RICHMOND, Va. — Raises for state workers and some teachers, and a failed effort to pull funds from Planned Parenthood were part of the final day of Virginia’s General Assembly session Saturday.
The General Assembly budget plan, which only Del. Kaye Kory (D-Fairfax County) voted against, funds raises for state workers and police as well as raises for some teachers in school systems that choose to use the funding.
There is also some new funding for mental health, the opioid crisis and help for a few more people with disabilities.
“This is just a beginning,” House Appropriations Chairman Del. Chris Jones said.
While House Minority Leader David Toscano said there are no perfect budgets, he urged his colleagues to support the agreement between the House and Senate.
The House of Delegates failed by just three votes to override Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s veto of a bill blocking money for Planned Parenthood.
The General Assembly approved new exemptions from fingerprint background checks for child day cares, including religious day cares, they had said could be required by federal law. Lawmakers indicated the bill could come back with amendments from the governor for the one-day reconvened session in April when the General Assembly takes up the governor’s vetoes and recommended amendments.
The General Assembly gave initial approval for a proposed “transportation lockbox” constitutional amendment that would put limits on when the state can pull money from transportation funds for other purposes. Since it is a proposed constitutional amendment, it must pass in the General Assembly next year in order to go to voters for approval.
Other deals increase oversight for jails after a man who should have been released starved to death, and limit defamation lawsuits tied to public comments.
The Senate gave final approval for a bill that would require Alexandria to accelerate fixes to a sewage system that continually dumps raw sewage into the Potomac River.