Virginia House and Senate Debate Pandemic Assistance Bill in Special Session – State of Reform

Debates between the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate over a $ 4.3 billion COVID-19 aid spending program resumed Friday for a fifth day, delaying passage of the budget bill Democrats were hoping to get it quickly.

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Virginia’s general assembly convened on Monday for what Democrats hoped would be a short special session to distribute federal aid funds for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) pandemic. In June, Governor Ralph Northam and state lawmakers issued a joint statement listing their priorities login, such as worker assistance and universal broadband.

HB 7001 includes several public health initiatives:

  • More … than $ 487 million to expand broadband services in the Commonwealth
  • A handset $ 89 million to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) for community outreach programs, implementation of an electronic health record system and other public health improvements
  • $ 45 million for staff providing direct care to the state behavioral health intellectual disability training facilities and centers
  • $ 31.1 million to the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) in payments to Medicaid Eligible Retirement Homes and specialist care providers

here is What happened during the session so far:

Tuesday August 3: The Democratic-controlled House (55-45) took just two minutes to prevent Republican delegates from passing their own version of the budget bill.

Wednesday August 4: The House passed the original version of the bill by a 71-25 vote. The bill passed through the Senate, which drafted a to replace which included a $ 189 million increased funding for sheriff’s offices.

Thursday August 5: The replacement passes the Senate (25-14). The House unanimously rejected the substitute, the Senate unanimously insisted on the substitute. The two chambers appoint the members of the conference committees, which will decide on the final version of the bill.

Delegate Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax) Recount the Washington Post, he was not sure which amendments would be incorporated into the final version. Complementary legislation specified that only bills relating to the fight against the pandemic would be discussed during the extraordinary session.

“We have a few things in there that are not directly related to COVID relief, it’s just that it was emergencies or the ability to fix something temporarily, and that falls into that category. I don’t know if he will survive or not.

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