Veto Session TodayApr 23, 2008
The General Assembly is back in town today for its one day "veto session." They will review amendments to bills, particularly the budget, made by Governor Tim Kaine, and respond to his vetoes. Fittingly, it is cloudy in Richmond today. As tax revenues fail to meet projections, gas prices and the general cost of living rise, families struggle to make ends meet, and economic uncertainty continues, the financial picture for Virginia government is cloudy as well. The biggest question facing our elected officials: How to fund everything they want to fund and get even more money for transportation?
Rumors abound. Increases in the sales tax or gasoline tax are being floated, as well as other revenue raising schemes. The Family Foundation yesterday put out a press release urging the General Assembly to not raise taxes in this difficult economy. We aren't holding our breath.
A transportation special session is possible . . . though while some say the G.A. will be back to deal with the issue in the next two months, other rumors are floating that a special session may not happen because there is no consensus on how to deal with the issue. Raising the gas tax while gas approaches $4.00 a gallon isn't very appealing, except to the most unapologetic tax raisers (Dick Saslaw, et al.).
Raising any taxes during a sluggish economy when families are already struggling would be dangerous and reckless. Taking more money out of the hands of working Virginians at a time when they can't pay their mortgages or fill the car with gas would be devastating. Which is exactly why we're worried. This G.A. doesn't exactly have the best track record when it comes to finances.
Anyway, we'll be around the Capitol today and will update you on any breaking news or any new rumors. In the meantime, hold on tight to that wallet.