Virginia lawmakers adjourn scandal-marked 2019 session

Virginia lawmakers adjourn scandal-marked 2019 session
Virginia State Capitol. (Source: Capital News Service)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers have wrapped up this year’s scandal-marked legislative session.

Lawmakers finished the session Sunday after passing a state budget that includes pay raises for teachers and state employees and significant new spending on public education.

This year’s session has been unlike any other in recent memory, marked by a wave of scandals involving the state’s top Democratic elected officials.

Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring admitted to wearing blackface years ago, while Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has been accused by two women of sexual assault, which he denies.

Some notable legislation that passed this year includes a tax overhaul that will mean refunds of up to $220 for many taxpayers, a study on legalizing casinos, and a measure requiring Dominion Energy to clean up coal ash pits.

Northam released the following statement in regards to the budget passing:

“As the General Assembly adjourns, I am pleased by the progress we were able to make in important areas like eviction prevention and reduction, school safety, protecting our environment, and economic development. I am also heartened that the budget reflects a number of our administration’s priorities including K-12 education and teacher salaries, higher education, affordable housing, and broadband. I want to thank the legislators for their hard work and focus on serving Virginians this session,” Northam said.

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