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.
image of a green lawn with a large white building

Eyes Turn Toward Richmond: What To Expect This Session

Beyond the biennial budget bill, where PEC plans to help lead the charge for increased and dedicated funding for natural resource preservation, there are a few key issue areas we’ll be watching closely over the …
2022 General Assembly Preview

2022 General Assembly Preview

The results of November’s general election means that Virginia will head into the 2022 General Assembly session with interesting challenges and opportunities across the levers of state government …
virginia state capitol building sign

Virginia Should Invest in Parks, Trails and Green Space

Legislators are returning to Richmond at the request of Governor Northam in order to allocate more than $4.3 billion in federal Covid-19 relief funding. Send a letter to your state delegate and senator and ask …
conservation easement sb1199 hb1760 banner aerial image of potomac river

Conservation Community Celebrates Passage of Bipartisan Easement Legislation

Governor Northam has signed into law important legislation preserving the integrity of conservation easements throughout Virginia. Read More …
2021 General Assembly Update

2021 General Assembly Update

The last six months has been a whirlwind of legislative action. The 2020 special session extended into mid-October, creating a mad scramble at its conclusion to prepare for the 2021 regular session. PEC was busy …
Take Action to Support Conservation Funding

Take Action to Support Conservation Funding

At this point in the 2021 Virginia General Assembly, the House and Senate versions of the budget have passed their respective chambers and a conference committee has been assigned to work out the differences. While …
| | General Assembly
virginia state capitol

General Assembly Update & Action Alert – Week 3

I want to start by reporting some good news, and then follow it with a request for you to take action on two budget amendments—one to increase farmland protection and the other to address a …
| | General Assembly
photo collage: Weyanoke, old map of the Chesapeake, tion of Virginia Indian shell gorgets, headstone, old school

Action Alert: Righting a Wrong – Help Bring Untold Histories to Light

Preserving historic resources is crucial to understanding our nation’s history. However, historic resources related to African-American and indigenous communities are woefully underrepresented in Virginia’s state database. This has resulted in important resources being overlooked or …
red barn farmland photo by patricia temples

Action Alert: Protecting Farmland Now and For the Future

Farmland lost is farmland lost forever. Budget amendment 97 #2h (Gooditis) would provide an additional $2 million to the Farmland Preservation Fund grant program (current funding is only $250,000), providing much-needed matching funds and encouraging …