The Final Countdown

The Final Countdown

We’re in the final week of the 2024 General Assembly session and we still have much work to do. As of this writing, 785 bills have passed both chambers and are on their way to Governor Youngkin’s desk, while 306 bills await final action by the legislature. 

Between now and the legislature’s scheduled adjournment, Sine Die, on Saturday, March 9, the General Assembly must also complete work on the budget that will set Virginia state expenditures for the remainder of this year and the next two fiscal years. 

My priorities for Virginia’s budget remain steadfast, including reversing the $300 million cut to public education that was contained in Governor Youngkin’s introduced budget, and increasing our investments in K-12 public education. New funding for Metro is also at the top of my priority list; I encourage the Senate and House budget conferees to provide Metro with needed funding to prevent it from entering a death spiral. 

Another issue related to ongoing deliberations over the state budget is Governor Youngkin’s proposal for Potomac Yard. As I have said before, I believe that the Commonwealth’s budget is not the appropriate legislative vehicle to consider the creation of a state authority that would issue bonds to pay for a proposed sports arena for the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals. 

I will continue to advocate these and other priorities to the budget conferees and I look forward to seeing them embraced in the final compromise agreement when it is released later this week. Under rules adopted by both the Senate and the House of Delegates, the budget must be finalized in time to provide legislators with at least 48 hours to review the compromise prior to their voting on it. 

Once the General Assembly votes on the budget, it will be transmitted to the governor. In addition to the ability to sign, amend, or veto individual bills, Virginia governors may take similar action on the state budget bills after they are passed by the General Assembly. In fact, past governors have in some instances proposed extensive amendments to the budget after it reaches his desk – actions that are either approved or rejected by the General Assembly when we return to Richmond for Reconvened Session scheduled for April 17, 2024. 

It is my continued honor to serve the residents of the 39th Senate District