Tommy Wright: Let’s talk about the budget

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, March 21, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Tommy Wright

Tommy Wright

Virginians are worried about inflation and the ever-rising cost of living. Democrats decided to make it worse by raising the minimum wage to a record level, driving up costs for everyone.

When Virginians said they were being hobbled by rising rents, Democrats responded by passing bill after bill that would make rental property harder to find and more expensive to run.

Virginians worry about sending their kids to college, Democrats dump yet more money into public colleges with no strings attached, giving them no incentive to hold the line on tuition.

Teachers continually ask for help in controlling their classrooms, but Democrats pass legislation that makes it harder to remove disruptive or violent kids.

Virginians are worried about crime, and Democrats respond by letting even more felons out of prison early. Parents want to know if there’s a drug problem in the kid’s schools, and Democrats respond by killing legislation that would require that they be informed within 24 hours.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Democrats are some of the best pavers of that road in Virginia history. However, we will have another opportunity on April 17 th to vote on the Governor’s vetoes of some of the worst legislation that passed both chambers.


This budget contains a tax hike of more than $2 billion over two years in the form of sales taxes on digital goods and services – items heretofore untaxed in Virginia.

The budget also spends $800 million that was set aside for Virginia’s emergency reserves, also known as the Rainy-Day fund.

Few — if any — of the objections made by Republicans to the House version of the budget were addressed. Among them are:

Cutting Diploma Plus: $20 million

Spending $350 million intended for teacher retirement.

Gutting Lab Schools: $60 million

Cuts to Ceasefire: $15 million

Cuts to the School Resource Officer Incentive Grant Funding: $8 million.

Cuts of $25 million from programs to protect Virginia’s Jewish students on our college campuses due to a rising tide of antisemitism.

The budget also sends $150 million over two years to WMATA, better known as Metro. Poorly managed and perpetually in crisis, Metro has become a black hole for tax dollars, with no implementation of service and safety improvements.

Democrats also cut millions from Governor Youngkin’s Right Help, Right Now initiative to ensure Virginians in crisis receive immediate behavioral treatment. The budget also requires Virginia to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, an expensive and failed carbon tax program that increased the amount of carbon emitted to meet Virginia’s electrical needs.

Virginia has a Governor committed to making our Commonwealth the best place to live, work, worship and raise your family. The Veto Session on April 17 will give us another opportunity to work with Governor Youngkin on a fiscally sounded budget. The Governor will have a chance to veto bad legislation and make his recommendations for the budget.


I appreciate everyone from House District 50 who came to visit me in Richmond during the session. The traditional family values of Southside Virginia will always be advocated in the General Assembly.

Governor Youngkin has already started to veto bad legislation that will harm Virginians. To keep Virginia from going under full left-wing control, talk to your friends and family about the importance of voting Republican. God Bless.

Del. Tommy Wright can be reached via email at or (804) 698-1061.