Sep 6, 2023 - Politics

The highlights of the 2023 Virginia budget deal

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Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

The budget is a more than 700-page document, and lawmakers tend to slip all kinds of things in there.

What's happening: Here are some of the other odds and ends that caught our eye.

🌿 THC enforcement: The budget includes $1 million for state regulators to hire 15 new inspectors to enforce new laws governing high-THC hemp products.

📗 Green Book sites: It calls for a historic study of at least 60 surviving sites as part of a tourism initiative documenting Jim Crow-era safe havens for Black travelers.

👶 Looser child care standards: One amendment could allow certain daycares to temporarily increase their teacher-pupil ratio by one student per class.

👀 Witness protection: A $1 million allocation aims to establish a state-level program to help protect witnesses who testify in state court from retribution.

ğŸŽ— Mass shooting fund: Victims and their family members could eventually be eligible for financial support from the state under a $10 million amendment.

💊 Diet drugs: Lawmakers want to require the state's Medicaid to require special authorization for new diet drugs (and certain related diabetes drugs) amid a nationwide surge in interest.

⚖️ New courts building: The agreement advances plans for a new building for the state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, setting aside $8 million to fund the design of the building.

🏗 Monroe Tower: It also paves the way for the eventual demolition of Monroe Tower (possibly the city's ugliest office building), granting funding to temporarily relocate current tenants.

🏈 Football stadium: Finally, the budget revives the possibility of a new Washington Commanders stadium in Virginia, setting aside $250,000 to "evaluate potential economic incentives to attract sports teams to the state."


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