About the Virginia General Assembly

Virginia CapitolMembers of the General Assembly

The Commonwealth of Virginia has a bicameral legislature that consists of the House of Delegates and the Senate as outlined by the 1776 Virginia Constitution. The Senate shall consist of 33-40 members and the House of Delegates shall consist of 99-100 members. Members of the General Assembly are to be elected by citizens in their respective House and Senate districts. The terms of office are four years for Senators and two years for Delegates. Members of the General Assembly may not hold any other elected public office during their term.

General Assembly Sessions
Regular Session: In accordance with the Virginia Constitution, the General Assembly convenes in annual regular session on the second Wednesday of January. In even numbered years, the legislature meets for 60 calendar days. Short session occurs in odd numbered years in which the legislature is required to meet for 30 days, which has traditionally been extended to 45 calendar days. In an even or odd numbered year the legislature may not extend meeting past an additional 30 days.
Special Session: The Governor may call the legislature into Special Session at any time and may call itself into Special Session if two-thirds of the members elected to each house petition for a Special Session to be convened.
Reconvened Session: The Virginia legislature has been constitutionally required to convene a Reconvened Session on the on or about the sixth Wednesday after adjournment of any session (Regular or Special). The purpose of the Reconvened Session is to consider any Governor's amendments or vetoes to legislation. Reconvened Session typically lasts one day, however, the Session may last as long as three days and can be extended an additional seven days.

Responsibilities of the General Assembly

Responsibilities of the General Assembly include representing the citizens of their respective legislative districts in the formulation of public policy in the legislative process. All legislatures serve the people of their district throughout the year by assisting constituents with various public services at local, state and federal levels of government.
Members of both the Senate and the House of Delegates are responsible for electing judges that serve the Commonwealth in various levels of the judiciary.  The Senate and the House Courts of Justice Committees interview judicial candidates and make recommendations for the floors of both legislatures to vote.

For more information on the Virginia General Assembly, visit virginiageneralassembly.gov