For Immediate Release
February 8, 2007
Democrats fight for education, public safety, minimum wage and legislative audit in House budget
Richmond, VA— Today, House Democratic leaders objected to key provisions in the proposed House budget that would have cut funding for economic development grants, increasing teacher salaries, and funding additional benefits for deputy sheriffs.
“By investing in our schools, our economy, and our law enforcement personnel, we can keep moving Virginia forward and make Virginia government work for our families,” House Minority Leader Frank Hall said.
House Democrats also proposed an amendment to the budget that would require any company doing business with the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide employees with a minimum wage no less than $6.50 an hour.
“Raising the minimum wage for Virginia families will ensure that working hard and playing by the rules is never a ticket to poverty,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Brian Moran said. “Raising the minimum wage is not only a matter of fairness and valuing hard work, but it will help drive Virginia’s economy.”
Delegate Steve Shannon also offered an amendment that would appropriate state funds for audit of the legislative branch. Currently, the Legislative Department has an annual budget of $63 million. The Department of Planning and Budget has developed successful programs for evaluating the efficiency of schools that has to date produced savings of over $15 million dollars in multiple school divisions across the Commonwealth.
“We have an obligation to make sure we are conducting business in the most efficient way possible with Virginia taxpayer dollars,” Delegate Steve Shannon said. “We should be investing our tax dollars towards our roads, our schools, and keeping our streets safe, not towards unnecessary spending in the legislative branch of government.”