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Northam calls for special session to focus on budget, police

(AP) Gov. Ralph Northam has called for a special legislative session next month to focus on the state budget in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic as well as criminal and social justice reform.

Lawmakers will be due back in Richmond on Aug. 18, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

“I look forward to bringing legislators back in session as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times,” the Democratic governor said in a July 17 statement. “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 governor’s office said he expects to champion legislation that’s “aimed at police accountability and oversight, use of force, increased training and education, and officer recruitment, hiring, and decertification.”

Lawmakers also will look at revenues and spending affected by the pandemic.

Procedural rules could require lawmakers to convene for at least two weeks.

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