A Richmond voter-approved ballot referendum has passed committee and is headed to the Senate floor. The legislation would require Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and the City Council to come up with a plan to address the city’s aging facilities without raising taxes.
Republican Senator Glen Sturtevant of Richmond says the current state of the school buildings is unacceptable. “Ceiling tiles falling on children and kids getting burned on exposed pipes.”
“I think that this referendum really demonstrated that for Richmond City residents it has to be a top priority.” Democratic Delegate Jeff Bourne of Richmond carried an amended version of the referendum that removed any prohibition on new taxes. “I just didn’t want to hamstring our local government like that and more fundamentally we don’t want to take any tool that we have in our toolbox off the table.”
Bourne’s bill was killed Wednesday (2/7) in subcommittee.
If Mayor Stoney’s proposed meals tax increase passes before new state laws take effect in July, it would be grandfathered in and not bound by the restrictions in the referendum.