On Wednesday, April 12th, the General Assembly returned to Richmond for the one-day “Reconvened” Session. This is where the House and Senate review the Governor’s amendments and vetoes to legislation communicated to him following the regular legislative session.
Procedurally, when the Governor amends a bill, the chamber in which the bill originated considers the Governor’s amendments first. If that chamber agrees to the amendments, the bill crosses over to the other chamber. The amendments are then either agreed to or voted down. If the amendment is voted down, the original bill is communicated back to the Governor for his signature or veto. If the amendment is agreed to, that is the version that will become law on July 1st.
In total, 819 pieces of legislation were communicated to Governor Youngkin following the 2023 General Assembly Session. Of those, Governor Youngkin signed 738, sent amendments back for 78, and vetoed 3 bills. All 3 vetoes were upheld. While many amendments were agreed to, there were serval that were not agreed to by the Legislature. This means the bill is back to the Governor for either signature as is, or a veto.
While there was a great deal of legislative action, the budget bill was not one up for discussion on Wednesday. The “skinny budget” remains as the only additional funding changes made to the existing biennial budget to include: $258.5M towards K-12 education (fixing the DOE funding miscalculation error), $904.6M towards the Rainy-Day-Fund, $250M towards the Virginia Retirement System, and $100M towards capital projects. Co-Chairman George Barker of the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee and Chairman Barry Knight of the House Appropriations Committee shared the sentiment of reviewing reports for the final quarter of the fiscal year before identifying additional appropriations to the state budget.
Ahead of the Reconvened Session, the Senate Rules committee met in the early morning briefly to appoint members to various committees/commissions in which there were vacancies. The most notable decision to emerge out of the committee meeting was the bill limitations set for the 2024 Legislative Session. After deliberation, the Senate committee voted to limit their members to 15 prefilled bills, 6 additional after the prefile date, and a limit of 35 total drafting requests.
With the 2023 primary races underway and as budget negotiations continue into late June, the Virginia Retail Federation team will continue to keep you updated.
Below is a list of a few of the bills that passed in the 2022 General Assembly Session that will become effective as of Friday, July 1st.
The 2022 General Assembly Session adjourned Sine Die, Saturday, March 12th. However, they adopted HJ 455 which allowed any legislation still in Conference to be carried over to a 2022 Special Session. The biggest legislation that is included in this group is the Budget. We are still waiting for the Governor to set the date for the pending Special Session, and once that is determined, we will inform members.