General Assembly

The Virginia General Assembly meets annually, beginning on the second Wednesday in January, for 60 days in even-numbered years and for 30 days in odd-numbered years, with an option to extend annual sessions for a maximum of 30 days. Because the General Assembly moves very fast, PEC tracks a number of bills and provides comments throughout each session. Please sign up for our email alerts and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for the most recent updates.

Not sure who your state delegate and senator are? Visit Who’s My Legislator? to find out.

A few past General Assembly highlights:

  • 2022: PEC worked with Del. Michael Webert to secure the unanimous passage of HB996, a bill that helps prevent the loss of family farms and forest land by ensuring eligible landowners can participate in Virginia’s use-value taxation program. HB996 specifically addresses an issue in existing law that keeps many heirs’ property owners from being able to participate. It took effect July 1, 2022.
  • 2022: PEC was a lead advocate for SB158 / HB 141, which established the Virginia Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Preservation Fund. This state grant program, allocated five million dollars in its first year, is intended to help preserve and interpret historic structures, cultural landscapes and archeological sites important to underrepresented communities and tribal nations. The application process should launch spring or summer of 2023.
  • 2022: HB206, also sponsored by Del. Michael Webert, addresses a lack of mitigation standards for significant adverse impacts on forested lands and prime agricultural soils when utility-scale solar projects are developed. HB206 established a workgroup, which on Dec. 1 presented a 717-page document discussing 41 proposals for new definitions and processes for implementing regulations. DEQ is looking to reconvene the body to continue its work in 2023.
  • 2021: Good news! HJ 527, a study resolution we helped draft related to the sale of invasive plants, has passed the house and senate and is on its way to the governor’s desk.
  • 2021: More good news! Our priority land conservation legislation, HB 1760 / SB 1199, which preserves the integrity of all existing conservation easements has passed and is on its way to the governor’s desk.
aerial photo of data center with a residential neighborhood in the background. Overlaid text reads "Take Action: Tell DEQ to Protect Our Air Quality"

Take Action: The Air We Breathe Is at Risk

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is considering adopting a variance that would allow the data center industry to run backup diesel generators for longer and more frequent periods of time from March to …
2023 General Assembly Crossover Update

2023 General Assembly Crossover Update

This Tuesday marked the halfway point of Virginia’s 2023 General Assembly Session, a date known as ‘crossover.’ The House and Senate have each finished voting on the bills their members put forward, and now move …
Eyes on Richmond / Call to Support Farmland Protection

Eyes on Richmond / Call to Support Farmland Protection

The Piedmont Environmental Council is tracking a broad array of bills and budget amendments, as well as supporting legislative priorities of partners within the Virginia Conservation Network …
two historical black and white images of a couple overlayed on an aerial image of a farm property

Taking on State Law in Defense of Family Farms

It’s reasonable that Mike and Tina Roebuck want to hold on to the 112-acre Madison County farm that’s been in the Roebuck family for nearly 150 years. But a clause in a Virginia state law …
aerial image of valley of conserved land

2022-2024 Virginia Budget Priorities

The 2022-2024 biennium budget is an opportunity to make historic investments in the preservation and enjoyment of Virginia’s natural lands …
side by side images of solar panels and a farm surrounded by forest

HB 206 – Getting Solar Siting Right

The Virginia House of Delegates has advanced HB 206, a bipartisan bill to improve the utility-scale solar permitting process in Virginia …
take action: support HB206

Your Action Needed on a Few Good Bills

Three bills that need your advocacy this week, plus more to pay attention to as the General Assembly session continues …
| | General Assembly
photo of cell tower with forests and mountains in background

SB 255: A Sweetheart Deal for Big Telecom

If passed, Senate Bill 255 would effectively prevent localities from denying cell tower proposals under 150 feet in height, making it extremely difficult to protect important cultural, scenic and environmental resources …