrisonburg – Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Rockingham) announced Wednesday that the Virginia Police Benevolent Association has endorsed his reelection campaign as he seeks to represent the newly drawn House District 34.

“The Virginia Police Benevolent Association is again proud to announce our endorsement of Tony Wilt for the Virginia House of Delegates. Delegate Wilt is a steadfast supporter of the law enforcement professionals we represent. Delegate Wilt is always willing to assist on matters important to public safety, officer safety and improving working conditions for local and State law enforcement” said Virginia Police Benevolent Association President Joe Woloszyn.

“I am honored to once again receive the endorsement of the Virginia Police Benevolent Association,” stated Delegate Wilt. “As Chairman of the House Public Safety Committee the past two years and during the entirety of my service, I have consistently sought to support policies that recognize the significant risk our law enforcement professionals face every day. With criminal activity on the rise, these brave men and women are on the frontline to respond to citizens in distress. They need to know that elected officials in Richmond support them and will allow them to do their job to protect our communities.”

The Virginia Police Benevolent Association is a division of the Southern States Police Benevolent Association, Inc., a not-for-profit professional organization dedicated to improving the law enforcement profession. PBA members are full-time or retired employees of the various federal, state, county and municipal law enforcement and correctional agencies in Virginia.

Delegate Tony Wilt was first elected to the House of Delegates in June of 2010. He currently serves as the Delegate for the 26th House District and is seeking reelection in the newly drawn 34th District, which still includes the City of Harrisonburg and a portion of Rockingham County.

Wilt to Seek Reelection in November

March 21, 2023

Harrisonburg – Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Rockingham) announced Monday he is seeking reelection to the Virginia House of Delegates as the Republican nominee in the newly configured 34th House District.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Rockingham County and the City of Harrisonburg. I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish, but the work is not done,” said Wilt. “Despite split party control in the legislature the past two years, I’ve had the chance to play a part in successfully advancing policies to lower electric bills, create opportunities to get desperately needed mental health staff in our schools, and adopt efforts that allow farmers to continue farming their land while implementing conservation practices to improve water quality, to name a few. However, there are challenges on the horizon that must be addressed. For example, the California electric vehicle mandate that Democrats adopted in 2021 will be a costly burden on Virginia families and puts electric grid reliability at significant risk unless we reverse course. I’ve fought the last two years to untie ourselves from California and will not give up that fight.”

Due to the new legislative maps that were adopted in late 2021 by the Virginia Supreme Court, Delegate Wilt resides in the 34th House District. The district has a significant amount of overlap with the territory he currently represents, but it now contains much of the eastern portion of Rockingham County, including Massanetta Springs, McGaheysville and the Town of Elkton. The 34th District territory also includes the City of Harrisonburg and communities in Rockingham County immediately north and northeast of the City.

Delegate Wilt currently represents the 26th House District in the Virginia General Assembly. He serves on four committees in the House which include Commerce and Energy; Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources; Rules; and he is the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. He was first elected in June of 2010 and resides north of Harrisonburg with his wife, Vickie. They have two grown children.

Session Update: Sine Die Report

March 1, 2023

On Saturday we adjourned the 2023 General Assembly Session sine die. Despite a political divide in the Senate that blocked the progress of some common-sense policies that had advanced through the House, we were still successful in passing a variety of legislation that serves all Virginians.

Protecting Ratepayers
In recent years much of my focus has been on energy policy, and more specifically restoring State Corporation Commission (SCC) authority to help lower electric costs for Virginians. I’m pleased to report after significant negotiations, we passed a bill (HB 1770) that largely unties the hands of the SCC and allows them to do their job to set rates that protect ratepayers, while ensuring our utilities remain financially stable and able to invest to meet the needs of the grid. Among the highlights, it guarantees a larger portion of overearnings are to be returned to ratepayers, rather than allowing the utility (Dominion) to retain them. Further, it requires the utility to move a portion of the current rate adjustment clauses (RACs) to the base rate which should result in some net savings. I had carried a stand-alone bill on the RAC issue and was glad to see that component addressed in the conference report. Finally, after a two year transition period, it removes all limitations on the SCC’s ability to set the rate of return (profit margin) for the utility as they see fit. I know for many families electric bills have increased significantly in recent months. This legislation should put downward pressure on further increases, providing much needed relief.

Admittedly, it was not a perfect deal. For example, a provision that would have allowed the SCC to alter the timeline of plant closures required under the Clean Economy Act (VCEA) if they felt grid reliability would be threatened did not make it in the final deal. I had carried another stand-alone bill that focused on this issue. While it was included in the House version that had passed, unfortunately it was not in the final conference report.

Much like repealing the California Vehicle Emissions Mandate, I expect this is an area the General Assembly will be forced to address in the future to safeguard grid reliability and avoid rolling blackouts like are commonplace in California and third world countries. Forcing folks to sit in the dark or be stranded on the side of the road to maintain ideological purity and placate environmental fearmongers is not progress.

Meeting our Workforce Needs
In addition to the utility reform bill, one of the most significant accomplishments that secured bipartisan support was the passage of legislation (HB 2195) to consolidate all workforce programs under one centralized secretariat. Meeting the needs of employers and providing the resources for citizens to secure the training and credentials necessary to improve their circumstances has been a top priority of the Youngkin Administration. Unfortunately, it has been widely recognized that Virginia currently has a complicated maze of workforce related programs stretched across six cabinet secretariats and countless agencies. This leads to confusion for employers and job seekers. Reform and consolidation of our programs has been a long time coming as numerous reports and studies over the years have recommended it. This legislation underwent numerous revisions to address concerns and the final product received near unanimous support.

My Legislation
While this session was not without some personal disappointments, on the whole we had many successes on the legislation I patroned. In addition to the six bills headed to the Governor that I mentioned in my last update, I had three additional bills that successfully finished making their way through the General Assembly last week.

HB 1660 extends the Dairy Margin Coverage Premium Assistance Program for an additional five years. In the most recent VDACS analysis, this program has demonstrated its effectiveness at helping dairy farmers and securing additional environmental stewardship practices on our farms.

HB 2126 Grants electric utilities the ability to maintain gravel access roads permanently, provided certain environmental standards are met when they are constructed. Current regulations require that when these roads are built to install our maintain transmission lines, they are required to be torn up and “reclaimed” when the work on that specific project is completed. This adds costs for the utilities when they have to regularly reinstall and reclaim these roads. Further, regular land disturbance can lead to more environmental degradation than if the initial road, once installed, is left alone.

HB 2428 Puts in place standards that protect our kids from being marketed marijuana and other harmful psychoactive substances. The bill makes clear that no substance that is illegal, which currently includes marijuana, can be advertised whatsoever. However, it proactively adds protections in code in the event a retail market is established for marijuana in the future. Other states that have established a legal retail market without also enacting these standards have seen a proliferation of advertising that has inappropriately targeted kids. Regardless of how you feel about adult use of marijuana and related products, studies consistently show negative consequences when used by minors. This bill, if signed into law, will allow us to avoid the pitfalls of other states that have seen use among young people increase significantly.

Budget Update
As I’ve stated before, the Commonwealth’s spending plan is generally one of the most significant items we handle every session. It’s important to note Virginia adopts a biennial budget and therefore for the coming year we already have a budget in place. However, customarily we still adopt revisions to the budget in the odd year based on updated revenues and needs. Because of a budget surplus, we went into the session with roughly $3 billion additional to appropriate and potentially build on our efforts from last year to provide direct relief to taxpayers.

While as of last Friday it looked like budget negotiators had a tentative deal in place, unfortunately that fell apart when the Senate Democratic caucus balked. Instead, what we left Richmond with Saturday was a very narrow budget deal that only addressed a handful of items. It addresses the reporting error at the Department of Education to ensure every school division receives at least as much as they had been told last year. It also makes additional required appropriations to the Rainy-Day Fund and the Virginia Retirement System to ensure we maintain our top bond rating. Finally, it adds a supplement to the capitol fund to address some cost overruns for projects that have come about due to inflation in the construction industry.

Budget conferees have indicated they will continue to negotiate on a broader deal and I’m hopeful we can have one in place to vote on sooner rather than later.

Thanks Anna!
There’s a lot of folks that work behind the scenes to make our legislative process work. This includes Clerk’s office staff, Division of Legislative Services staff, the staff for each legislator, and last but not least, our House Pages! The page program consists of 13 and 14 year old students that stay in Richmond during session to provide a helping hand wherever needed and to learn more about their legislature.

This year the 26th District was well represented by Anna Webb (pictured directly below). I enjoyed getting to know Anna and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

The end of the session was bittersweet this year as many of my colleagues have decided to retire at the end of the current term. I’ve built some great friendships over the years with these individuals and it’s sad to see them go, but I wish them well. All have been effective legislators and left a positive mark on the Commonwealth.

Among those retiring that I’ve served with for nearly the entire duration of my service are Delegates Rob Bell, Roxanne Robinson, James Edmunds, Margaret Ransone, Kathy Byron, and Ken Plum.

Session Halftime Report

February 10, 2023

At crossover, 12 of 15 bills we’ve carried have passed the House and continue to move forward in the process. I’m most encouraged by our efforts to drive down energy costs and ensure a reliable electric grid well into the future. Our bill to untie ourselves from the California Emissions mandate is essential for Virginians moving forward and is also a top priority for House Republicans. I’ve listed each bill below, along with a brief description.

HB 1378 – Removes Virginia from the California Vehicle Emissions Standard Mandate. The current law ties Virginia to California’s standard and requires 35% of vehicle sales be EV starting in 2026 and that percentage rachets up every year, culminating in a 100% requirement by 2035 – effectively banning gas and diesel powered cars and light trucks at that point. We can’t let Sacramento dictate Virginia policy, instead we need to let the free market make the transition – which is already happening without the heavy hand of government. 

HB 1459 – Allows retiring members of state law enforcement agencies to keep their badge upon their retirement. This is already allowed for State Police and most local agencies, but this bill will extend to the other state agencies with a law enforcement division (conservation police officers, ABC agents, etc.).

HB 1660 – Removes the current sunset on the Dairy Margin Coverage Premium Assistance Program. As mentioned previously, $1 million has been secured in the budget to continue to fund the program.

HB 2124 – To address the significant shortage in staff available to support students struggling with mental health and other challenges, this bill allows school divisions to bring on clinical psychologists that can work their way to full licensure as a school psychologists. This was a recent JLARC recommendation.

HB 2125 – Allows organizations bringing in less than $40,000 a year from charitable gaming activity to utilize a short form registration process with VDACS that removes red tape and other requirements that they are currently subject to. This was a constituent request and should be helpful to many of our local fire and rescue departments and other local non-profits that may conduct limited charitable gaming activity, such as at lawn parties, for example.

HB 2126 – Creates a DEQ regulated process where our utilities can retain gravel access roads to their transmission lines. Current stormwater requirements dictate in most circumstances these roads have to be removed and then subsequently reinstalled when the utility needs to access transmission lines again for repairs or maintenance. This will save ratepayers and result in less land disturbance activity, which should bring a net environmental benefit.

HB 2128 will create the ability for a family to work with their community’s funeral service establishments to provide the last act of care for their loved one by accessing a small asset of the deceased to cover the cost of funeral expenses. 

HB 2130 – Grants the State Corporation Commission (SCC) more authority to determine when the plant shutdown requirements of the Clean Economy Act threaten grid reliability, and subsequently extend that timeline without the utilities (and therefore ratepayers) being subject to a penalty. The bill also allows the SCC to consider other net zero emission resources (ex. nuclear, landfill gas, biomass) to meet renewable energy requirements.

HB 2132 – This bill was the result of stakeholder consensus from utilities, the construction industry and others to make improvements to the digging and marking law in Virginia (811 – previously Miss Utility). It brings efficiencies to the 811 process and creates a means to stop someone that is threating life or property by digging over a utility line and refusing to stop. 

HB 2133 – Clarifies the State Fire Marshall has ultimate authority over state buildings. This addresses an issue where a limited number of higher education institutions have been refusing to allow the State Fire Marshall  access to certain facilities.

HB 2267 – Allows the SCC to have authority to determine whether it’s in the best interest of ratepayers to direct utilities to recover costs through base rates or a rate adjustment clause (rider). While the ratemaking policy and law is complex, this effectively should put downward pressure on rates.

HB 2428 – Prohibits the advertising of marijuana and other psychoactive products. This is primarily to prevent the targeting of ads to minors. In other states where these restrictions are not in place, advertising has been shown to drive up use by minors and children.

Wilt Pro-Ratepayer Legislation Passes House Committee Unanimously

February 2, 2023

RICHMOND- On Thursday legislation patroned by Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Rockingham) to restore State Corporation Commission (SCC) authority and protect ratepayers passed the House Commerce and Energy Committee Unanimously.

“Today was a great day for Virginia consumers,” said Wilt. “Through a package of legislation that restores SCC authority, including our own, we are providing much needed relief for Virginia ratepayers at a time when energy bills and other costs are increasing significantly. While we still have a way to go in the process, I am encouraged by the bold action taken by the House thus far.”

HB 2267 grants authority to the Commission to determine the best mechanism for utilities to recover costs of generation projects, grid improvements, and other expenses. Currently for Dominion customers, 100% of the growth in energy bills in recent years has been through Rate Adjustment Clauses (RACs). There are several reasons RACs are advantageous for the utility because of other provisions in Virginia law. However, often this ends up costing ratepayers more than if these same costs had been recovered through base rates.

This follows committee passage on Tuesday of another bill patroned by Delegate Wilt that makes it clear the SCC has full authority to safeguard grid reliability and security by extending renewable portfolio requirements under the Clean Economy Act if they feel reliability is threatened due to the mandated generation plant retirements in the Act.

These bills will be heading to the House floor for a vote in the coming days before consideration by the Senate.

California Emissions Mandate Repeal Passes House

January 25, 2023

RICHMOND- On Wednesday legislation patroned by Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Rockingham) repealing Virginia’s law tying Virginia to California’s Vehicle Emissions Mandate passed the House of Delegates.

Under current law, Virginia is obligated to follow California’s emissions standard which requires 35% of all new car and light trucks sold in Virginia to be zero emission vehicles starting with model year 2026. That percentage increases every year until culminating in a 100% ban on gas and diesel new car sales in 2035. Zero emissions vehicles on the market currently are primarily electric.

“The fact is the current path we are on will pose significant hardship on Virginians,” said Delegate Wilt. “The average cost of an EV is over 1/3 higher than gas powered vehicles and even for those that can’t afford or don’t want to buy an EV, this policy will have the effect of driving up prices in the used car market. Our grid likely won’t be able to handle the increased load due to other mandates put in place forcing us to decommission more reliable sources of energy. It’s also not clear if the necessary charging structure can be in place to avoid leaving motorists stranded. We must decouple Virginia from this mandate that is forcing us to be subject to the whims of bureaucrats from Sacramento.”

With passage in the House, Delegate Wilt’s bill now heads to the State Senate for consideration.

Wilt Pursuing Agenda to Lower Costs for Virginians

January 11, 2023

RICHMOND- During the 2023 Virginia General Assembly Session Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Rockingham) is pursuing legislation to ease the financial burden for Virginia families. With the Session officially getting underway Wednesday, Wilt has submitted bills to lower transportation and energy costs as part of his legislative package.

“Inflation remains a major burden for low and middle income Virginians,” Wilt said. “While reckless federal spending is a major culprit, there is still work that can be done at the state level to address the issue and head off future cost increases. It’s time to untie ourselves from the California Clean Cars mandate before Virginians are forced to buy more costly vehicles they may not even want. Not to mention that the auto industry may not even be able to supply vehicles to meet the aggressive timeline of this standard, nor is there the necessary charging infrastructure in place. Electricity costs are also rising and this session I’m working with the Governor to make some reforms to the Clean Economy Act that will grant authority to the SCC to provide a relief valve when it’s determined costs will be excessive or we are risking grid reliability and security to maintain the requirements of the Act.”

The Delegate filed legislation in November to decouple Virginia from the California Advanced Clean Cars emissions standard. In 2021 while under Democrat control, Virginia adopted legislation to follow the California standard which culminates in a prohibition on the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035. However, in the meantime the mandate begins to kick in for model year 2026 with a requirement that 35% of new vehicles sold be zero emissions vehicles.

On the energy front, the bills the Delegate has filed focus on restoring regulatory authority to the State Corporation Commission to ensure more affordable electricity costs for consumers. HB 2130 allows the Commission to defer clean energy utilization requirements if it is found costs to customers from those requirements will be excessive. It also requires the utilities to petition the Commission for relief from the requirements of the Clean Economy Act related to power plant closures when they believe the required closure poses a threat to grid reliability or security. HB 2267 grants authority to the Commission to determine the best mechanism for utilities to recover costs of generation projects or other grid improvements. This is also intended to have the practical effect of lowering energy bills.

Delegate Wilt has filed additional bills this session to support dairy farmers, the industrial hemp industry, and a bill to ensure sex offenders that committed serious crimes against minors are not able to work in or access schools, among other legislation.

Following Report Demonstrating Positive Results, Obenshain and Wilt File Legislation to Continue Program Supporting Dairy Farmers

January 11, 2023

HARRISONBURG- On Monday Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) and Delegate Tony Wilt (R-
Rockingham) filed a pair of bills to continue the Virginia Dairy Margin Coverage Premium Assistance Program. This follows an encouraging report from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and
Consumers Services (VDACS) that offers convincing evidence that the program met both the goals of
offering tangible help to the struggling dairy industry, while also incentivizing farmers to implement
environmental stewardship practices.

“I am very pleased to see that the program has been helpful to farmers and also that it has successfully
promoted voluntary implementation of agricultural best management practices,” Obenshain said. “The
dairy industry has struggled over the past few years, but this approach has proven to be a real win-win for
the industry and we have made a strong case for its continuation.”

“It’s exciting to see that the program is working,” stated Wilt. “Since Rockingham is the top dairy
producing locality in the Commonwealth by a wide margin, ensuring a sustainable industry is vital not
only for our farmers, but our local economy as a whole. It’s equally as exciting that this program likely
encouraged dozens of farmers to voluntarily implement or renew best management practices on their

“The recent VDACS report confirms the program has been a success both in terms of assisting our
farmers and encouraging environmental stewardship practices,” said Eric Paulson, Executive Secretary of
the Virginia Dairyman’s Association. “Given this success, it makes sense to continue it beyond this year
and I’m thankful to Senator Obenshain and Delegate Wilt for their willingness to bring legislation

Without this legislation, the original program was implemented on a trial basis and is otherwise
scheduled to expire in July. Both Delegate Wilt and Senator Obenshain played a significant role in
establishing the original program a few years ago through prior legislative action and their efforts to
secure funding in the state budget.

The federal Dairy Margin Coverage Program is part of the federal Farm Bill and functions much like an
insurance policy to guard against volatile milk prices and high commodity costs. The state premium
assistance program helps small to mid-size dairy farmers in covering their significant costs to sign up for
the federal program. To qualify for the state program, farmers must adopt or be in the process of adopting
a nutrient management plan or resource management plan. Dairy farmers that are interested in
participating should contact VDACS for more information.

Wilt Introduces Legislation to Untangle Virginia from California Vehicle Emissions Standard

November 8, 2022

Harrisonburg- On Wednesday Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Rockingham) filed legislation to untangle Virginia from the California Vehicle Emissions Standard, Advanced Clean Cars II. This standard calls for 100% of new passenger cars, light duty trucks and SUVs sold to be zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) by 2035. Practically speaking this will eliminate the allowable sale of internal combustion engine vehicles and require all new vehicles sold to be predominantly electric.

“With rampant inflation already hitting Virginia families hard, it’s absurd that we would allow such a massive government mandate to move forward when we know it will only add to their struggles through increased transportation costs in the coming years,” said Wilt. “I support a market driven transition to cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles, but the plain reality is it’s highly unlikely we will have the infrastructure in place to support the aggressive and arbitrary transition required under Advanced Clean Cars II. Vehicle manufacturers and others have confirmed as much. Proponents of the mandate have claimed no one is forced to buy a new EV, but what do we think will happen to the price of conventional used vehicles? They will skyrocket, squeezing low to middle income folks even harder. We must pump the breaks on this before it can inflict irrevocable harm on Virginia families and our economic competitiveness.”

In 2021, the then Democratic controlled General Assembly passed legislation requiring Virginia to follow California’s vehicle emissions standard. While at the time that standard did not culminate in requiring 100% of new vehicles sold to be ZEVs, in August of this year the California Air Resources Board updated their standard to the more stringent Advanced Clean Cars II. Starting with model year 2026 35% of new vehicles sold must be zero emissions and that percentage steadily increases every year thereafter until reaching a 100% requirement for the 2035 model year. Virginia is obligated to follow this more aggressive mandate unless the legislature intervenes to roll it back.

Delegate Wilt initially pursued this issue in the 2022 session. While it passed the House of Delegates the proposal did not garner the necessary support in the Democrat controlled State Senate. With the new reality of the more aggressive 100% ZEV mandate, the Delegate is hopeful the proposal can gain some bi-partisan support this year. Governor Youngkin has called for a repeal of the California emissions standard in Virginia and backing out of the mandate was a recommendation included in the recently released Virginia Energy Plan.

Budget Update

July 2, 2022

While it took a few extra months to get it done, we finally have a budget that is close to the finish line. Wednesday the General Assembly headed back to Richmond to take up the vote on the final budget conference report. It was approved with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both chambers and will now head to the Governor to sign or offer any amendments he feels may be necessary. I supported this budget because it is structurally sound, funds key priorities, and provides much needed tax relief.

Tax Relief
With Virginia families struggling with the effects of record inflation, meaningful tax cuts were a key priority for the House and Governor Youngkin. While there was some compromise with the Senate on this front, on the whole I believe the final product is closer to the House position. This budget provides over $4 billion in tax cuts – which amounts to just over $1100 in tax relief for the average family of four per year. Some of the highlights include:

A near doubling of the standard deduction on the state income tax to $8,000 for individuals and $16,000 for joint filers.
A tax rebate check later this year that will be $250 per individual and $500 for joint filers
The elimination of the 1.5% state sales tax on groceries starting January 1.
It exempts the first $40,000 of veteran retirement pay from state income tax, phased in over 4 years.
It ends the accelerated sales tax gimmick that unfairly penalizes small businesses and retailers. This is something I have fought to eliminate for a number of years through both legislation and budget amendments.

The budget includes record investment in k-12 education. With a 20% boost in spending for our schools, this results in the highest K-12 budget ever, even when adjusting for inflation. For higher education, there is support to hold down tuition increases to no more than 3%, along with additional targeted financial aid for undergraduate students. Some of the particulars include:

Up to a 5% salary increase for school employees each year of the biennium, along with a $1,000 bonus in December with no local match requirement for the bonus.
Through a combination of grants and loans, this budget will leverage over $3 billion for school construction and renovation. While historically construction was the sole responsibility of the locality, this has been widely recognized as a significant need for some time.
An additional $45 million set aside for the school resource officer grant program.
On the local higher ed. front, I’m pleased that our effort to secure substantial additional support to address JMU’s per-pupil funding disparity was also included to the tune of $12 million over the biennium.

Public Safety
This budget invests heavily in our law enforcement in terms of training and equipment, as well as compensation. It also supports violence intervention efforts, including Operation Ceasefire. Some of these highlights include:

Almost $200 million for targeted compensation initiatives for the State Police, correctional officers, deputy sheriffs and regional jail officers. With so many of these essential public safety agencies being chronically understaffed with vacancies, this represents some serious investment – a 20-40% boost in compensation for many.
$47 million additional in “599” funding to support local police
$13 million for violence prevention efforts, with $5 million of this directed specifically to the Operation Ceasefire program. This is legislation I carried with the support of the Governor and Attorney General and I’m glad to see that funding for the program has made it into the budget.
$75 million in ARPA funds for one-time grants to local law enforcement to support equipment purchases and training.

Similar to law enforcement, there is a workforce crisis in many healthcare related fields, particularly in the areas of public behavioral health and community based providers to serve the disabled and other vulnerable populations. This is one area where I would like to have seen us go even farther and I carried budget provisions to do so. Even so, the additional resources included to support our front-line healthcare professionals is still significant.

Roughly $544 million to support and maintain rate increases for various waiver services, such as the developmental disability waiver and consumer and agency directed care
An additional 600 developmental disability waiver slots in FY 2024
$50.5 million to fully implement the STEP-VA program in our Community Services Boards to better meet the needs of those struggling with mental health challenges
My amendment to provide an additional $850,000 each year of the biennium for our centers for independent living was also included.

Other Highlights
While the Commonwealth is experiencing record revenues, this budget hedges against future downturns by directing much of the additional spending to one-time investment needs and bolstering our savings.
Based on various additional deposits, Virginia’s cash reserves will reach $3.9 billion
Includes an additional $750 million payment to VRS with an additional $250 million deposit if revenues remain strong to continue to improve the funded status and keep rates low
Takes on no new debt, and instead switches some previously approved bond projects to cash.
Among the other amendments I put forward this year, $4.8 million was included for the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District specifically for infrastructure improvements at various battlefields across the Valley to increase tourism at these sites, and ultimately bring in additional tourism dollars for localities and the Commonwealth.

While this touches on some of the major policy areas, if you have any questions about the budget or if my office might be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can call 540-208-0735 or email [email protected]