Update:

Virginia’s legislative body will be reconvening in Richmond on August 18th to work on a revised budget and criminal justice reform. The session will be taking place after the Governor gives the traditional end-of-fiscal-year report to the General Assembly’s money committees.

The General Assembly will be adopting a final budget, a process that was postponed earlier in the year due to COVID-19.

“I look forward to bringing legislators back in session as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times,” said Governor Northam. “We have a unique opportunity to provide critical support to Virginians, invest strategically in our economic recovery, and make progress on policing and criminal justice reform. Let’s get to work.”

The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus (VLBC) released a list of priorities for the Session in order to “ensure that there is a bold swing towards greater racial and social justice and change across Virginia.”

The legislation that the VLBC prioritized includes criminal justice reforms, racial-equality measures, and COVID-19 relief.

“As leaders, the next steps are to ensure that there is a bold swing towards greater racial and social justice and change across Virginia,” said the VLBC in a press release in June. “For decades, members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus (VLBC) have been working to break down systems of oppression, including working to reframe the ways that State government approaches public safety. The pressure created by the protests has generated a larger public shift and facilitated avenues for such changes to be made in new and creative ways. Today, the VLBC announces its policy priorities and proposals.”

Eleven different Commonwealth’s Attorneys wrote a letter to Democratic leadership earlier this month to show their support of these reforms.

“We are a group of Commonwealth’s Attorneys who represent and are responsible for the safety of over 40% of the population of the Commonwealth of Virginia. We submit this letter to you as a statement of our commitment to these changes and meaningful reforms and of our willingness to be partners by offering our assistance to you and your colleagues as you propose and implement these critically needed reforms.”

We will keep you updated with any new details moving forward.


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