Gov. Youngkin outlines legislative priorities including sweeping tax cuts, education changes

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has announced dozens of bills and budget amendments he’s supporting to further what he calls his Day One Agenda.

In a statement on Friday, the Governor said they reflected “bipartisan priorities.”

“These initiatives will make Virginia’s communities safer, restore academic excellence, lower the cost of living, and I look forward to seeing these bills come to my desk,” Youngkin said.

The bills include substantial tax cuts such as doubling Virginia’s standard income tax deduction to $9,000 for single tax filers and $18,000 for married couples filing jointly, sending out a one time tax refund of $300 to $600 dollars, a new requirement that voters approve local property tax hikes and tax cuts for veterans.

He’s also supporting bills that suspend a recent state gas increase and eliminate Virginia’s 2.5% grocery tax.

Youngkin campaigned on sweeping tax cuts. At one point on the campaign trail he said he was considering getting rid of the state income tax, though he later walked that back.

Left leaning groups have criticized Youngkin’s tax plans arguing it would hurt public school budgets.

Youngkin says the cuts will be paid for in part from Virginia’s $2.6 billion surplus, the largest in the state’s history.

The Governor is also backing a number of bills that would make changes to public education, including one bill forbidding the teaching of what it calls “inherently divisive concepts” in school.

Youngkin’s already signed an executive order banning critical race theory from state curriculums, though Virginia school districts deny it’s being taught.

He’s also supporting a new bill that requires school principals to report “certain enumerated acts that may constitute a misdemeanor offense” to law enforcement and to notify parents of students who are victims that the offense has been reported.

It comes after Youngkin ordered an investigation into the Loudoun County Public School’s handling of sexual assault cases.

Another bill on the list changes the policy around sexually explication instruction taught in classrooms. School Boards would now have to notify parents that such material was being taught, allow parents to review the material and provide alternative options if parents don’t want their children learning that content.

He’s also backing school reopening legislation that requires in person instruction for students except “in the case of the 10 unscheduled remote learning days otherwise permitted by law.”

Youngkin said he is also supporting increasing funding for charter schools in the Commonwealth.

The bills would have to pass a divided Virginia legislature.

Shayna Estulin

Shayna Estulin is an anchor/reporter for WTOP. She started her career in New York City as a local TV reporter and has since covered foreign affairs and national politics as a Washington correspondent. She also anchored a nightly news show for an international network.

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