Norment proposes special session to discuss ‘back to work’ bonuses

Capitol Connection

The Virginia State Capitol Building on Capitol Square (photo credit: George Copeland Jr.)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Senate Republican Leader Tommy Norment (R-James City) is proposing a special session of the General Assembly to work on implementing “back to work” bonuses for Virginians on unemployment benefits reentering the workforce.

A release from Norment says the proposal is coming from Senate Republican leaders, but his spokesperson explains that the proposal is new and so far Norment is the only one officially signed on.

According to the release, Norment and other Republicans want to use American Rescue Plan Act funding to provide workers with bonuses for returning to work after being on federal unemployment benefits. Norment proposes that workers would get a one-time payment of $1,500 for taking a new job and staying there for at least six weeks.

The Republican leader also wants to use the proposed special session to work on the 2020-2022 biennial budget.

“With so many Virginia businesses experiencing workforce shortages and ‘Help Wanted’ signs seemingly everywhere, we need to replace supplemental federal unemployment payments with ‘back-to-work’ bonuses now,” Norment said.

His release explains that some other states have also started implementing these bonuses and does not want Virginia’s economy to “be left behind.”

Last week legislative staffers told 8News that Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to call a special legislative session in late July or early August to figure out how Virginia will utilize American Rescue Plan Act funding and to vote appellate judges.

When the legislature does reconvene, House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) says it will be in-person at the Capitol.

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