FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE from Kemper Consulting
January 10, 2024
2024 VA General Assembly Session Begins
RICHMOND, VA |The House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia convened at noon today commencing the 2024 General Assembly Session. The chambers’ joint procedural resolution establishes a 60-day or long session. A summary of key session dates is below. The long session, in even years, is reserved for the adoption of the new biennial budget. The General Assembly convenes in 46-day or short sessions in odd years.
In keeping with the tradition of the first day, Governor Glenn Youngkin is offering his annual State of the Commonwealth address to a joint session of the House and Senate this afternoon.
The General Assembly welcomed 18 new senators and 35 new delegates today. They included two members elected yesterday in special elections - Senator Tammy Brankley Mulchi (R-Mecklenburg County), replacing former Senator Frank M. Ruff, Jr. (R-Mecklenburg County), and Delegate Eric Phillips (R-Henry County), replacing former Delegate Les R. Adams (R-Pittsylvania County). Both retired after the November election. As Kemper Consulting reported in its November election report, the historic number of new members is the result of Virginia’s revamped redistricting process that spawned a significant number of competitive primaries and a wave of retirements (voluntary and involuntary). The retiring members account for more than 700 years of legislative service. An updated version of Kemper Consulting’s election report showing all new members is available here.
The Democrats regained control of the House in November and maintain a two-seat majority (51-49). The Republicans controlled it the last two-years. The Democrats maintain control of the Senate but lost one seat to the Republicans (21-19). While the Democrats control the legislature, Governor Glenn Youngkin maintains constitutional veto authority as well as a fairly reliable ability to avoid a successful override vote which requires a two-thirds majority.
Delegate Don Scott (D-Portsmouth), the former Democratic Leader, was elected Virginia’s first African American Speaker today. Delegate Charniele L. Herring (D-Alexandria) will once again serve as Majority Leader. She had the same position from 2020 until 2022 when the Democrats last controlled the House. The Republican Caucus elected former Speaker C. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah County) to serve as minority leader.
Senator Scott Surovell A. Surovell (D-Fairfax County) is the new Senate Majority Leader, replacing Senator Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax County) who retired, and Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover County) will serve as minority leader replacing Senator Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City County) who also retired. Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) will continue to serve as Caucus Chair for Democrats.
Senator L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) will remain the Senate’s president pro tempore and will also be the new Chair of the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee. Lucas makes history as the first African American to serve in these positions. Delegate Luke E. Torian (D-Prince William County) regains the gavel of House Appropriations, the Committee he chaired from 2020 until 2022.
The new Democratic majority intends to pass three constitutional amendments this session: protecting abortion rights; repealing the ban on same-sex marriages; and automatically restoring voting rights for people convicted of felonies. If approved by the General Assembly this year, and again in the 2026 session after the 2025 state elections, the amendments would come before Virginia’s voters for ratification in November 2026.
Governor Glenn Youngkin introduced his 2024-2026 biennial budget on December 20th. The House and Senate will adopt their respective budgets in February before reconciling them in a committee of conference comprised of senior delegates and senators. Public education spending likely will be a major budget dispute.
The Governor is proposing significant changes to Virginia’s tax structure. He would reduce the income tax rates but increase the state share of the sales and use tax by almost one percent, as well as apply it to digital service sales, a new taxable item. Additionally, the Governor is asking the General Assembly to eliminate the local personal property tax on vehicles. Apparently, he would allow localities to partially offset the lost revenue with an increased local sales and use tax.
The Governor, working with the City of Alexandria, is asking the General Assembly to approve the creation of a new state arena authority for the purpose of relocating the region’s NBA and NHL teams from the District of Columbia to the City of Alexandria. The arena authority would issue tax-free bonds to acquire the necessary land and build the new arena in Potomac Yard, a largely vacant tract of developable land along the Route One corridor. A combination of revenues would finance the bonds including private support from the teams’ ownership, and new state and City revenues generated by the development.
Kemper Consulting will issue periodic Client Releases during the session as well as review introduced bills and budget amendments. On a regular basis, clients will receive bills of importance, and budget clients will also receive key budget proposals.
Below, please find key legislative information:
1. An outline of key session dates:
January 10, 2024 – First Day of Session
January 12, 2024 – Budget Amendments Due
January 19, 2024 – Final Day to Introduce Legislation
February 13, 2024 – Crossover
February 18, 2024 – Money Committees Release Budget Amendments
February 22, 2024 – Final Day to adopt Budget Amendments
March 4, 2024 – Last Day for Committee Action
March 9, 2024 – Sine Die
April 17, 2024 – Reconvened Session
2. Member Contact Information:
House of Delegates
Senate of Virginia
3. New Committee Chairs:
House of Delegates
- Delegate Alfonso Lopez, Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
- Delegate Luke Torian, Appropriations
- Delegate Cliff Hayes, Communications, Technology and Innovation
- Delegate Candi Mundon King, Counties, Cities and Towns
- Delegate Patrick Hope, Courts of Justice
- Delegate Sam Rasoul, Education
- Delegate Vivian Watts, Finance
- Delegate David Bulova, General Laws
- Delegate Mark Sickles, Health and Human Services
- Delegate Jeion Ward, Labor and Commerce
- Delegate Marcia “Cia” Price, Privileges and Elections
- Delegate Marcus Simon, Public Safety
- Speaker Don Scott, Rules
- Delegate Karrie Delaney, Transportation
Senate of Virginia
- Senator Dave Marsden, Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources
- Senator Creigh Deeds, Commerce and Labor
- Senator Ghazala Hashmi, Education and Health
- Senator L. Louise Lucas, Finance and Appropriations
- Senator Adam Ebbin, General Laws and Technology
- Senator Scott Surovell, Judiciary
- Senator Jeremy McPike, Local Government
- Senator Aaron Rouse, Privileges and Elections
- Senator Barbara Favola, Rehabilitation and Social Services
- Senator Mamie E. Locke, Rules
- Senator Jennifer Boysko, Transportation
The updated Committee Membership has been announced and is populating here.
Ross Grogg, Kemper Consulting, Inc.