RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – A group of parents and organizations in Virginia are advocating for lawmakers to give priority to parents before negotiating the state budget.
The group is joined by Voices for Virginia’s Children and the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis. Friends told 8News that they had talks with state legislators during the general meeting and hoped they would get over it for parents while drafting the state budget for 2022.
One of the group’s top priorities is a state credit that can be refunded from income tax.
Tyrone Green is a single mother and guardian of several children and lives in the Portsmouth area.
“If I had fought before the plague, now I would drown,” Green said. “The bills were piled up. I could not even deal with it. So when the income tax credit was finally received, it was like Christmas in July.”
The group also hopes for a one-time tax deduction for parents and full funding for public schools at K-12. Senator Jennifer Cursed has previously stressed the need.
“As a parent in Richmond public schools, I will work to ensure that our budget finances our K-12 needs; investing in building schools and providing resources to schools to address the effects of COVID and mental health,” McLellan said.
Green said parents like her have a hard time getting along.
“I feel an economic gap is a disease, and I got it,” Green said.
Emily Smart is a Winesborough resident and single mother of a 5-year-old boy.
“It’s very difficult to keep up with inflation and rising cost of living,” Smart said. “Even when you work hard and earn raises, you still can’t keep up.”
Emily Griffith is Virginia’s Chief Voice Policy Officer.
“If Virginia lawmakers prioritize parents, they will send a message that Virginia is for families and will provide real economic stability from our state’s surpluses,” Griffith said.
In response to parental concerns, Governor Glenn Youngkin’s spokesman McCauley Porter said, “There are experienced lawmakers on both sides working on this and the governor’s expectation is that he will get a budget quickly, because that’s what Virginia residents deserve. Next week is going to be a busy week, it’s time to grant “Tax relief and move forward with the common priorities of investing in education, law enforcement and the mental health system.”
Last month, the General Assembly did not pass a one-year budget. Governor Yangkin called on lawmakers to finish the unfinished work by Monday, April 4th.
Until then, parents want to send a message.
“These are the very basic needs of your unmet voters,” Smart said. “And I ask that our country’s representatives really prefer these things.
Eight News has previously been told by Governor Youngkin that he expects the budget to be passed by the House and Senate. The governor’s proposed tax cuts were an obstacle. It is unclear if there will be a solution on Monday.