June 20, 2006
The House of Delegates today followed the Senate's lead of yesterday and approved a $72 billion, two year spending plan for the Commonwealth. Initially, the House delayed votes on two measures that the Senate overwhelmingly approved, repealing the state tax and capping tax credits for land conservation easements.
However after three attempts to change the bills, Delegates decided to pass the estate tax, a tax levied against the property of someone who has died. They also passed the measure capping tax breaks for land conservation easements. Both measures were supported by the Senate.
The two year plan includes a 4 percent salary increase for teachers and state employees and $200 million to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
The budget will now go to Governor Kaine for consideration. The Governor can amend or veto certain items, however he will have to do so quickly. The current budget runs out June 30, and if a new one is not in place, the state government could shut down.
Legislators did not come to an agreement on a transportation funding plan. They decided to come back in the fall to discuss implementing a long term comprehensive plan.