Governor Ralph Northam has, in fact, introduced two more spending proposals on Tuesday for a Southeastern state. The $4.3 billion shares of federal coronavirus relief money call for investments in clean water projects. Plus over $860 million to replenish the fund that, in fact, does pay unemployment benefits.
Governor Northam’s Spending Plans
In fact, the Democratic governor has been gradually rolling out his spending plans. This is ahead of the special legislative session that begins next week. Moreover, that is when the lawmakers will vote on how to allocate the money from the American Rescue Plan.
Governor Northam: Budget Proposals
Governor Northam’s budget proposals are often a starting point for the lawmakers who then make detailed changes. The spending plans have been put together in a collaboration between the legislators and budget committee staff. This is according to Northam’s chief of staff, Clark Mercer. Therefore, each announcement is joined by statements of support from the key Democrats lawmakers. They control both the House and Senate for better or worse.
Lack of Transparency
Of course and rightly so, the Republicans have criticized the Democrats’ approach to budgeting the huge influx of taxpayer money as lacking in transparency.
The governor has outlined two proposed tranches of spending, calling first for a $411.5 million investment in many projects on Tuesday. That would be remedy the water pollution and improve the drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure.
Water Systems in Small and Disadvantages Communities
$186.5 would go for wastewater treatment and nutrient removal in the proposal. For combined sewer overflow projects would be $125 million in Richmond and other Virginia cities. Also $100 million to help with water systems in small and disadvantaged communities. All of this information comes from Northam’s office stated in a news release.
The combined sewer overflows, often called CSOs, do occur in systems with one pipe to help convey both sewage and rainwater runoff. Moreover, during periods of heavy rain, the system many times can’t handle the volume, thus it leads to the release of untreated water.