Northam calls for special General Assembly session in August to focus on budget, police

Virginia Politics

In this June 4, 2020 file photo Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam speaks during a news conference in Richmond, Va. Northam announced Tuesday, June 16, 2020 that he’s making Juneteenth _ a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. _ an official holiday in a state that was once home to the capital of the Confederacy. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, file)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia 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.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Northam’s office made the announcement Friday. Lawmakers will be due back in Richmond on Aug. 18.

“I look forward to bringing legislators back in session as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times,” the Democratic governor said in a 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 will also 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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