Del. Price's Statement on the Budget
Today, Delegate Marcia "Cia" Price released the following statement about the 2022 budget conference report:
"There is a lot in this budget conference report we Democrats fought for and accomplished on behalf of the people of Virginia. From tax relief for all to long-awaited raises for teachers, from much-needed investments in our schools to early childhood education and more, this conference report reflects how hard we fought against a unified opposition more interested in making headlines than making policy.
Let me be clear: my dissent is not based on the investments this budget makes, but instead with what it leaves out; with who it overlooks and who it leaves behind.
The conference report reflects the cynical opportunism from too many of my colleagues from across the aisle. You will no doubt hear from them about the investments contained within the report. What you won't hear is how Democrats fought tooth and nail to get many of those investments included. You will no doubt hear from them about these "common-sense," "bipartisan" measures. What you won't hear is how Republicans pushed for bare-minimum investments; not to improve lives, but to silence critics. And you won’t hear them talk about the secretive budget process, which lacked transparency and ignored public input.
Even when it became apparent that the Commonwealth had historic funding available (far more than was expected when the budget was first introduced) Republicans still chose to cut critical funding for gun violence prevention and affordable housing.
We had the opportunity to forge a path that others could follow. During this difficult and painful moment, we could have once again led the way on innovative approaches to combating gun violence and saving lives. And instead, we slashed funding.
The uncomfortable truth is that the same funding you will hear Republicans tout doesn't actually address the problems facing Virginians or chip away at the long-standing issues that too many in leadership have refused to address. They're band-aids; minimal increases that look good as fundraising emails but don't impact futures or transform communities. We Democrats are proud to have fought for each and every dollar that will go to a Virginian in need. But it's not enough, and the other side knows it. That money is there to keep us quiet, not make things better, and I for one refuse to be quiet.
For these reasons, I voted no on HB30. Instead, I vow to raise my voice in favor of a bold state budget that truly represents our values and adequately meets the needs of our residents."
Watch Del. Price's floor remarks here.