The General Assembly returned to Richmond on Monday, April 4, in order to complete the unfinished business of the 2022 regular session – the adoption of a state budget and completion of work on bills that were in conference when the regular session adjourned on March 12. The April 4 session was largely procedural in nature, as the legislature first needed to adopt a framework for the consideration of legislation during the special session. The procedural resolution adopted by both chambers limits matters to be considered during the special session to conference reports that were carried over from the regular session (including the budget bills); judicial or other appointments; measures dealing with the rules of procedure or schedule of business; commending and memorial resolutions; and bills that may be communicated from the Governor.
As of April 8, two bills had been introduced at the request of the Governor. HB 6001 (Durant) / SB 6001 (Newman) would suspend the motor vehicle fuels tax for three months, effective immediately upon enactment. Beginning on August 1, 2022, a phased reintroduction of the tax would begin, culminating in a full restoration by October 1, 2022. The current tax rate is 26.2 cents per gallon for gasoline and 27 cents per gallon for diesel. The bill would also limit the annual required indexed adjustment to no more than two percent. While comments by members of Senate Democratic leadership have indicated opposition to this proposal, House Democratic leadership recently announced their intent to introduce substitute language to the Governor’s proposal that would provide funds directly to Virginia drivers.
VACo will continue to provide updates on these proposals and on overall budget deliberations as more information becomes available.