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DON'T PUBLISH General Assembly Approves $140 Million Budget

The General Assembly approved a $140 billion budget for the next two years on Thursday.

They did so over the objections of some Republicans, who are worried COVID-19 could upset the state economy. 

The budget calls for a 3% bonus and salary increase for all state employees and over $1.4 billion in transportation funding.

There’s also new funding for affordable housing, African American cemeteries, and dental coverage for Medicaid recipients. 

Lawmakers acknowledged that those plans may have to be paired back as the economy faces headwinds. 

Democratic Delegate Marcus Simon says Governor Ralph Northam can always consult with lawmakers and update the budget if economic conditions get worse.

“The statutes, the Constitution, and the budget itself all give the governor sufficient authority to move money around as needed to address emergencies and things like that.”

Northam will now have a chance to review the budget. He can suggest changes before the legislature meets again in April.

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Ben Paviour covers courts and criminal justice for VPM News with a focus on accountability.
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