The General Assembly's $1 billion tax fight, explained
The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn Saturday morning, but first lawmakers have to resolve a standoff over $1 billion in tax cuts proposed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
State of play: It doesn't look like they're going to make their deadline.
Why it matters: The debate is front and center in broader negotiations over the state budget, meaning it has the potential to delay action on a host of other legislative priorities.
- Those include raises for state employees and teachers and more resources for the state's beleaguered mental health system.
Zoom in: Youngkin and Republicans in the House want to cut the corporate tax rate from 6% to 5%, shave a quarter percent off the individual income tax rate and boost the state's standard deduction.
- Meanwhile, the Democratic-led Senate wants to put the $1 billion Youngkin has budgeted for tax cuts toward K-12 education and even more funding for mental health programs.
What they're saying: Last week, Youngkin floated a filibuster of sorts, positing that he'd be content for lawmakers to go home without a budget deal and instead take it up during a special session he could call this summer.
- "I’m in no hurry; I’m here all summer," he said at an event at a Henrico diner, per the Times-Dispatch.
Meanwhile, lawmakers from both parties, who are gearing up for General Assembly elections later this year, have not sounded particularly interested in dragging out the debate.
- "Mr. Speaker has been very clear that he doesn't believe the House needs to return for a special session," House Speaker Todd Gilbert's spokesman, Garren Shipley, told Axios.
Yes, but: That has so far not translated into the speedy resolution that would be necessary for the Assembly to adjourn tomorrow as scheduled.
Between the lines: With no budget deal presented as of Thursday, the earliest lawmakers could leave Richmond would be Sunday.
- That's assuming a budget compromise is presented Friday and lawmakers opt against waiving the customary 48-hour waiting period before voting on the document.
What we're watching: Whether lawmakers in leadership are discreetly extending their hotel bookings.
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