Northam wants some relief money for mental health services

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 11:34 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — 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.

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