Delegates plan to discuss economy, education among other topics at special session
Virginia State Capitol Building. Photo credit: Jonathan Nestor
At the meeting, lawmakers will be discussing the budget along with education, criminal justice and police reform.
Delegate Sam Rasoul said that they also plan to discuss childcare as many school districts make the decision to move online.
"The COVID pandemic has really exposed some of the issues and flaws we have in our society, both economically and otherwise," Rasoul said. "Now is an opportunity politically to really try to solve some of these issues with long-term solutions."
Delegate Wendell Walker said that the state's budget needs to be adjusted due to pandemic. He also said that he is concerned about small businesses and children falling behind in school.
"Kids need to be back in schools and whatever safety methods that need to be taken, certainly we would be supportive of that," Walker said.
Joe McNamara, another delegate, said that he agrees and added that there needs to be more funding for schools to be able to reopen safely.
"We're ready to get started," McNamara said. "We can best do that in-person in Richmond and looking at those issues."
Governor Northam is proposing $88 million in state funding to allow citizens to access affordable housing and avoid evictions.
Northam said that he is also trying to expand access to broadband for underserved communities and also said that he plans to invest $15 million to historically Black colleges and universities in order to fund technology upgrades.
He said that he also plans to support measures to expand the criteria for which law enforcement can be decertified and to strengthen the vetting process of newly-hired officers.