Northam signs 2020-2022 state budget: Spending plan includes pause on new spending
Gov. Ralph Northam today took final action on nine pieces of legislation from the 2020 General Assembly session, including the biennial budget.
House Bill 30, the biennial budget, as originally passed, made historic investments in environmental protection, workforce training, early childhood education, and other priorities. In April, Northam and the General Assembly agreed to pause new spending and ensure the investments in the budget can be revisited in a special session, while also allowing flexibility to direct state funds where they are most needed in response to COVID-19.
The budget also creates a coronavirus relief fund to assist with housing insecurity and small business loans, and ensures that nursing homes receive critical funding to help fight the pandemic.
Northam took final action on eight other pieces of legislation that were returned by the General Assembly at its April 22nd reconvened session.
- Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 972, identical bills that decriminalize simple marijuana possession.
- Senate Bill 215, which requires the state Board of Corrections to publish annually a report of reviews into deaths that occur in jails.
- Senate Bill 251, which establishes licensure and other requirements for pharmacy benefits managers.
- Senate Bill 891, which sets up comprehensive regulations governing pet shops.
Northam vetoed the following bills:
- Senate Bill 235 and House Bill 795, identical bills that establish association health plans.
- Senate Bill 861, which creates multiple employer welfare arrangements.