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Virginia State

Governor wants $500M for Va. school air quality projects


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans Monday to allocate $250 million of the state's federal coronavirus relief money to projects that will improve air quality in public schools.

In a statement, the Democratic governor said the state funding would be matched with another $250 million in local funds for an investment that would allow for the completion of nearly all Virginia school divisions' currently planned projects.

“This investment will help families, educators, and students feel more confident about the quality of the air they breathe as we return to in-person learning five days a week this fall," Northam said.

The governor, alongside Democratic legislative leaders, has slowly been rolling out his proposals for how to divvy up the state’s $4.3 billion portion of American Rescue Plan funding. Lawmakers will meet next month for a special session to allocate the money.

Northam has previously called for investing $700 million to expand broadband infrastructure and $353 million in relief for small businesses and hard-hit industries like tourism.

Under Monday's proposal, the state’s portion of the air quality project funding would be allocated based on school divisions' average daily membership, his office said in a news release.

More spending proposals are expected to be unveiled this week.

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