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Virginia Lawmakers Begin Budget Battles

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's state House and Senate are working on competing versions of the state budget as a deadline approaches.

The Richmond Times Dispatch reports the House Appropriations approved its revised two-year budget that includes extra money for teacher and state employee pay, an offer of money to colleges and universities to forestall tuition increases. It also includes down payments on high-tech education initiatives for Amazon and the state's growing technology business sector.

The House budget would add 2 percent to the 3-percent raise for teachers in the current budget, as Gov. Ralph Northam proposed. However, the raises would take effect on Jan. 1 instead of July 1.

The House and Senate committees face a midnight deadline to complete their budget work.

Legislators continued their work as Northam faced calls for his resignation because of racist photographs on his yearbook page.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.