McAuliffe plans could cost each Virginia family $5,400: Report

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is running for governor of the commonwealth. He has suggested several policy changes that could result in Virginia families spending about $5,400 per family, according to a new study.
The free-market Thomas Jefferson Institute published the report. It examined McAuliffe's plans for education and economics. It found that Virginia's operating budget would rise by more $8.3 billion, its general funds would grow by more $7.6 billion, and its non-general funds would increase more than $678,000.

Although it is not clear how the state will pay for these new programs, the think tank determined that if taxes are fully offset, this would be the biggest tax increase in the state's history.

According to the report, McAuliffe suggests leveraging federal dollars and drawing down federal funds to fund his policies. This information was made public and savings were calculated for the General Fund and Non-General Fund. McAuliffe does not propose a new revenue source.

The report states that COVID-19 proposals would include a lot of one-time expenditures related to vaccine efforts, contract tracing, and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Another plan that would include one-time spending includes fully funding some of 2019 Proposed Standards of Quality as well as money for community college.

However, most of the funding proposals would create long-term spending programs that will continue to cost Virginia taxpayers money during his term and beyond. This includes collective bargaining by state employees, accelerated minimum wages increases, expansion of the Medicaid Buy-In program, and increased spending for home care workers.

According to the report, the most costly proposal was to allow state employees to participate in collective bargaining. This would result in the state spending more than $1.87 trillion if it is implemented. Collective bargaining gives unions the ability to represent a specific group of workers in contract negotiations. This can lead to higher wages and benefits for workers, and consequently higher costs for taxpayers.

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Virginia legislators passed legislation that allows local governments approval of collective bargaining rights for workers. However, they failed to pass any proposals to grant these rights to public workers. McAuliffe supported the provision of these protections for all state employees, according to the report.

Other proposals include raising teacher pay, investing into mentorship programs and expanding the Virginia Preschool Initiative.

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Tags: States News, Terry McAuliffe Virginia

Original Author: Tyler Arnold from The Center Square

Original Location: McAuliffe plans could run Virginia families $5,400