Northam urges Virginia Supreme Court to halt evictions until October


FILE – In this Aug. 20, 2019, file photo, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam delivers his budget update before a joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Northam announced Monday, Dec. 9, that his budget proposal will include about $22 million for efforts to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies and reduce the racial disparity in the state’s maternal mortality rate. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Ralph Northam (D) sent a letter Thursday urging Virginia’s highest court to once again extend a statewide moratorium on evictions, which is slated to end on Labor Day, until October. The governor believes an extension would give the General Assembly enough time to pass legislation to help ease the crisis.

In his letter, Northam’s second to Virginia Supreme Court Justice Donald Lemons since July, the governor requests that the court consider extending and renewing its order barring evictions until Oct. 1. In August, the Supreme Court of Virginia granted the governor’s request for a statewide eviction moratorium through Sept. 7.

“I recognize that this is a difficult request to place on the Court again, but these are unprecedented times,” Northam said in the letter. “The issues associated with this pandemic are complex. We will only conquer the public health crisis when families remain securely housed and are not displaced.”

Northam wrote in the letter that extending the ban would give state lawmakers additional time to find a legislative solution as “it is clear that the General Assembly will not finish its work on either the budget or these legislative priorities by September 7, 2020.”

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