Ralph Northam

Northam Calls Special Session to Extend Legislature's Work

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced a move Thursday to effectively extend this year's legislative session to its customary 46-day length after Republican lawmakers sought to cut it short.

Northam signed a proclamation summoning lawmakers for a special session that would begin Wednesday.

Technically, the annual session had been scheduled to end Thursday because Republicans limited the calendar to 30 days. Without the action from Northam, Democrats tackling a hefty list of issues, including marijuana legalization and COVID-19 relief efforts, could have been limited in what work they had time to finish.

“People across our Commonwealth are facing tremendous challenges, and they expect their elected officials to deliver results. I look forward to continuing our work together to move Virginia forward," Northam said in a statement.

House and Senate Republican leaders previously said that given the lengthy special session that took place last year, during which lawmakers approved a new state budget and passed a host of major new criminal justice reforms, 30 days should have been sufficient to complete this year’s work.


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