Senate Democrats Lay Out Budget Priorities for August Special Session

Today, Governor Ralph Northam announced his budget proposal for consideration by the General Assembly during the Special Session that begins on August 2. Federal funds directed to the Commonwealth via the American Rescue Plan will be appropriated during the Session.

Majority Leader Dick Saslaw and Caucus Chair Mamie Locke said: “We have the chance to change the course of the Commonwealth once again with this upcoming budget. Coming out of the pandemic, we are well-positioned to rebuild stronger and better. Our priorities remain:

  • Help individuals and businesses fully recover from the economic impact of COVID-19 with resources and funds to not only survive, but thrive

  • Reinvest in safety nets like the Unemployment Trust Fund and the Virginia Employment Commission to ensure workers get the resources they need

  • Expand healthcare resources to predict and prepare for future emergencies

  • Focus on expanding access to broadband internet so every Virginian can connect with resources needed for school, work, and staying connected with friends and family

  • Ensure every child can attend a public preschool and attain a community college education without incurring unmanageable debt 

“While there is still work to do to finalize the Commonwealth’s spending during the Special Session, we are eager to work together for progress in Virginia.”

Finance and Appropriations Chair Janet Howell said: “I’d like to thank Governor Northam, House Appropriations Chair Luke Torian, and our dedicated Finance and Appropriations Committee members and staff for the hard work that has gone into the proposed budget. With so many competing interests, the balancing act is never easy; I look forward to continuing the work with my fellow legislators as we do what’s best for Virginia and Virginians.”

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