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RICHMOND, VA — Today, with the passage of the Virginia state budget and close of the 2022 special legislative session, the prominent grassroots organization Americans for Prosperity-Virginia (AFP-VA) announced their policy wins, celebrated the passage of certain proposals in the budget, and identified areas for legislative improvement.
Reflecting on the highs and lows of the 2022 legislative session, AFP-VA State Director J.C. Hernandez issued the following statement:
“We commend legislators for prioritizing much-needed tax relief for Virginians in the budget by significantly increasing the standard deduction for individuals and couples, so they can spend more of their hard-earned money how they see fit. The budget also provides robust funding for lab schools across Virginia, teacher pay raises, and additional school resource officers. We commend lawmakers for providing much needed support to Virginia’s education system, but we would like to see more education measures that directly empower students and families with resources.
“We are also deeply grateful to the lawmakers who advanced standard-of-life improving economic, healthcare, and education legislation in the General Assembly. These policies will help to create ample opportunities for Virginian workers, provide personal healthcare options for those seeking medical care, and expand educational initiatives for students. We are pleased the budget resolution will fund a health care regulatory sandbox, so health care providers can innovate to better care for Virginians. However, there is still more work to be done; we would have liked to see a more robust emphasis on repealing COPN laws so that medical workers can provide treatment without unnecessary regulatory barriers.
“We also sought a broader embrace of Education Savings Accounts to help teachers and parents identify solutions to existing wrinkles in the education system, and of employment laws that foster diverse work opportunities for Virginians and those seeking work in the state. I’m grateful to our activists who consistently work to advance these measures and look forward to furthering our efforts and education across the state, as we have done with the ‘A New Vision for the Old Dominion’ tour” and are planning to do with approaching ‘True Cost’ events.”
AFP-VA’s legislative agenda going into 2022, “A New Vision for the Old Dominion,” focused on three key initiatives surrounding the economy, healthcare, and education. See their full 2022 legislative agenda here.
At the end of the regular legislative session in March, AFP-VA the launched a mail and digital ad campaign showing gratitude to select lawmakers for their leadership on important education, regulatory, and healthcare policy issues. The ads, titled “Thank You,” honor Delegates Nicholas Freitas, Michael Webert, Dawn Adams, Glenn Davis, Roxann Robinson, and Senator Siobhan Dunnavant as policy champions in their respective areas and will air in their legislative districts starting March 12. See sample ads/mail here.
They simultaneously launched a “A New Vision for the Old Dominion” Tour to promote their 2022 legislative agenda across the entire state. The tour started in Glen Allen, VA on March 22, with multiple subsequent stops throughout the state. It features AFP-VA’s Old Dominion policy plan, which offers a clear roadmap to breaking down the barriers that inhibit Virginians from reaching their full potential. View the press release here for more details.
Legislators prioritized tax cuts for Virginians in the budget by approving approximately $4 million in tax relief, increasing the standard deduction from $4,500 to $8,000 for individuals and from $9,000 to $16,000 for couples. The deal also provides a one-time tax rebate of $250 for individuals and $500 for married couples.
The budget also allocates $100 million for lab schools across Virginia, in addition to teacher pay raises and funding for additional school resource officers. AFP-VA continues to advocate for additional education-focused policies and funding that empowers students and families with resources as well as systems.
Removing Barriers to Economic Progress:
To unleash opportunities for Virginians, AFP-VA supports common sense policy reforms that prioritize responsible spending and protecting taxpayers. This requires lowering the tax burden on families, passing a regulatory sandbox, and reducing burdensome licensing requirements, which often present a barrier to economic opportunity for individuals seeking to live out the American dream.
2022 Legislative Session Policy Wins:
• Defeat of SB264 – Collective Bargaining for Public Employees
A Personal Option for Virginians:
AFP-VA supports sustainable, long-term solutions for health care so that Virginians can afford and meet their medical needs. This requires lawmakers to reject the push for government takeover of health care and give Virginians personal options so that they can control and choose the health care option that works best for them, with the medical professionals they trust. AFP-VA is also prioritizing the permanent removal of certificate of public need (COPN) laws, which are unnecessary regulations that limit lifesaving health care access and innovation.
2022 Legislative Session Policy Wins:
• SB426 – Telehealth Medical Assistance, Remote Patient Monitoring
• HB84 – Volunteer Audiologists
• SB317 – Medical Licensure and Reciprocity
• HB30 – Health care Regulatory Sandbox funding secured
• HB285 – Scope of Practice
• HB896 – Scope of Practice
• SB549 – Association Health Plans
A Brighter Future for our Students:
AFP-VA advocates for every student, regardless of family income or zip code, to have access to educational opportunities that foster their unique potential. Intra-district Open Enrollment is critical for this to occur, and Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) would enable teachers and families to work together to find a learning environment that enables every child to succeed . Additionally, legislative action that provides supplementary education outside of the classroom is essential for allowing students to learn through a diversity of approaches, from apprenticeships to learning skills and talents.