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Peninsula REALTOR® February 2018

Virginia

Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS® Monthly Public Policy Report “THE MONITOR” JANUARY 2018 THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF VIRGINIA: COMMONWEALTH CIVICS 101 2018 GENERAL ASSEMBLY MAKE-UP Senate of Virginia 21 Republicans 19 Democrats Presiding Officer: Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax (D) Virginia House of Delegates 51 Republicans 49 Democrats Presiding Officer: Speaker of the House Kirk Cox (R) The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World, established on July 30, 1619 in Jamestown, when it was known as the House of Burgesses. The General Assembly met in Jamestown from 1619 until 1699, when it moved to Williamsburg, Virginia and met in the colonial Capitol building. It became the General Assembly in 1776 with the ratification of the Virginia Constitution. The government was moved to Richmond in 1780 during the administration of Governor Thomas Jefferson. The General Assembly is a bicameral body consisting of a lower house, the Virginia House of Delegates, with 100 members, and an upper house, the Senate of Virginia, with 40 members. Combined, the General Assembly consists of 140 elected representatives from an equal number of constituent districts across the commonwealth. The House of Delegates is presided over by the Speaker of the House, while the Senate is presided over by the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Each year, on the second Wednesday of January, as designated in the Constitution of Virginia, the General Assembly convenes its annual legislative session. In even-numbered years, the legislature meets for 60-days, or for a “long session”; in oddnumbered years, the Session lasts only for 45 days, or for a “short session.” It is during long sessions that the Commonwealth’s biennial budget is developed; in short sessions, the budget only is amended. Peninsula REALTOR® page 14 February 2018

DID YOU KNOW THAT…. The annual salary for Senators is $18,000 while the annual salary for Delegates is $17,640? The General Assembly is known as a part-time legislature, and the members come from a variety of professions, including doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, professors, farmers, business owners, fishermen and oystermen, broadcasters, radio personalities, a champion equestrian, military veterans, technology and cyberspace consultants, federal lobbyists, an anthropologist, insurance agents, optometrists, ministers, winery and wine retails owners, pharmacists, bankers…and REALTORS®. Under the Constitution of Virginia, Senators and Delegates must be 21 years of age at the time of the election, residents of the district they represent, and qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly. HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW IN VIRGINIA The process of introducing legislation to be considered by the General Assembly and ultimately enacted into law is one of the most important responsibilities of a Senator or a Delegate. The Constitution of Virginia, the Rules of the Senate, and the Rules of the Virginia House of Delegates outline the process bills must go through become law. There are 11 committees in the Senate and 14 committees in the House. https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/virginiaLegislature.php?secid=20&activesec=2#!hb=1&mainConten tTabs=4&content=4,includes/contentTemplate.php%3Ftid%3D52%26ctype%3Db%26cid%3D90 LEGISLATIVE TERMS The glossary provided in this link will help you understand unique meanings of the terms and the language that is used throughout the legislative process. https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/virginiaLegislature.php?secid=20&activesec=2#!hb=1&main ContentTabs=4&content=4,includes/contentTemplate.php%3Ftid%3D52%26ctype%3Db%26cid %3D91 Members of the 2018 House of Delegates General Laws Committee conduct their organizing meeting on January 18 th . Several Peninsula legislators serve on this important Committee that considers all matters relating to real estate and housing. Questions? Need more details? Want a speaker for a sales meeting? Contact Susan Gaston, VPAR’s Legislative Consultant, at 871-1445 or by email at susan@gastongroup.com. Peninsula REALTOR® page 15 February 2018