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.
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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.