Youngkin Rallies at 2021 Campaign Location to Sign Budget

HENRICO, Virginia — Governor Glenn Youngkin held a campaign-style rally to ceremonially sign Virginia’s Fiscal Year 2023-2024 budget. On Tuesday, Youngkin spoke from the aisles of the Tom Leonard’s grocery store where he filmed a grocery tax-related campaign ad and where he held one of his final rallies during the campaign.

“Nine months ago we were right here with many of you, and we in fact were talking about the impact that rising cost of groceries were have on families,” Youngkin said to a crowd of supporters, reporters, former GOP candidates, and current GOP politicians standing next to bins of produce.

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Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board Revokes COVID-19 Regulations for Employers

coffee shop with Edison lights hanging from ceiling

The Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board voted Monday to revoke standards regulating how businesses and employers must respond to COVID-19.

After the vote, recently-appointed Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) Gary Pan said, “At the beginning of this journey here through COVID, there was a lot of uncertainty and we didn’t really know what we were going to be facing, but we now have a lot of experience. And that’s important and we will be working vigilantly to make sure that we continue to protect our employees and employers in the workplace.”

“We are on the path to normalcy here in Virginia and throughout the United States,” Pan said.

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Virginia Governor Youngkin Calls for Three-Month Gas Tax Holiday After Plan to Suspend Gas Tax Increase for a Year Fails

HENRICO, Virginia – Governor Glenn Youngkin announced Wednesday that he wants the General Assembly to pass a bill suspending Virginia’s 26.2 gas tax and 27-cent diesel tax for three months, spanning May, June, and July. That’s a pivot from his campaign promise to suspend the five-cent gas-tax price increase for a year, a proposal that the Senate opposed. Youngkin said rising gas prices predate Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine and the economic impact from sanctions placed on Russia.

“We saw of course prior to that was gas prices in Virginia had gone up a dollar. And they’ve gone up another 80 cents, and this is just part of the inflationary pressures that Virginians are feeling all over,” Youngkin told reporters after pumping gas for a few supporters.

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Virginia Senate, House of Delegates Reveal Budget Proposals; Senate Doesn’t Include as Many Tax Cuts as Youngkin Wants

The House and Senate money committees presented their biennial budget proposals on Sunday afternoon in preparation for passage later this week. Both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Appropriations Committee included more than $2 billion in additional education spending when compared to previous years, a key goal of Governor Glenn Youngkin. But differing amounts of tax cuts drew Youngkin’s attention. In separate legislation, the House has already approved Youngkin’s tax cuts and refunds, but the Senate has rejected or pared-down some cuts.

“The House budget provides nearly $5.3 billion in tax relief for all Virginians – including significant tax relief for our military veterans and common sense tax relief worth $1,500 to a typical Virginia family in the first year. This represents the priorities I outlined in the Day One Game Plan Virginians voted for last November. Speaker Gilbert and Chairman Knight have delivered on our shared promises,” Youngkin said in a Sunday afternoon press release. “While it does not include nearly enough tax relief, the Senate budget proposal also includes common sense, bipartisan priorities on which we can find common ground. I know Senator Howell and Senate Leadership are eager to work in good faith on these and other important priorities.”

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Facing a Skeptical Senate, Youngkin Enlists Virginians to Pitch Tax Cuts to Legislators

CHESAPEAKE, Virginia – The day after celebrating his first major legislative win, Governor Glenn Youngkin is anticipating a bigger battle over the budget. On Thursday, he began touring Virginia to tout his tax reduction plans and enlist locals across the commonwealth in an effort to woo legislators. He made stops in Leesburg, Chesterfield, and Chesapeake.

“Now, because we are where we are in our legislative cycle, now there’s another three weeks or so of work to be done. And I need your help,” Youngkin said at his Chesapeake stop to an audience of local politicians and business leaders.

“I need you to talk to your elected representatives. Talk to your delegates. Call your senators. Send them a note. We need to cut taxes,” he said.

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Grocery Tax Cut, Doubled Standard Deduction Advance in House of Delegates

The House of Delegates Finance Committee advanced a bill to eliminate Virginia’s grocery tax and a bill to double the standard deduction on income tax; those are two key promises Governor Glenn Youngkin made in his campaign as part of his focus on “kitchen-table issues.”

HB 90, sponsored by Delegate Joe McNamara (R-Roanoke) exempts food for human consumption and essential personal hygiene items from state and local sales taxes. On Monday, Delegates Candi Mundon King (D-Prince William) and Delegate Richard ‘Rip’ Sullivan (D-Fairfax) expressed concern about how a different Youngkin-inspired tax bill would impact low-income Virginians. McNamara recalled those remarks in the Wednesday committee meeting.

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Youngkin $300 Tax Refund Bill Advances in House Finance Subcommittee

A House of Delegates Finance subcommittee advanced a bill to provide a $300 income tax refund for individuals and $600 for married persons for the 2021 tax year, a key promise from Governor Glenn Youngkin’s Day One Game Plan.

“Virginia has seen a steady increase in its tax revenues, and it’s far exceeding the forecasted growth, largely due to an increase in non-withholding taxes and a standard deduction below the federal level. Virginians have overpaid on their taxes as evidenced by the state’s surplus, and should have some of their money repaid. The aid given to Virginia from the federal government to facilitate the Commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in Virginia ending its 2021 fiscal year with a surplus of over $2.6 billion,” HB 935 sponsor Delegate Roxann Robinson (R-Chesterfield) said in the Monday subcommittee meeting.

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Governor Youngkin Issues Executive Orders Banning CRT, Ending Mask Mandate Shortly After Taking Office

Governor Glenn Youngkin signed nine executive orders and two executive directives on Saturday shortly after the inauguration. Three of the orders focus specifically on school policy, banning the use of “divisive concepts,” allowing parents to opt their children out of school mask policies, and requesting Attorney General Jason Miyares to investigate the Loudoun County Public Schools.

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Governor Glenn Youngkin Takes Oath of Office, Promises 11 Immediate Executive Actions on CRT, Masks, Vaccines, and Other Campaign Commitments

Governor Glenn Youngkin, Attorney General Jason Miyares, and Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears took their oaths of office on Saturday afternoon, followed by a howitzer salute from the Army National Guard. Then, Youngkin gave his first speech as governor, with an emphasis on a “common path forward” and with renewed promises from his campaign.

“Our politics have become too toxic. Soundbites have replaced solutions — taking precedence over good faith problem-solving,” he said. “My fellow Virginians, I come to this moment, and to this office, knowing we must bind the wounds of division. Restore trust. Find common cause for the common good.”

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Youngkin, Senator Dunnavant, and Delegate Willett Stop in Henrico for Small Business Round Table

HENRICO, Virginia – Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin met with the Asian Chamber of Commerce for a round table with Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico) and Delegate Rodney Willett (D-Henrico). Youngkin told those in attendance that he planned to bring 400,000 new jobs and 10,000 new startups to Virginia.

“So, in order to do that, we in fact recognize that we have to put a lot of the ingredients together, just like we’re cooking a meal,” Youngkin said. “And one of those ingredients is, in fact, the recognition that there are some inhibitions in starting small businesses. So one of the things I want to hear from you are the challenges that you all feel and hear when you start your businesses.”

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Virgina Gov. Northam Proposes Partial Grocery Tax Cut, Other Youngkin-Inspired Tax Policies

Continuing his “Thank You, Virginia” tour, Governor Ralph Northam announced that his upcoming budget proposal will include tax cuts and refunds, including some similar to those Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin has called on Northam to include in his budget.

“When Virginia cuts taxes next year, it should be done in a way that benefits working people,” Northam said in a Tuesday press release. “Many professionals made it through the pandemic fine, as their work simply moved online. But workers haven’t been so lucky when their jobs require close contact with other people. Some jobs simply can’t move online—restaurant workers, early childhood educators, home care attendants, and others—and we all depend on the people who do this work. Virginia can help working people by eliminating the state grocery tax, providing one-time rebates, and giving a tax break to people who are working.”

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Youngkin Will Pull Virginia Out of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Says He Supports All-of-the-Above Energy Policy

Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin announced that he will use an executive order to pull Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), an 11-state cap-and-trade initiative aimed at reducing utility carbon dioxide emissions by requiring utilities to bid for carbon dioxide allowances in state auctions. Youngkin’s commitment is one of his first specific energy and environmental policy statements, but he couched it as part of his broader plan to lower Virginians’ cost of living.

“RGGI will cost ratepayers over the next four years an estimated $1 billion to $1.2 billion dollars,” Youngkin said Wednesday to the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.. “RGGI describes itself as a regional market for carbon, but it is really a carbon tax that is fully passed on to ratepayers. It’s a bad deal for Virginians. It’s a bad deal for Virginia businesses, and as Governor, I will withdraw us from RGGI by Executive Action. I promised to lower the cost of living in Virginia and this is just the beginning.” 

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Northam Announces $2.4 Billion Increase for Education in His Final Budget Proposal; New House Appropriations Chair Knight Previews Upcoming Budget Process

Governor Ralph Northam will include a $2.4 billion increase for education in his budget proposal to the General Assembly next week, with a 5 percent salary increase for teachers in each of the next two fiscal years.

“Paying teachers is the right thing to do, and a wise investment,” Northam said in a Monday press release. “Virginia has invested in teachers in a big way over these past four years, and now it’s time to do much more. Our country has asked teachers to carry a heavy load, especially during the pandemic. They have delivered, and they deserve to be rewarded.”

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Ben Carson, Youngkin, and Sears Criticize Virginia Education Policy at Loudoun County Rally

Secretary Ben Carson

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson spoke against mask mandates, Critical Race Theory, and COVID-19 vaccines for children in a Loudoun County appearance alongside GOP candidates Glenn Youngkin and Winsome Sears on Wednesday night. A large, energetic crowd filled a conference room; the event was hosted by Fight for Schools and 1776 Action.

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Youngkin Announces Major Policy Goals in His ‘Day One Game Plan’

GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin unveiled a long list of policy priorities prominently featuring tax breaks alongside spending on law enforcement and schools in his “Day One Game Plan.” His Monday announcement in Falls Church also included a declaration that he would ban Critical Race Theory (CRT) from being taught in schools or used in teacher training, and he said he wouldn’t implement COVID-19 shutdowns.

“I will not allow COVID lock downs to ever occur in Virginia again,” Youngkin said to loud cheers and applause from the crowd.

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