General Assembly

General Assembly

Find out more about that we are tracking during 2019.

 

The 2019 General Assembly Session convened on Wednesday, January 9. Throughout that time, PEC will work to review and weigh in on relevant legislation. To read more about legislation we are paying attention to during Session, take a look at the information below. As always, we'd encourage you to reach out to your Delegate and Senator and let them know what issues you care about. 

The Virginia General Assembly moves very fast. Please sign up for PEC email alerts or follow us on Facebook to help keep track of the many bills under consideration. PEC coordinates with our partners at the Virginia Conservation Network (VCN). Please visit their website for updates on legislation impacting the environment across the state -- everything from clean energy and renewables, to menhaden and Metro funding. 

If you're not sure who your Delegate and Senator are, use this Who's My Legislator? link.

Blogroll:

Amidst the general chaos in Richmond, the General Assembly is quietly winding down with Sine Die (last day of session) just around the corner on February 23. While the headlines are focused on other news coming out of Richmond, I would like to turn your attention toward something you can do for conservation in these last days of the 2019 legislative session.

On Wednesday, members of the Virginia House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources voted to make wedding events a protected activity under the definition of “agritourism.”...The net result? The bill would essentially make wedding events a by-right activity on any farm or winery. It would allow for weddings of any size on farms to become a 365-day a year activity. This would prevent reasonable regulation and protection from impacts (traffic, noise, lighting, runoff, etc.) to neighbors and the broader community.

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 deadline for the House to finish working on its own bills before considering legislation passed by the Senate (and vice versa).

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 to the Freedom of Information Act - to keep disclosure requirements for fracking chemicals in place in Virginia. A subcommittee of the Advisory Council meets later this month to discuss the issue.

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. Contact your legislators today and tell them to reject efforts to cut important conservation programs! This text was taken from an email alert sent out on February 21, 2018.

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 Assembly. These amendments address insufficient funding for natural resource protection.

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 has been referred to Senate Finance.

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 and the Land Preservation Tax Credit, we were also concerned by the lack of funding provided for Agricultural Best Management Programs (Ag BMPs). That introduced budget became the foundation for the House and Senate Budget bills. Below is a brief description of the differences between the two budget bills.

The Virginia General Assembly will kick off on January 11, 2017, and with a budget shortfall weighing heavily on the minds of our legislators, a lot of cuts are being discussed. Of particular concern is HB 1470, which would substantially reduce the tax incentives for land conservation. This text was is a modified version of an email alert we sent out on December 20, 2016.

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

Find out more about the 2016 Virginia General Assembly legislation that PEC is tracking related to Land Conservation.

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