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.
house chamber

Help Strengthen Farms, Conserve Land & Protect Water Quality

We are now 16 days into the 45 day (short) session of the 2019 Virginia General Assembly. Bills are currently being debated and amended in committee until we hit ‘crossover’ on February 6 – the …
An Eye on Richmond

An Eye on Richmond

It’s that time of year. While most are consumed with thoughts about gifts for that impossible relative or honing survival skills for holiday parties, I find my mind preoccupied with Richmond and a new General …
fracking site

Petition: Don’t Remove Disclosure Requirements For Fracking Chemicals

I wanted to share a petition with you that is picking up steam across the state. It calls on the state’s Freedom of Information Advisory Council – a state agency responsible for resolving disputes related …
| | General Assembly
Your General Assembly Update

Your General Assembly Update

The beginning of spring marks the end of the 2018 Virginia General Assembly session. Well, sort of. In the case of the budget, there was no resolution, which means the fate of conservation funding and …
Orange County landscape

Pipeline deals threaten conservation funding

Legislators are pointing to money that state and private entities will receive as mitigation for two gas pipeline projects, and the transmission line near Jamestown, as a justification for reducing overall state funding for conservation …
| | General Assembly
placeholder image

Act Now: Strengthen Farms, Conserve Land & Protect Water Quality

Preserving farmland and protecting the water we drink is critical to quality of life. To that end, we want to alert you to some important budget amendments being considered right now by the Virginia General …
take action on pipeline legislation

SB 950 – Protecting Water Resources from Pipeline Construction Impacts

Senator Hanger (R-Staunton) has introduced SB 950, an excellent bill to protect water resources from impacts of pipeline construction, similar to a bill that Delegate Rasoul (D-Roanoke) introduced in the House, HB 1141. Sen Hanger’s bill …
| | General Assembly
New Legislators, New Building & New Conservation Opportunities

New Legislators, New Building & New Conservation Opportunities

With the elections behind us and the holidays consuming our thoughts, the 2018 Virginia General Assembly may not be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. However, the New Year is going to bring many changes, …
Proposed 2017 General Assembly Budget - Affect on Conservation Programs

Proposed 2017 General Assembly Budget – Affect on Conservation Programs

Virginia operates on a biennial budget of which, we are in the second year. The Governor introduced his amendments to the budget in December. While our focus was on changes to the conservation grant programs …
| | General Assembly
placeholder image

Good News! Subcommittee Tables HB 1470

HB 1470, which would significantly cut Virginia’s successful land conservation incentive, was tabled in subcommittee on Wednesday, January 18 …
| | General Assembly