— House GOP Budget opens door to much needed teacher pay increases —
Del. Tag Greason, R-Loudoun, delivered this week’s Virginia GOP Address.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Hi, my name is Delegate Tag Greason and I represent the 32nd district in the Virginia House of Delegates, which includes most of eastern Loudoun county. It is a privilege to serve in the House of Delegates as a member of the oldest continually operating legislature in the western hemisphere.
“As you may know, this year is the year that the General Assembly amends our two-year state budget. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I am proud to say, we have been working hard to finalize our budget proposal.
This past week, the House unveiled its budget proposal…a conservative, responsible, and structurally balanced budget that invests in the core functions of government, while protecting precious taxpayer resources. Our budget accomplishes all this, without any tax or fee increases.
“We all want our children to have a high-quality education. That is why our budget makes significant investments into K-12 education. Our proposed funding exceeds the Governor’s investment by nearly 15 million dollars. We build on our plan from last year to re-establish the lottery proceeds distribution, which will send an additional $218 million back to localities, with no local match requirement. Our K-12 education budget provides localities with much needed flexibility and relief in providing for our children’s education….which could include the option for a much needed teacher pay raise.”
“We have also made significant investments in higher education. Our budget continues our efforts to make college more affordable and accessible for all Virginia families. We are investing over $20 million more than Governor McAuliffe, to hold down tuition costs at Virginia’s public colleges and universities.”
“We recognize that Virginia’s economy still lags behind the national average. Virginia needs good paying, private sector jobs, and a thriving economy. That is why our budget restores funds for strategic and targeted investments in economic development, while promoting increased accountability and legislative oversight.”
“With the uncertainty of healthcare at the federal level, we have put in place several independent measures to strengthen our healthcare safety net here in the Commonwealth. We understand the importance of taking care of our neighbors, and that is why our budget includes nearly $29 million in new funding for substance abuse treatment, increasing eligibility for the GAP program, and creating additional DD waiver slots to address the critical waiting list.”
“While we may have passed our version of the budget, we still have a long way to go. Now, House and Senate negotiators go in to conference to work out the differences. I encourage you to stay connected with your representatives throughout this process to have your voice heard. Government works best when its citizens are engaged and involved.”
“I’m Del. Tag Greason. For the entire House GOP caucus, thanks for watching, and have a great weekend.”