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Commonwealth's Counties

Governor Proposes Amendments to Caboose and Biennium Budget Bills

Governor Youngkin proposed three amendments to the FY 2022 “caboose” budget and 35 amendments to the 2022-2024 biennium budget on June 15, one day in advance of his June 16 deadline. The legislature is scheduled to return to Richmond on Friday, June 17 to consider the Governor’s recommendations. VACo will report on the outcome of the June 17 session in a future Capitol Contact.

Two of the Governor’s amendments to the caboose bill deal with specific economic development projects and the third is a technical adjustment to revenues. The Governor’s amendments to the biennium budget bill include the following proposals:

  • Provides $2 million per year to expand the Early Reading Specialists initiative (which supports school divisions in funding one reading specialist per school in schools that rank lowest statewide on the third grade reading Standards of Learning assessment) to fund additional reading specialists or reading coaches or to support school personnel in attaining licensure requirements for endorsement as a reading specialist.
  • Expands the types of higher-education entities that may apply to form college partnership laboratory schools and stipulates that state per-pupil K-12 funding for students enrolled at college partnership laboratory schools would be distributed to the college partnership laboratory schools; the Board of Education may also disburse to the college partnership laboratory school an amount equal to the local funding that the school would receive, based upon its average daily membership. Language allows a local school board to enter into a memorandum of understanding with a college partnership laboratory school that would determine the formula by which local, state, and federal funding is distributed between the college partnership laboratory school and the local school division. VACo has traditionally opposed efforts to remove local authority to establish alternative schools from local school boards and divert public SOQ funds away from public schools.
  • Adds language and funding to provide the $1000 bonus that was included in the conference report for SOQ-recognized instructional and support personnel to instructional and support positions at Academic Year Governor’s Schools and Regional Alternative Education Programs (these positions were inadvertently left out of the conference report).
  • Provides $4.4 million GF in FY 2023 and $291,060 NGF in FY 2023 to support efforts to address the lack of placements for high-acuity children in foster care. This proposal would provide funding to support the development of partnerships between local departments of social services to increase capacity to approve kinship caregivers and recruit, train, and develop locally-approved foster parents; funding for an enhanced treatment foster care pilot program that would provide stipends for foster families caring for high-acuity children; funding for foster care agencies to support additional coordination, recruitment, and training; and support for the initiatives of the Safe and Sound Task Force, including community-based treatments, support for kinship, foster, and adoptive families, and trauma-informed care for children in foster care who are displaced, or at risk of becoming displaced.
  • Suspends taxes by 100% on the wholesale distribution of gasoline and diesel fuel for three months (from July 1 through September 30, 2022) and caps future increases at 2% per year.
  • Provides $2 million in FY 2024 for a $3000 salary increase for probation and parole officers.
  • Provides $2.2 million in FY 2024 for compensation actions for juvenile correctional center staff.
  • Adds language allowing a medical cannabis facility to operate at both its former and new locations when it is changing locations.
  • Provides $2.4 million per year for additional security positions at state mental health hospitals.
  • Makes changes to the eligibility requirements for the earned-sentence credit structure that was developed in legislation passed in the 2020 summer special session. According to an article in the Richmond Times Dispatch, this amendment is intended to prevent the sentence credits from applying to inmates serving sentences for certain violent crimes.
  • Creates a rebuttable presumption against bail for certain criminal offenses.

VACo Contact: VACo Legislative Team

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