RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WAVY) — Virginia lawmakers have approved a new state budget that includes a pay increases for state employees, boosts cash benefits for welfare recipients and gives Gov. Terry McAuliffe more money to spend on economic development.
Lawmakers voted Thursday to approve a spending plan that does not raise taxes and also restores $30 million for local governments that had previously been cut.
The GOP-controlled General Assembly did not include expanding Medicaid, a top priority for state Democrats.
Virginia’s budget situation has brightened in recent months due to higher-than-projected revenues and other factors, giving lawmakers more money to spend this legislative session.
The budget includes a 1.5 percent pay increase in the state’s share of teacher pay, and a 2 percent increase in the salaries of state police, state employees and college faculty.
Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement:
“Virginians should be proud of the manner in which their leaders worked together across branches of government and party lines to pass a balanced budget that invests in a key priorities for a new Virginia economy. I want to thank Chairmen Jones, Stosch and Colgan for their partnership throughout a budget process that has been marked by bipartisan leadership and cooperation.
“At the beginning of this session, I asked the General Assembly to pass a budget that closes our revenue shortfall while enhancing economic development, investing in expanded health care services, protecting education and giving state employees a raise. I am pleased that the budget passed by the House and the Senate honors all of those priorities and I look forward to reviewing in detail in the coming days.”