With the normal 2014 General Assembly Session coming to an end tomorrow, we’d like to give you an update on our efforts this session to secure funding for the Housing Trust Fund in the next biennium budget.
For a quick review, early in the session housing advocates were able to find members in both houses to introduce amendments that would add to the $4 million a year that Governor McDonnell had already included in his outgoing FY14-16 budget. On the Senate side, Senator Colgan put in an amendment for an additional $4 million a year which would have brought the HTF to its 2013 funding level of $8 million. On the House side, Delegate Lopez put in a $1 million a year amendment. In the budgets that cleared each chamber in mid-February, the Senate’s budget included a total of $4 million a year for the Fund and the House budget zeroed out the fund. This means that the amendments introduced by both members failed and the House removed the funding that Governor McDonnell had included.
Before the House passed its budget one of our champions in the House, Delegate Lopez, brought the amendment to zero out the HTF to the floor for a vote. The amendment still passed 70-29, click here to see how your Delegate voted. Here is a clip of Delegate Lopez speaking against the House amendment:
And here is a clip of Delegate Lopez speaking on the floor this week on the affordable housing crisis in his district and across the state:
Where we are at now:
The budget conference is still in session until tomorrow and will likely continue into a special session later this month. We are still fighting for the $4 million a year for the HTF that was included in the Senate budget.
If you haven’t taken action yet, click here to send a letter to the Budget Conferees
Stay tuned for updates on the Housing Trust Fund and our other housing bills in the next week!