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Virginia Legislators Advance Revised State Budget

person with teddy bear
Virginia Senate clerk, Susan Schaar, looks over a teddy bear that was gifted her prior to the start of the Virginia Senate session at a remote location in Richmond, Va., Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Both chambers of Virginia’s legislature passed separate revisions to their two-year state budget today.

The House of Delegates and Senate accepted unique budget amendments - for instance, senators suggest a three percent pay raise for teachers, while delegates are calling for five.

Money set aside for COVID-19 vaccinations and relief has also been a main focus for lawmakers, as they weigh how to spend federal funds. 

Budget proposals for some big ticket policy items - such as repealing the death penalty and automatic expungement - drew floor debate in the House, and were accepted along party lines. 

Lawmakers will have to work out differences in the two versions of the bill in a conference committee of certain Senators and Delegates, before submitting it to Gov. Ralph Northam for his review and eventual signature.

Patrick Larsen is VPM News' environment and energy reporter, and fill-in host.
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