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Virginia governor seeks $1M to probe racism claims at VMI

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 VMI.

RICHMOND, Va. — 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. 

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. 

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. 

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