by Brandon Jarvis

Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced his budget amendments Monday in a press conference. He is proposing 233 amendments in total, trying to find common ground with the Democratic-controlled General Assembly, he says.

Democratic leaders responded to the proposals shortly after the announcement hinting at troubles for his “Common Ground” budget proposals.

Senate Finance Chair Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, did not seem excited at the governor’s proposal

She posted on X, “Glenn Youngkin asking us to work together while he is vetoing hundreds of bills is unimaginable and exactly why he has almost zero support left in the General Assembly, even among his own party.”

“Did you forget about your blue wall?” asked Republican operative Brian Kirwin. The “blue wall” is a term that Senate Democrats used frequently during Youngkin’s first two years as governor when they blocked many key items in his agenda with their slim majority.

“We aren’t finished yet, please stay tuned,” Lucas responded.

“He also signed hundreds,” said Del. Michael Webert, R-Fauquier, in response to Lucas. “When we had the majority and had Democrat governors we sent a few bills that McAuliff vetoed. The Dems passed legislation that probably included the kitchen sink….. like they forgot there was a Republican Governor.”

Other Democrats also hinted at troubles for Youngkin’s proposals.

“We will see how people are feeling after a governor issues probably over 200 vetoes by the time this is said and done,” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax. “200 vetoes don’t exactly set the tone for ‘let’s hold hands, get along, and sing kumbaya.’”

House Democrats are not pleased, either, with the governor’s amendments.

“We knew that the Governor might not see eye-to-eye on how those needs are met, and we anticipated some line-item vetoes, but this is an attempt to rewrite the budget,” said Speaker Don Scott, D-Portsmouth. “He doesn’t get to do that. We finished this legislative session on time, and we’re going to continue to do the work of the people with that same spirit and efficiency.”

Republican Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears praised the budget amendments from Youngkin.

“I support Gov. Youngkin’s proposed amendments to the budget conference report,” she said. “With a record investment in K-12 education of $21.2 billion & strong commitment to behavioral health, public safety, economic development. & transportation – all without raising taxes.”

The former Republican Speaker of the House, Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, applauded the governor for compromising to pass a budget.

“Even as Democrats refused to come to the table, the Governor has put forward nothing less than an olive branch of compromise,” he said. “I look forward to working with him to see these amendments accepted, and the budget signed into law.”

The General Assembly reconvenes on April 17 to take up all of Youngkin’s proposed amendments.

They can also potentially override any of his many vetoes, but with a tight Democratic majority in both chambers, it is unlikely that will happen.

View all of Youngkin’s budget amendments here.

By vascope