Crossover Day: Battle over budget, tax cuts and mental health services
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The halls of the Virginia State Capitol were abuzz with activity Tuesday. Crossover Day marks the time when lawmakers wrap up work on their own legislation.
“At the end of the day we are prioritizing people, our children, out schools, our communities and our budget shows that,” said State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-9th District.
Now the Virginia House of Delegates will take up what passed in the Virginia Senate and vice versa.
“Obviously, it shows some differences and priorities. Our priority is to return as much money as we can back to the citizens through tax credits, getting the money back to the people,” said Del. Mike Cherry, R-66th District.
In the House, Republicans in control are still pushing for $1 billion in tax cuts to cut the corporate tax rate and increase the standard deduction, among others.
“We can cut taxes by a billion dollars and still invest $2.6 billion in priority investments,” said Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
The governor is also asking for $230 million for behavioral health. A recent statewide Mason-Dixon poll shows that 83% of Virginians support Youngkin’s plan.
“I think our proposal will get through and I think it is a substantial amount of resources to put at a giant step of what will be a multi-year plan, but we’ve got to make a big step forward here,” said Youngkin.
The Democrat-controlled Senate is proposing $370 million while the House set aside only $166 million to retain workers in that field, increase mobile crisis units and increase short-term crisis bed capacity.
“We have not been meeting the needs of our community for a very long time and the Senate budget makes significant steps toward doing so. I’m hopeful that funding will stick,” said McClellan.
The budget vote is expected Thursday and then budget negotiators will hammer out the final sticking points. The Virginia General Assembly session is slated to end Feb. 25.
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