Virginia lawmakers pass new budget amid coronavirus pandemic

Virginia lawmakers pass new budget amid coronavirus pandemic

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia lawmakers all but wrapped up a special legislative session Friday by approving a new state budget that gives bonuses to police, pays for a host of new criminal justice reforms, and extends moratoriums on evictions and utility shutoffs during the coronavirus pandemic.

The budget now goes to Gov. Ralph Northam, who can propose changes before it is finalized. Friday’s budget vote marked the unofficial end of a special legislative session unlike any the General Assembly has seen in its more than 400-year history. The virus upended the regular course of business. The House of Delegates met remotely, often with technical problems. The Senate abandoned the Capitol for a large conference room nearby.

What was initially to be a short session focused on the revenues and spending affected by the virus instead went on for two months and expanded to include police reform and other issues after the death of George Floyd at the hands

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