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Gov. Northam delivers 2021 State of the Commonwealth address

During his State of the Commonwealth speech, Gov. Ralph Northam outlined his plans to legalize marijuana and announced his intention to give teachers a raise.

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam gave his annual State of the Commonwealth address on Wednesday night, on the first day of the 2021 legislative session.

Northam spoke about the milestones in Virginia over the past year, as well as the challenges, much of it surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

He also said it’s time to legalize marijuana -- which many other states have already done so -- and to take better-than-expected revenues and put them toward boosting teacher pay.

The governor spoke from the House Chamber of the Virginia State Capitol before a virtual joint session of the General Assembly because of the pandemic.

Northam has a lengthy list of priorities as he enters his final year in office, with a heavy focus on addressing long-standing racial disparities in the state. 

This will be Democrats' second year in full control of the General Assembly since flipping the chamber in the 2019 elections. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.