Virginia General Assembly
This is the official site of the Virginia General Assembly. It houses a wealth of information, including members of the House of Delegates and Senate, committee assignments, bill tracking service, laws and regulations, calendar, current events, state budget, and a virtual tour of the Virginia State Capitol.
Who’s My Legislator
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Governor of Virginia
This is the official site of the Governor of Virginia, including bios for Governor Ralph S. Northam. Subscribe to email updates, make citizen requests, and/or contact the Governor and his staff.
VAND 2020 Legislative Day
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Share Your Knowledge, Use Your Voice, Influence Policy!
Help us make an impact in Richmond! Stand with RDNs, NDTRs, Interns, and Students from throughout Virginia as we discuss important food and nutrition legislation with legislators in Virginia’s General Assembly.
Virginia General Assembly 2020 Legislative Session
January 17, 2020 – The second week of session was full of legislative activity. Both chambers are now fully engrossed in legislative hearings and are moving through the enormous number of bills in a swift manner. is the last day to introduce legislation and the total so far is 1651 house bills and 1014 senate bills.
The full list of bills that we are following can be found at the link below. Most of these have not been taken up yet, but will be considered over the next two weeks before the February 11th crossover deadline. One thing that moved this week is legislation to define milk as the “lacteal secretion of a healthy hooved mammal and provides that a food product is unlawfully misbranded if its label states that it is milk and it fails to meet such definition, except for human breast milk.” An amendment clarifies that this change will take effect if a coalition of southeastern states all agree to the change collectively. Also Del. Rasoul’s legislation to create a grant program for the Local Food and Farming Infrastructure Fund experienced movement. Both bills reported out of subcommittee and will be heard in full committee next week.
Legislators also submitted their ideas for amending the state budget this week, and they can be found here. We will be reviewing and identifying key amendments this week. The House Appropriations committee and Senate Finance committee will review these proposals and put together their own versions of the amended state budget for approval on Sunday, February 16th. The full House and Senate are scheduled to adopt their versions of the budget on Thursday, February 20th, before budget negotiators will begin crafting a new two-year spending plan to send to the governor.
January 14, 2020 – Last week marked the completion of the first week of the 2020 Virginia legislative session, in which there were several historic firsts for the Commonwealth. Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn was sworn in as the first female Speaker of the House of Delegates, as well as the first person of Jewish faith to be speaker. Delegate Charniele Herring was selected as the first female and first African American to serve as Majority Leader of the House of Delegates. In the Senate, Senator L. Louise Lucas was elected the first female and first African American to serve as President Pro Tempore of the Senate.
Both chambers met last Wednesday to organize. The Senate welcomed 5 new members to the chamber. Senator Dick Saslaw of Fairfax was elected Majority Leader and Senator Mamie Locke of Hampton was elected Caucus Chair. Senator Tommy Norment of James City County was elected Minority Leader and Senator Ryan McDougle was elected Minority Caucus Chair. Senator Louise Lucas of Portsmouth will now chair the Senate Education and Health Committee and Delegate Mark Sickles of Alexandria will now chair the House Health, Welfare & Institutions.
The House of Delegates welcomed 18 new members to the chamber. The House adopted a new set of rules to govern the House for the biennium. Major changes include changing masculine pronouns to feminine and changing the names of three committees. The rules resolution preserved the practice of proportional committee representation, giving each Caucus seats on committees equivalent to the number of House seats they hold overall. Another major change for the House and Senate is that Capitol Square, including the General Assembly Building and the Capitol will now be a gun free zone. No one, including legislators, will be allowed to carry a firearm in any legislative government building.
As of January 10th, 1546 House bills had been introduced and another 926 Senate bills. That’s almost as many as were introduced in 2018, and members still have another week to introduce legislation, though they are limited to only a few bills each after the start of session. Members had until January 10th to submit amendments to the governor’s introduced budget, and those will be made available by the middle of this week.
The legislature will spend the next eight weeks acting on the legislation introduced in their own chamber, and after February 12th they can only consider legislation approved by the other legislative body. Each chamber will adopt its own version of a new biennial budget on February 13th and work to negotiate a final agreement by the scheduled date of adjournment, March 7th.
While more bills will be introduced over the next week, here’s a list of the bills we are following so far: