Inflation and Cost of Living

Virginians are struggling with rising costs at every turn – from rising rent, electric bills and the price of groceries. Out of control federal spending and anti-domestic energy polices of the Biden administration bear much of the blame, but there are some levers at the state level to address these challenges.

Last year, I was pleased to support record tax cuts for middle- and lower-income taxpayers, allowing you to keep more of your hard-earned dollars. With record revenues remaining, Governor Youngkin has once again proposed additional tax relief to bring our standard deduction in line with federal tax policy and make us more economically competitive to attract new high paying jobs.

One of the most significant bipartisan accomplishments in the 2023 Session was electric utility reform legislation. I’ve worked on and advocated on this issue for a number of years. The bill we passed returns authority to the State Corporation Commission (SCC), where it belongs. Doing so will put downward pressure on electric rates. In fact, the SCC recently reported those changes are estimated to trim $11 a month off the standard 1,000kwh bill.

While we made progress on rate reform, there’s other areas where we’ve fallen short because of opposition in the Senate. The last two years I’ve patroned legislation to untie ourselves from the harmful California Emissions mandate that was adopted in 2021 under full Democrat control. This mandate starts next year and culminates in a 100% ban on new gas and diesel-powered cars and light trucks by 2035. Not only will this drive-up vehicle cost and limit consumer choice, but the necessary charging infrastructure is not in place and it’s not clear the electric grid can handle the increased demand. We need to let the free market work, not tie ourselves to the whims of unelected bureaucrats in Sacramento! I will continue to fight against this and other harmful policies that add to the cost burdens of Virginians.