The General Assembly adjourned last Saturday, February 25, marking the end of the regularly scheduled 2023 legislative session. While the chambers passed more than 1,600 bills over the course of the short 45-day session, lawmakers in the House and Senate were not able to reach an agreement on a comprehensive state budget before session concluded.
Instead, the General Assembly passed a stopgap budget bill on the last day of session, which addressed a handful of issues and bought time for budget conferees to continue negotiations over a larger spending package. The so-called 'skinny budget' - which did not make any changes to existing child care funding - allocated additional money for public schools, the state’s revenue stabilization fund, state construction projects, and the Virginia Retirement System trust fund.
Budget conferees will have to finalize a broader compromise proposal with any additional changes for consideration in the full House and Senate by early April or could opt to accept the Governor’s budget as proposed.
As deliberations continue, the Partnership is urging lawmakers to adopt child care funding levels as included in the Senate budget proposal. Find below an overview of key child care-related provisions in the House and Senate budgets, as released on February 5.
- Senate Budget:
Provides an additional $20 million to the introduced budget - for a total of $40 million in additional funding in FY24 - to build out services through the Mixed Delivery program in communities across the state.
- Provides an additional $80 million in FY24 for child care provider subsidy grants (contingent upon FY23 year-end balances).
Provides $53,000 in FY24 to support the administration of the Commission on Early Childhood Care and Education (contingent upon establishment of the Commission under SB 1404 and HB 1423).
- House Budget:
Maintains the $20 million in additional funding in FY24 included in the introduced budget to build out child care services through the Mixed Delivery program in the Lenowisco and Crater Planning Districts.
Includes language directing the Commission on Early Childhood Care and Education to evaluate existing regulations and requirements impacting the future of the child care workforce (contingent upon establishment of the Commission under SB 1404 and HB 1423).
Includes language directing the Commission on Early Childhood Care and Education to develop recommendations aimed at maintaining federal funding for Head Start classrooms across the state (contingent upon establishment of the Commission under SB 1404 and HB 1423).
With budget negotiations extending beyond scheduled General Assembly adjournment, we have the opportunity to continue voicing our priorities to key policymakers. We encourage you to take 2 minutes to email conferees using the link below to voice your support for critical investments in child care!