Logo for Delegate Jackie Hope Glass

District Debrief – August 8th, 2023

Good day, Neighbor,

I hope you are doing well. I wanted to discuss an issue of significant importance to our state and its future: the state budget.

The budget is more than just legislation; it’s the cornerstone of our state’s functioning. Every year, the General Assembly enacts the budget bill, and its provisions carry immense weight, even overriding statutory state law. It dictates how our resources are allocated and shape the services we provide to our citizens.

Unfortunately, the issue of tardiness in passing the budget is not new. Last year, we struggled until June 9 before reaching an agreement on the budget conference report. This delay led to uncertainty and the risk of the commonwealth being unable to meet its financial obligations. This year is better because we set aside money for 2024 in the budget two years ago. But still, we must make smart decisions about the budget on time.

One aspect currently hanging in the balance is funding for our local school districts and, most importantly, teacher pay. As the commonwealth faces pressure to raise teacher salaries to the national average as we are ranked 49th for pay educators in the US. The budget has become critical for supporting our education system and retaining quality educators.

This brings me to our Build in Public Virginia initiative. This initiative aims to bring transparency and openness to policy-making, moving it out of the shadows and into the light. By engaging with the public, we hope to build a legislative agenda that reflects the needs and aspirations of our constituents. This initiative recognizes that the decisions we make impact your lives and well-being, and we want to include you in the process. Join the doers at BuildInPublicVA.com to learn more.

Our budget decisions are not just about numbers on a page; they impact the lives of Virginians. The call for timely and responsible budgeting is a reflection of our commitment to the people we serve. By participating in the Build in Public Virginia movement, you’re helping to shape the policies that will define our future.

Gratitude for being an active and engaged member of our community. Together, we can work towards a stronger, more transparent, and prosperous Virginia.

With sincere appreciation,