Virginia lawmakers to agree to compromise for COVID-19 money | State News
RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) – Lawmakers in Virginia are set to adopt a compromise plan to spend $ 4.3 billion in federal coronavirus relief after a conference committee reconciled budgets approved last week by the House of delegates and the Senate.
The result preserves most of a plan developed by Gov. Ralph Northam and his fellow Democrats and approved by the House, as well as several Senate amendments, including a proposal to increase bonuses for sheriff’s deputies and agents of the correction from $ 1,000 to $ 3,000.
Both houses were due to consider the budget deal on Monday. It was not immediately clear when they will vote on the measure. Northam spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky said the governor supported the budget compromise.
The compromise would devote most of Virginia’s share of US bailout funding to initiatives to help small businesses, improve air quality in public schools, strengthen mental health and the treatment of addiction, increase broadband access and replenish the state unemployment trust fund.
Senators wanted to increase the $ 1,000 bonus proposed in Northam’s bill for sheriff’s deputies and correctional officers to $ 5,000, the same amount state police will receive under the Democratic plan. . The conference committee agreed to bonuses of $ 3,000 for MPs and correctional officers, while keeping the bonuses of $ 5,000 promised to state police.
Another Senate amendment approved by the committee would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to resume walk-in service at its customer service centers statewide within 60 days. The DMV instituted an appointment-only system for in-person services due to the pandemic.
The conference committee also retained a provision that would establish rules allowing student athletes – including students of four-year colleges and universities and two-year community colleges – to receive compensation from outside parties for the use of their name, image and likeness in sponsorship, partnerships and paid advertising. The Senate had stripped this language.
The committee also agreed to retain an amendment that will extend a 12.5% Medicaid rate increase for community service providers to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
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