A special session of the Virginia General Assembly will convene in August to address judicial vacancies as well as how to allocate more than $4.3 billion in federal relief funding following the covid-19 pandemic.
“With more Virginians getting vaccinated every day, we are turning the corner and building back stronger,” Governor Ralph Northam said in a press release. “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we have a unique opportunity to fund public schools, support small businesses, achieve universal broadband access, and make generational investments in our shared future. I look forward to working with legislators to get it done.”
Governor Northam announced the General Assembly will meet on Monday, August 2. Virginia’s governor and legislative leaders will focus on a number of areas when deciding how to use the federal funding, including public health, small businesses, workers, public schools, and broadband.
Among the ideas being considered include upgrading underfunded state and local public health services; adding more affordable housing; helping citizens cover the cost of utilities; fully funding the Rebuild Virginia economic recovery program; recruiting more tourists to the state; assisting with the Department Housing and Community Development’s support of Virginia’s main streets, small towns, and industrial revitalization; funding of the Unemployment Trust Fund to aid those who’ve lost jobs; increasing support for the Virginia Employment Commission; modernizing public school buildings, including improving their air quality and HVAC systems; improving school safety; and accelerating a 10-year plan to ensure universal broadband access within the next 18 months.