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Virginia House, Senate unveil differing budget plans

February 11, 2021 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia House and Senate have unveiled their proposed amendments to the two-year state budget, with differences that must be worked out before the legislation can be sent to the governor.

Each chamber advanced its own spending plan out of committee Wednesday.

Among the differences in the measures: Both the House and Senate would give state workers a raise, but they vary on the amount. The House version also contains money for a measure providing sick leave for essential workers. That bill’s fate in the Senate is unclear.

Lawmakers are working with a brighter-than-expected revenue forecast because the state economy held up relatively well amid the pandemic last year. Lawmakers and Northam are aiming to restore some previous budget cuts enacted last year and fund the ongoing response to the pandemic. Both proposals include a deposit in the state’s rainy day fund.

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“We are restoring more funding to key priorities and looking forward at Virginia’s needs in 2022 and beyond,” House Appropriations Chair Luke Torian said in a statement.