Friday, January 25, 2019

Things That Make You Go HHUUMMMM....

Very early this morning the VEA was in the small House Finance Subcommittee meeting to speak against expansions to the Education Improvement Tax Credits (more on those later) The first bill the subcommittee heard was Delegate Rodman's HB2194 that would have eliminated the sales tax on menstrual supplies. The argument here is that these supplies should be considered medically necessary and should not be subjected to sales tax. Delegate Byron had a bill (HB2540) that would have covered the similar supplies but add diapers, incontinence supplies, disposable undergarments, and bed sheets into the same category and be sales tax exempt as well. Delegate Byron said that only eliminating the tax on menstrual supplies was discriminatory. She wrote the broader bill because, "Men in her district didn't think it was fair to discriminate against them on this issue." HHHUUMMMM......

So to why the VEA was there. There were two bills that would expand Virginia's bad policy, and deceivingly named Education Improvement Tax Credit Scholarship program. These are a version of back door vouchers. The broader of the two bills was passed by for the day, which, with this timing and proximity to cross over, kills the bill. The other bill, from Delegate Miyares was a far more narrow expansion of the tax credit program. That bill reported from the subcommitte on a vote of 4-2 with Delegates Keam and, our consistent friend on this issue, Delegate Hugo voting to kill the bill. The bill will now go to the full committee.

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