Below are the remarks from Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn as the House of Delegates convened at 1 p.m. on Tuesday for a special session. Follow updates from the day here.

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Members of the House….

We are gathering today during this unprecedented time in our Commonwealth’s history for what will be an unprecedented Special Session.

Virginians are hurting. Students, workers, families, businesses have all been hit hard by the Coronavirus whose impacts none of us in this room could have imagined.

Millions of Virginians are counting on us.

That is why I implore ALL members of this body, which has worked together to better Virginians’ lives for more than 4 centuries, to step up during this extraordinary moment, work together and deliver for our constituents the help they so greatly need.

Together, we will address the impacts of COVID-19 on our biennial budget and pass laws that will help our Commonwealth through this pandemic and hasten our recovery from it.

We are all here today to support our economy, our schools and Virginians in every corner of the Commonwealth during these unprecedented times.

We will also take long overdue action to address criminal justice and police reform in Virginia as we continue our mission to make our communities safer and more equitable.

For this convening today, Madam Clerk and her team (Sharon, Mark, Tricia, Emily, Elizabeth and so many other), along with the Virginia Department of Health and Virginia Commonwealth University, have put in hundreds of hours of work to ensure the 99 Delegates in this room can meet as safely as possible during this pandemic…

Speaking of our first female Clerk of the House, today we can ALL celebrate the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote.

As we begin this Special Session, I thank all Delegates for wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, and doing all you can to keep keeping Delegates, staff, their families and the communities they will return to safe. We are truly all in this together.

For the safety and prosperity of Virginians ALL across the Commonwealth, let us be united during this truly “Special” Session in our cause to lift up Virginians during this historic moment.

By vascope

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