House budget funds host of criminal justice and police reforms, split opinions on Confederate statue removal, favorable prospects for fall foliage, and more headlines

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• “The Virginia House of Delegates approved a budget Tuesday that includes funding for a host of criminal justice and police reforms amid national unrest over racial injustice and police brutality.”—Associated Press

• Voters largely back police reform proposals advancing in Virginia, according to polling by Christopher Newport University. The survey found a sharp partisan divide on bills that would make it easier to sue police for misconduct and make it a crime to use chokeholds.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• On Confederate statues, a poll by Hampton University on behalf of the Associated Press found state residents remain divided, with 45 percent of respondents supporting their removal and 42 percent opposing.—Associated Press

• “A wedding photographer and a group of Christian ministries have filed separate lawsuits against a new Virginia law that bans discrimination against lesbian, gay and transgender people — and, the plaintiffs say, forces them to violate their ‘core convictions.’”—Washington Post

• Nursing homes say free rapid-test machines the federal government sent to 14,000 facilities have come with unexpected costs and concerns about accuracy. “My initial happiness over the machines has quickly turned to disillusionment,” said Ben Unkle, the chief executive of Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay, which operates a skilled nursing center in coastal Virginia. “At the moment we’re in testing hell.”—New York Times

• Virginia plans to spend up to $16 million for 500,000 antigen tests, placing the order through an interstate buying compact that now includes 10 states.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Workers on construction sites at VCU are largely undocumented and being cheated out of benefits and legally mandated protections, according to the laborers. “We don’t have any option but to work with them, the contractor, even though we know he’s abusive.”—VPM

• Liberty University paid Jerry Falwell a severance package that likely totaled more than $2 million but disputed Falwell’s account that under his contract he is owed $10.5 million.—News & Advance

• An expansion of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is now two years behind schedule. One of the culprits: giant granite boulders. “Imagine trying to drive a nail through granite rock.”—Virginian-Pilot

• Richmond City Council’s committee on public safety voted down a proposal barring police from using tear gas and other non-lethal weapons on protesters.—VPM

• It’s been good weather for fall foliage. “Hopefully the vibrant colors will bring many of you some cheer amid the weirdness of 2020.”—Roanoke Times

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