Virginia awarded about $7.8 million in state grants for 19 local projects designed to address flooding, sea-level rise and extreme weather, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.
Funding for the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund grants is provided through the sale of carbon emission allowances, which began when the state joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in January.
The initiative requires businesses to purchase a certain number of carbon emission allowances depending on how much carbon they emit. The number of carbon emissions allowed is reduced annually. About 45% of the revenues obtained through these sales goes toward the flood preparedness fund.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam proposed 18 amendments to the budget legislation passed by the General Assembly, which includes giving the executive branch more authority to address issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I also propose three language amendments to ensure our ability to continue responding to needs related to the COVID pandemic by giving agencies the flexibility to respond and the authority to address the opportunities presented by the federal funding such as the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), until we can address the matter fully at a special session,” Northam said in a letter to the House of Delegates.
One amendment to the budget would grant the director of the Department of Planning and Budget the authority to direct the additional Medicaid revenue from the recent federal stimulus plan to current services. Another would grant the superintendent of public instruction the authority to issue temporary flexibility or waivers for deadlines and requirements that cannot be met because of the COVID-19 state of emergency and school closures.