Youngkin Calls for Special Session to Begin April 4, Pressures Budget Negotiators with $150,000 March Madness TV Ad

Governor Glenn Youngkin is calling the General Assembly to convene for a special session on April 4 to finish work on the budget and other bills that were carried over at the end of the recent session.

“Today I am calling back lawmakers to Richmond to finish their work. Between high gas prices and rising inflation, Virginians are more squeezed than ever and the General Assembly can deliver much needed tax relief to struggling Virginia families,” Youngkin said in a press release. “Together, we can produce the biggest tax cut in the history of the Commonwealth at a time when Virginians need it the most and also make record investments in our education, law enforcement and behavioral health system, among other important priorities. Let’s get back to work.”

When the General Assembly adjourned two weeks ago, there was a divide between House Republicans who supported Youngkin’s priority on tax relief, and Senate Democrats who included some pared-back tax relief proposals amid concerns that Virginia’s current strong financial situation might not last. Youngkin has spent the time publicly calling for a gas tax holiday and continuing to push for his other tax relief measures, while money legislators from both chambers have been quiet about the negotiations.

In conjunction with his official proclamation, Spirit of Virginia, a new PAC started by Youngkin, spent over $150,000 on CBS and TBS for a March Madness TV ad buy focused in Washington D.C., Norfolk, Richmond, and Roanoke. Additionally, the PAC bought a five-figure digital campaign for the ad.

“I hear from Virginians every day. It’s getting harder to make ends meet. Now with rising inflation, it’s more important than ever to pass a budget that helps all Virginians from eliminating the grocery tax to cutting taxes for veterans and returning the historic tax surplus back to you,” Youngkin says while standing on a basketball court and passing a ball to normal-looking people.

Youngkin’s effort to enlist regular Virginians in the budget battle is not new, but the unusual ad buy drew some criticism from Democrats. Youngkin said according to The Washington Post that as an outsider, he comes in with ideas about communication.

This isn’t the action of ‘an outsider’ – it’s a act of someone who doesn’t understand that in American bicameral legislatures, the House & Senate write the budget & THEN the Gov gets to make edits – Session costs taxpayers $40K/day and we don’t take orders,” State Senator Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) tweeted.

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network.  Email tips to [email protected]
Background Photo “Virginia Capitol” by Martin Kraft. CC BY-SA 3.0.

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