The 2020 special session was convened on August 18, 2020. This session was called to revise the state budget and address social justice issues. The Senate Democrats fought hard for the omnibus police reform bill that addresses the recruitment of law enforcement officers, use of force, training standards across the Commonwealth, reporting, and standards of conduct and accountability. After 7 1/2 grueling weeks, the Senate of Virginia passed SB 5030, which represents an extensive policing reform package. The Governor signed legislation that made Juneteenth a state holiday. Through a bipartisan vote of 23 to 15 the 2020-2022 biennial budget, SB 5015, passed the senate. This passage will increase funding for critical policy measures such as broadband access, health and human resources, criminal justice reform, and COVID-19 relief. The General Assembly went back on November 9, 2020, to address Governor Northam’s amendments and concluded the special session.
There is still much to be done. If there are any issues of concern to you, please feel free to contact this office as we begin to prepare for the next legislative cycle. The 2021 General Assembly session is scheduled to begin on January 13, 2021.