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Virginia House passes Democrats' spending plan

There are more votes to go before the legislation goes to Gov. Ralph Northam for his signature.
Credit: Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP
Republican members of the House of Delegates raise their hands to call for a recorded vote on the budget bill at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, on the second day of the General Assembly Special Session.

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia House has given initial approval to a spending plan for billions of dollars in federal coronavirus relief money.

The vote Wednesday came a day after the Democratic majority flatly rejected Republican-proposed amendments to the measure. It ultimately advanced on a bipartisan vote of 71-25.

The Senate was expected to take its first full floor vote on the measure later in the day.

There are more votes to go before the legislation goes to Gov. Ralph Northam for his signature.

The budget is intended to help small businesses, improve air quality in public schools, bolster mental health and substance abuse treatment, increase broadband access and replenish the state’s depleted unemployment trust fund.

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