(Richmond, Va.) (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is calling on lawmakers to raise teacher pay and extend tax breaks to low-income families.
The Democratic governor addressed the GOP-controlled legislature Wednesday, the start of the 2019 legislative session.
Northam also proposed decriminalizing marijuana, extending high-speed internet access in rural areas and allowing no-excuse early voting.
The session is likely to be dominated by debate over tax policy and what to do with a projected windfall in state revenues due to a 2017 federal tax overhaul.
Northam wants to help low-income taxpayers he said were neglected by President Donald Trump’s tax plan. Republicans say the governor is trying to implement a “hidden” tax increase on the middle class, who should see their state tax bill lowered.