Happy Memorial Day, VA! Today we honor all those who have served our country and the sacrifices they made. We want to thank everyone who has served and all those who continue to serve our nation.
In today’s updates, we have news on the state budget (which will soon come to a close), updates on a list of bills Governor Youngkin has vetoed, and changes made to marijuana laws and how they may impact you. We also share trending Virginia headlines and the latest COVID-19 data in VA.
For today, here is your latest Virginia Updates Newsletter. We have news on;
▪️ Virginia State Budget
▪️ Governor Youngkin Vetoes
▪️ Marijuana Law Update
▪️ Virginia Headlines (Join our Giveaway! Learn more below)
▪️ COVID-19 Data
▪️ Vaccine Data
💰 Virginia State Budget
After weeks of negotiations behind closed doors, Virginia lawmakers announced broad outlines of how the state plans to spend over 4 billion in tax dollars over the next two years.
Both parties were responsible for the months-long impasse — and now the agreement — as Republicans control the House and Democrats control the Senate.
The budget is said to include an increase in the standard deduction on state taxes, an elimination of the state portion of the grocery tax, a one-time tax rebate for taxpayers, and a 10% salary increase for school teachers and state employees.
Lawmakers will vote Wednesday on the budget for this fiscal year, which ends June 30, and the compromise on the budget for the 2023 and 2024 fiscal years.
Once a deal is approved, Youngkin will have a week to propose any amendments to the budgets or veto any of its provisions.
🛑 Governor Youngkin Vetoes
Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) used his veto power to scuttle seven General Assembly-approved bills after legislators refused to go along earlier this month with his suggested amendments.
The action brings Youngkin's veto total to 33 bills, the most since Gov. Jim Gilmore in 1998. The links below go to the governor's veto explanations.
Senate Bill 182 / House Bill 339: Would change Falls Church City charter to allow 18 year old members of boards and commissions.
Senate Bill 474 / House Bill 614: Would remove requirement that tenants post bonds in eviction lawsuits.
Senate Bill 508: Would transfer administration of Community Flood Preparedness Fund to the Soil and Water Conservation Board.
House Bill 384: Would create right for state or local government employees to express personal views at public hearings.
House Bill 891: Would remove the term "alien" for referring to persons who are not U.S. citizens or nationals.
🪴 Marijuana Law Updates
Virginia lawmakers return to Richmond Wednesday to vote on a state budget deal, which now includes new penalties for marijuana possession.
The budget compromise would write into law that anyone caught in public with more than four ounces of marijuana would be guilty of a Class 3 criminal misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $500, plus a criminal record.
A second or subsequent offense would be a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The proposal also revises penalties for marijuana possession at home.
State Senator Scott Surovell said you can currently grow up to four marijuana plants in your home and medical marijuana is legal in Virginia. But smoking marijuana and buying it are still restricted.
7News reached out to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office to gauge where the governor stands on the marijuana proposal. His office declined to comment.
📰 Virginia Headlines
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VPM - Virginia schools pull books from libraries. The Richmond Times-Dispatch recently published an investigation that revealed 23 Virginia school districts have pulled books from school libraries over the past two years, amid a historic level of book banning across the country.
CBS 6 News - Severe storms prompted multiple tornado warnings in Virginia. An approaching cold front and storm system caused showers and storms for the Commonwealth Friday. Some storms were severe with high winds and there was the possibility of some rotation in storms. Due to the higher humidity, the storms produced heavy downpours. Be prepared for more severe weather this week.
COVID-19 & Vaccine Data
COVID-19 In Virginia: The Virginia Department of Health reported Monday that the statewide total for COVID-19 cases is 1,785,768. The 1,785,768 consists of 1,278,435 confirmed and 507,333 probable cases. There are 20,378 COVID-19 deaths, and Virginia’s 7-day positivity rate is now at 17.8%.
Vaccine Data: Vaccine Summary: As of Monday, May 30
Total Doses Administered: 15,923,247
People Vaccinated with at least 1 dose: 7,063,467 or 82.2%
% of Adults (18+) Vaccinated with at least 1 dose: 93.1%
People Fully Vaccinated: 6,327,862 or 73.7%
% of Adults (18+) Fully Vaccinated: 83.6%
People Vaccinated with Booster / Third dose: 3,079,927
For more information on Virginia's vaccination efforts, please visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA source: vdh.virginia.gov
Thank you for joining us this week! Be sure to catch up back next week for another VA Updates Newsletter.
- María Reynoso, Editor-in-Chief