Gov. Northam calls for Aug. 2 special session to fill judicial vacancies, allocate billions in federal funding

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia General Assembly will meet in person for the first time in over a year on Aug. 2 for a special session where lawmakers will appoint judges to fill vacancies and figure out how to allocate more than $4.3 billion in federal coronavirus relief aid.

The state legislature was expected to be called back into session in either late July or early August to fill certain judicial vacancies, address the state budget and decide on how to spend billons in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

On Wednesday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced he issued a proclamation to convene the General Assembly for a Aug. 2 special session.

“With more Virginians getting vaccinated every day, we are turning the corner and building back stronger,” Northam said in a statement. “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we have a unique opportunity to fund public schools, support small businesses, achieve universal broadband access, and make generational investments in our shared future. I look forward to working with legislators to get it done.”

In the early months of the pandemic, concerns over what would come next were felt across the world. Each chamber of the assembly made their own adjustments in the face of that uncertainty. 

With its 100 members spread across the Commonwealth, the Virginia House of Delegates met in person for a veto session outside in April 2020, when health officials were still searching for answers to questions regarding COVID-19 that could considered basic today. 

The House then moved online, holding the first virtual session in the Virginia legislature’s 401-year history during the special session in August 2020. The Virginia Senate convened in the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond during the height of the pandemic.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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