Virginia Governor Ralph Northam seeks $1M to probe racism claims at VMI

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed two criminal justice reform bills into law and proposed adding $1 million to the state budget to investigate the culture at the Virginia Military Institute after a newspaper article described allegations of racism.

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The legislature is scheduled to reconvene Monday to consider Northam’s proposed budget revisions and other amendments to legislation approved during a special session focused on fallout from the pandemic, as well as police and criminal justice reforms.

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The two bills signed by Northam include legislation to create crisis response teams around the state to respond to emergency calls involving people experiencing mental health issues.

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Northam also signed a bill that allows judges instead of juries to decide sentences in criminal cases.