Governor Northam signs two-year state budget

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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ7) - Governor Ralph Northam has signed the state's biennial budget and signed or vetoed several bills.

The legislation was the final piece of the 2020 General Assembly session.

“I am proud of the accomplishments we made together during this General Assembly session,” said Governor Northam. “We advanced long-neglected priorities, including rights and protections for Virginians. We were able to redirect funding to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and a number of the laws we enacted are proving to be more important than ever. My administration will continue to work with the General Assembly to craft budget and legislative responses to the pandemic’s effects on our Commonwealth.”

Governor Northam signed House Bill 30, the budget.

In April, Governor 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 allowing flexibility to direct state funds where they are needed in response to COVID-19. The budget also creates a coronavirus relief fund to assist with housing-insecurity and small business loans, and is designed to ensure nursing homes receive critical funding to help fight the pandemic.

Northam signed the following legislation:

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.

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