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Northam wants some relief money for mental health services

Included in Northam's proposal is nearly $200 million for staffing at state behavioral health facilities, which have long faced a staff crisis.

RICHMOND, Va. — Author's note: the above video is on file from May 2021.

Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is laying out a $485 million spending plan that's intended to strengthen the state’s mental health and substance-abuse treatment services. 

The plan would use both federal coronavirus relief money and other state funds, contingent on lawmaker approval. 

The governor's announcement came ahead of a special session of the Democrat-controlled General Assembly that will commence Monday in Richmond. 

Lawmakers will be allocating Virginia’s approximately $4.3 billion share of aid from the American Rescue Plan. 

Included in Northam's proposal is nearly $200 million for staffing at state behavioral health facilities, which have long faced a staff crisis.