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How Virginia spends its remaining federal CARES Act funding was a point of contention between Gov. Ralph Northam and General Assembly lawmakers throughout an extensive special session focused on criminal justice reform and amending the state’s two-year budget.

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Governor Ralph Northam has proposed a $50 million budget amendment that would help extend passenger rail service to the New River Valley.

On Friday, Virginia Transportation Secretary Shannon Valentine said negotiations with Norfolk Southern are very close to producing an agreement.

Valentine briefed members of the House Appropriations Committee during a virtual meeting.

With the initial shipments of a new vaccine against COVID-19 potentially weeks away, Virginia is testing its plan for distributing the initially limited supply of the vaccine to the people who need it most — front-line medical workers and the employees and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

Now that election results are in, the process of passing a state spending plan is moving forward as members of the General Assembly resume their special session today (Monday).

Up for consideration are a handful of budget amendments from Governor Northam. One is tied to a constitutional amendment that was on the ballot. 

Almost two months into a special session that was initially expected to last two weeks, negotiators in the General Assembly have come to an agreement over the details of the state budget. Now it’s up to both chambers and the Governor to make the bill a law.

Alexandria, Va. (ABC7) — Rent is due in a few weeks, but if you are concerned you may not be able to pay, a new budget passed by the Virginia General Assembly could provide some relief.

Friday evening, the Virginia General Assembly passed a budget declaring a moratorium on evictions in the commonwealth until December 31st.

Lawmakers also took steps to help with utility payments.

It took months for state officials to begin publishing the names of nursing homes with COVID-19 outbreaks.

Now, an effort to establish mandatory reporting requirements has passed both houses of the General Assembly.

Tanya and Tim Brosnan found their dream home in  Fredericksburg, Virginia, last fall, but once they moved in, they realized they couldn’t log in. Their home has no access to broadband.

“Honestly, I never even thought that would be a question I would need to ask,” Tanya Brosnan said. "It's 2020. How can I not get internet?”

Their home has no cable lines, no satellite access and no high-speed internet. They make due with hot spots and a router to boost the signal. But it doesn’t reach throughout the house, and Brosnan says it’s painfully slow.

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -One day after a House of Delegates committee failed to advance a key criminal justice reform, the measure resurfaced.

And this time, a bill that would make it easier to sue law enforcement officers for violating an individual’s rights moved closer to becoming law.

The legislation would limit the qualified immunity, the legal doctrine which currently shields officers from lawsuits.

It would create a civil action in state law for the deprivation of rights.

RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Home health personal care attendants who served in high-risk populations during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic will be receiving hazard pay.

 

According to a news release, this is coming from $73 million in CARES Act funding.

 

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