After Lengthy Special Session, Adjusted State Budget Still Faces Delays

Oct 18, 2020

The much awaited budget proposal was adopted by the General Assembly late Friday.

Virginians reeling from the pandemic are waiting on financial aid tied up in the plan.

There’s a lot on the line. The bill sets out funds for healthcare, childcare, utility bill relief and schools.

Virginia state Sen. Janet Howell, D-Fairfax, delivers remarks on the budget bill conference report during a special session of the Virginia Senate in a temporary location at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, Va., Friday Oct. 16, 2020.
Credit AP Photo/Steve Helber

According to Chris Duncombe at the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, that’s crucial aid for people trying to get by.  "They’re all trying to navigate the many challenges that they’re facing on a day-to-day basis and all of these dollars can go to help them and that’s why it’s so it’s so critical to do this as soon as possible."

Since lawmakers started their special session, they’ve had their work cut out for them.  "We came here to Richmond on August 18th in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, economic upheaval and social unrest. All three of these have impacted our budget," Sen. Janet Howell said Friday evening.

Howell and other leaders in the General Assembly have celebrated that they were able to revive some of the spending priorities they had to freeze in April, while also making new investments and preserving the state’s AAA bond rating.

But until the budget is enacted, which likely will not happen until November, families will have to wait a little longer for a lot of relief tied up in the bill.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.