Governor Glenn Youngkin on July 26 announced he had donated his second-quarter 2022 salary from the Commonwealth to veterans causes, via the Virginia Veterans’ Services Foundation. That organization, based in Richmond, aims to fund additional services and programs for veterans that are not available by other, traditional means.
Speaking on July 26 at the Jones and Cabacoy Veterans Care Center
in Virginia Beach, Youngkin fulfilled his pledge to donate his gubernatorial salary back to organizations and the people of Virginia.
“I pledged to serve our Commonwealth without accepting a salary because I want to continue giving back to the Commonwealth and helping Virginians in every way I can,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.“I have chosen to donate my salary to the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation (VVSF) because of their important mission to support Virginia’s veterans’ programs. My administration goes to work every day to reimagine the way the Commonwealth provides Veterans benefits, eliminate red tape that hinders our veterans, and has exempted the first 40,000 of veteran retirement pay from unnecessary taxes. Now, Suzanne and I would like to show our support and gratitude for those who have fought to keep our Commonwealth and nation safe.”
Speaking on Fox News, the governor said donating those funds was an opportunity to “do what we should do every day – which is celebrate our veterans and the sacrifice that they have made.” (…) “Freedom is not free. And sometimes we forget to say thank you,” he added.
Youngkin continued: “We’re delivering on our promise to make Virginia the best place for veterans,” he said, adding that while he he can afford skipping his state salary, many Virginians have told him they feel robbed by the decades’ high inflation since President Biden took office in January 2021.
“I see Virginians every week tell me that three, four or $5,000 of their hard-earned money is being stolen by this silent thief of inflation,” he said.
The Virginia Governor makes an annual salary of $175,000, which is the 11th-highest in the nation. California pays its governor the most, at $210,000 per year; the Golden State also has by far the nation’s biggest population. In contrast, at $70,000 per year, Maine pays its chief executive the least.
Governor Youngkin is independently wealthy, having served as an executive at The Carlyle Group. He retired as their CEO in 2020. While running in a crowded field for the GOP nomination in early 2021, Youngkin promised in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon that he would donate his state salary, if elected. His generous gesture, though rare and laudable, is not unprecedented. Though seldom reported in the mainstream media that usually bristled with hostility toward the forty-fourth president, Republican Donald Trump consistently donated his presidential salary to charity. Likewise, the nation’s wealthiest governor, Democrat J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, is a billionaire thanks to being heir to the Hyatt Hotels chain and reportedly also forgoes a state salary.