SJR 388 - Virginia Code Commission: 2007 Code of Virginia Project
April 20, 2005
During the 2005 Session,
the General Assembly approved SJR 388, which advises the citizens of Virginia
of the Code Commission's intent to reorganize and renumber the 1950 Code
of Virginia and publish it as the 2007 Code of Virginia. The resolution
also states that the Division of Legislative Services will provide staff
to the commission to complete the project in a timely manner.
2007 Code Work
The 2007 Code work
group was formed to coordinate the work of individual attorneys and staff
of the Division of Legislative Services in reorganizing and renumbering
the entire Code. The work group has expanded over the course of its five
meetings to include representatives of the Virginia State Bar, Commonwealth's
Attorneys, the Supreme Court of Virginia, local government attorneys,
the Department of Motor Vehicles, and legal publishers. Further outreach
efforts, by the work group and by members of the Code Commission, are
During its first four meetings, the work group developed proposals regarding
a numbering scheme for the 2007 Code and "global" changes to
standardize usage in the new Code (e.g., using Arabic numerals instead
of written numbers for numbers 10 and above).
Following a review
of the numbering systems used by the other 49 states, the work group considered
three alternatives to recommend to the Code Commission (detailed information
on the numbering schemes is available at the work group's website). Although
one proposal garnered significant support, the members of the work group
decided to present all three to the commission:
- Option 1: "two-hyphen"
system with embedded article number.
- Option 2: enhanced
status quo, with chapter number embedded.
- Option 3: "three-hyphen"
system with a separate element for article number.
After a thorough discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of all
three systems, the Code Commission voted to approve Option 1, which
will become the numbering scheme used in the 2007 Code.
The commission also
agreed to the suggested global changes to the Code, all of which are minor
and therefore do not require legislation to effect. The commission also
approved the updating of obsolete references to the Internet, which will
require legislation in an upcoming session.
The next step in
the process of revising the Code is developing recommendations for reorganizing
(without substantively changing) the Code and for the naming and numbering
for individual titles in the new Code. Preliminary proposals will be presented
at the Code Commission's May 23, 2005, meeting in Richmond.
The Hon. William
Pat Davis or Ken