Huge Victories for Prince William County and Virginia in 2020 Budget

RICHMOND - Yesterday, the House of Delegates Appropriations Committee ​released and passed the 2020 Budget​. This includes the Governor’s Budget as well as numerous budget amendments presented to and approved by the Appropriations Committee.

The budget contains many advancements, such as the nearly $300 million for increasing teacher pay​ in both years of the budget, ​$76 million for the cost of the minimum wage increase​ for state employees, and $​21million for increasing Medicaid Developmental Disability Waiver rates​,which in part came from a budget amendment Del. Hala Ayala carried this year.

“I am so proud to see the i​ncrease for the Medicaid Developmental Disability Waiver rates​ and I want to give a special thanks to Del. Mark Sickles for his advocacy as well as Prince William County’s legislative affairs team, the Arc, and Chairman Luke Torian​ f​ or all of their hard work for this very important issue,” says Del. Ayala. “This along with the rest of the budget is the​ most progressive our Commonwealth has seen in its history,​ while at the same time maintaining the fiscal responsibility that allows Virginia to s​ave nearly $2.2 billion and retain our ‘AAA’ bond rating.​ I am looking forward to supporting this budget on the House floor.”

Prince William County will benefit directly through the i​ncreased funding for Pre-K-12 education as well as transportation, much of it due to HB 1414​, the transformative transportation omnibus bill​. Additionally, the Governor yesterday announced a ​$125,000 grant to Prince William County Public Schools​ for the purposes of promoting computer science programs.

Prince William’s delegation has seen a record number of its members in l​eadership positions ​this year, such as Del. Torian serving as the​ Chair of the Appropriations Committee​, Dels. Guzman and Roem serving as C​hairs on numerous subcommittees,​ and Del. Ayala serving as the C​hief Deputy Whip​ for the majority caucus, as well as ​Vice-Chair of the Communications, Technology, and Innovation Committee and as Chair of one of its subcommittees.​

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Delegate Hala Ayala began her second term in the House of Delegates earlier this year. She is a cybersecurity expert and has been a resident of Prince William County for over 35 years.