REPORT OF THE SJR 243 CITIZEN ADVISORY BOARD ON IMPROVING THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS AND MAINTAINING THE CITIZEN LEGISLATURE
THE JOINT RULES COMMITTEE
GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF VIRGINIA
November 30, 2000
At the 2000 Regular Session, the General Assembly passed Senate Joint Resolution No. 243 (Appendix A), which directed the Joint Rules Committee to study ways to improve the legislative process and maintain the citizen legislature. The resolution directed the examination and evaluation of the (i) bill drafting practices, including, but not limited to, a review of titles, summaries, and conventions such as the use of population brackets; (ii) prefiling; (iii) procedures for the introduction and patronage of legislation; (iv) committee and subcommittee size and responsibilities; (v) consideration of legislation in committee, subcommittee, and on the floor; (vi) the use of technology, including technology for filing legislation and adding and removing co-patrons electronically; (vii) the scheduling of interim meetings and activities; (viii) session dates and the possible inclusion of recesses; (ix) the budget process; (x) staffing services; (xi) orientation and training of members and staff; and (xii) other aspects of the legislative process designed to improve efficiency and maintain the citizen legislature.
To assist the Joint Rules Committee in its work and to provide an external perspective of the legislative process, the resolution established a Citizen Advisory Board. Appointed to serve on the Board were David L. Bailey, Jr., President, David Bailey Associates (Chairman); Kay A. Kemper, President, Kemper Consulting (Vice Chair); James W. Beamer, JWB Consulting; Edward E. Brickell, Ed.D., President Emeritus, Eastern Virginia Medical School; Terri A. Haack, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director, Kingsmill Resort; John W. Jones, Virginia Sheriffs' Association; Sudhakar V. Shenoy, Chairman, Information Management Consultants, Inc.; and Mark I. Singer, President, Advocates of Virginia.
Staffs from the Division of Legislative Services, the Senate Clerk's Office, the House Clerk's Office, the Division of Legislative Automated Systems, Senate Finance, and House Appropriations assisted the Board in its work. Michael Bird and Brenda Erickson of the National Conference of State Legislatures provided special technical assistance on the rules and procedures in other states.
The Citizen Advisory Board met on September 20, 2000, October 18, 2000, and November 8, 2000. At the first meeting, staff from the Division of Legislative Services briefed the Board on the SJR 243 directives and provided a statistical overview of Virginia's legislative process. (Appendix B). Based on staff's analysis and the testimony heard, the Board concluded that the lack of prefiling, proliferation of subcommittees, and the inability to maintain quorums were the primary reasons for bottlenecks and other inefficiencies in the legislative process. The Board’s second and third meetings consisted of all-day roundtable discussions to identify particular inefficiencies and to evaluate proposals to improve the process. The Board examined the Joint Rules Committee's proposed 2001 Session schedule (Appendix C) and suggestions to improve committee and subcommittee operations, explore new technologies, and develop better schedules for floor and interim activities.
STATEMENT OF FINDINGS
Virginia's citizen part-time legislature faces many challenges in conducting the business of the Commonwealth, including constitutionally prescribed short sessions, tight deadlines, explosive growth in the volume of legislation, and increased public demand for up-to-the-minute information about the legislature’s activities.
While there are no silver bullets, prefiling offers one solution to meet these challenges by promoting greater efficiency in the process without sacrificing the institution of the part-time legislature. As a time management tool, prefiling reduces legislative bottlenecks by shifting the workload to the front end of the session. It gives the public more time to react to proposed legislation because bills and resolutions are printed and available on the Legislative Information System (LIS) before committees and subcommittees meet. The Board was particularly disturbed by reports that some committees and subcommittees took action on bills and resolutions prior to their printing and distribution. If the 2001 Session schedule adopted by Joint Rules (Appendix C) is not approved or does not remedy the situation, the Joint Rules Committee should investigate other ways to curtail this premature consideration of legislation.
Increasing citizen access to and participation in the legislative process is tantamount to having an effective and responsive representative government. Through the use of technology and the Internet, the General Assembly has been able to open the legislative process to millions of Virginians. With a few exceptions, the information available on LIS appears to be satisfactory and posted in a timely manner. However, the Board was concerned by reports of delays in the posting of the full text of some bills and resolutions. Although overnight printing and faster referrals by the Speaker and the Clerk of the Senate has reduced the problem, there continue to be delays due to the volume of legislation introduced at one time. The Board found that "blue cover" legislation, multiple-paged legislation and correctional impact bills awaiting the inclusion of a fiscal impact statement accounted for many of the delays. The Board also found that LIS did not consistently track the referral of legislation to or actions of subcommittees. To improve the system, participants suggested updating the status of legislation in subcommittees and posting the full text of bills and resolutions as soon as possible. The available text of the correctional impact bills should be printed without the cost estimate and then updated later.
For citizens to actively participate in the process, they must have the opportunity to be heard. Citizens are not able to fully participate when committees of the House and Senate considering the same subject schedule their meetings during overlapping times. The Board found that two sets of committees (House Counties, Cities, and Towns and Senate Local Government and House General Laws and Senate General Laws) have permanent overlapping meeting times. Committee schedules should be reviewed after the 2001 General Election to eliminate, to the extent possible, these types of conflicts.
Mediation, a process used in the legal field to resolve multifaceted issues by bringing together major stakeholders with a facilitator, may be useful in the legislative forum. The approach was successfully used by the Joint Commission on Health Care, which recently hired a facilitator to assist with the development of a plan to eliminate the Certificate of Public Need Program. Mediation has the potential to be a viable alternative to the creation of study resolutions in addressing complex issues. Other uses of mediation in building consensus and structuring solutions as part of the General Assembly’s deliberative process should also be explored.
SUMMARY OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS
Comments and Recommendations to the October 3 Drafts of the Procedural Resolutions
1. We commend the Joint Rules Committee for developing an approach to better manage the workload of the session through unlimited prefiling, introduction limits, and cut-off deadlines and encourage the Committee to carry on with its work for continuous improvement.
The Joint Rules Committee's proposal providing for unlimited prefiling and a bill introduction limit is an effective way to encourage prefiling and manage the flow of legislation. Only 5.8 percent of legislation was prefiled in 2000 and 42 percent of the legislation was not filed until the last day for introductions. As reported by the staff from the National Conference of State Legislatures, many state chambers provide for unlimited prefiling and set a limit on the number of bills that may be introduced once the session begins. Because states have arbitrarily selected and phased-in the bill introduction limits, the Board decided not to recommend any specific limitation or a specific phase-in schedule.
2. The request deadline for introduction of legislation not prefiled should be moved from Friday, January 12 to Thursday, January 11 and the introduction deadline should be moved from Friday, January 19 to Thursday, January 18.
The Board recommends that the deadlines for requesting and introducing legislation each be moved up by one day to speed up the flow of legislation into committees. An extra day provides staff more time to ensure that bills and resolutions are prepared, printed, and distributed to committees that meet on the following Monday and Tuesday. This will allow legislators and the public additional time to read and analyze the bills scheduled on the docket. A Thursday introduction deadline would also eliminate the necessity of holding a pro-forma session on Friday for the sole purpose of accepting introductions.
3. Adjustments in the deadlines should be considered that would provide additional time for observance of the holiday season.
The December 20 deadline for requesting legislation to be prefiled and the first drafting deadline of January 3 impose an unfair personal burden on the staff during the traditional holiday season. Staff will also have a difficult time contacting members and agency personnel during this period to obtain necessary information to complete the drafts. The Board recommends passage of a Constitutional amendment moving the start of the session from the second Wednesday in January to the fourth Wednesday in January to provide legislators, staff and the public more time to prepare legislation for prefiling without infringing on the traditional holiday season. (See Appendix E for draft legislation.)
4. Legislation confirming appointments subject to the confirmation of the General Assembly should be added to the list of exceptions from the introduction deadlines and limits.
Confirming appointments is a purely procedural matter and should not be counted toward any member's limit. Gubernatorial appointments cannot be confined to a set of arbitrary deadlines because of the continuous nature of the process.
5. A member should not be allowed to introduce commending and memorial resolutions after the last day for committee action in the session. For the 2001 Session, this date falls on Monday, February 19, 2001.
To maximize the time that the General Assembly has to deliberate on the Budget and other substantive legislation, the introduction of commending and memorial resolutions should be prohibited after the deadline for committee action in the second house.
6. The language in the procedural resolutions should be revised to allow, in accordance with the practices of the respective houses, co-patrons to be added or removed anytime prior to the first vote on passage of bill or agreement to a resolution in the house of origin.
The original language in the procedural resolutions would have allowed changes to the list of co-patrons while the legislation was in the house of origin. To prevent a flood of reconsiderations for the sole purpose of changing co-patron status, the Board recommends that co-patron changes be prohibited after the first vote on passage is called for in the house of origin. Because extending the time to add and remove co-patrons raises many technical implementation issues, the Board recommends that staff work under the guidance of the Joint Rules Committee to resolve these issues. The listing of the co-patrons on substitutes, failed bills, LIS, and printed bills should be addressed.
7. The Board takes no position on the proposal to change the vote requirement from two-thirds to unanimous consent for late introductions and introductions that exceed the limit.
The Board believes that granting leave for the introduction of legislation is strictly a prerogative of the houses. Each house should have the right to judge the reasons offered for late introductions and exceeding the introduction limit.
On October 20, 2000, the Joint Rules Committee met to consider the proposed procedural resolutions to govern the schedule of business for the 2001 Session. The Board would like to thank the Committee for its consideration of the Board's recommendations during that meeting. Except for Recommendation 2 and Recommendation 5, the Joint Rules Committees incorporated the substance of each Board's recommendation into the procedural resolutions adopted and prefiled. The Committee agreed to a modified version of Recommendation 5 to prohibit the introduction of joint commending and memorial resolutions during the last days of the session. The Committee believed that the introduction of single house commending and memorial resolutions should be allowed to cover expected events occurring late in the session and deserving of recognition. Although the Committee agreed with the need to speed up the filing process, it felt that the proposed deadlines in Recommendation 2 imposed too great of a burden on legislators.
8. "Blue cover" legislation should be specifically ended and all introduced legislation should meet the deadlines established for submission to the Division of Legislative Services and be prepared by drafters of that agency. (See Appendix D for draft legislation.)
Consistency and uniformity in the law should be one of the primary goals of the General Assembly. The Division of Legislative Services, comprised of a professional staff proficient in statutory drafting and construction, should be given exclusive drafting responsibility to ensure that the General Assembly achieves this goal.
9. A constitutional amendment should be proposed that would move the commencement date of the session from the second Wednesday in January to the fourth Wednesday in January. (See Appendix E for draft legislation.)
The Board recognizes the negative impact on the public, members, and staff of convening the session shortly following the traditional holidays. Changing the commencement date for the session by two weeks creates only a minor readjustment in the schedule. For consistency, the Joint Rules Committee may also want to move the inauguration date of the Governor to the Saturday after the fourth Wednesday in January. This would allow the newly elected General Assembly to be present for the Governor's inauguration and the departing Governor to give his State of the Commonwealth Address in person to the General Assembly. However, the new Governor may want an earlier inauguration so that he can use the additional two weeks to organize and prepare his administration for the session. Because there are advantages and disadvantages in changing the Governor's term, the Governor's office should be consulted prior to the proposal of an additional constitutional amendment. A constitutional amendment cannot take effect prior to the 2003 Session. During the interim, the Joint Rules Committee should consider setting deadlines in the procedural resolutions for the 2001 and 2002 Sessions to better accommodate the holiday season.
10. The Board encourages the major reduction in the number of subcommittees, except for House Appropriations and Senate Finance, and a more concise means of tracking legislation through the subcommittee process.
The number of subcommittees has proliferated in recent years, resulting in time conflicts for members and those tracking legislation through the legislative process. As a result, many subcommittees lack a quorum to conduct business, leading to unnecessary delays or cancellations of meetings. In addition, the effectiveness of many subcommittees has been called into question because matters referred to subcommittee are often reheard in the committee. Except for House Appropriations and Senate Finance, limits should be placed on the number of subcommittees and committee chairmen should consider creating subcommittees to handle only controversial legislation.
11. Committee chairs should set specific dates and locations for all subcommittee meetings on a regular basis.
Setting specific times and locations for subcommittees gives the public advanced notice and increases the opportunity for participation. The Board recognizes that there may be occasions when a subcommittee needs to meet at a different time because of extenuating circumstances, e.g. the day session runs longer than expected. However, the schedule should be observed as often as possible.
12. Standing committees in the House of Delegates should be consolidated.
Currently, the House of Delegates' 20 standing committees create scheduling conflicts and place heavy burdens on the time and energy of members to manage their multiple committee workloads. A consolidation plan should be considered to merge similar committees together. Possible mergers include General Laws and Interstate Cooperation; Appropriations and Claims; Courts of Justice and Militia and Police (with part of Militia and Police's docket assumed by Counties, Cities and Towns); and Agriculture, Chesapeake and Its Tributaries, Conservation and Natural Resources, and Mining and Mineral Resources. This consolidation plan would have the effect of reducing the number of standing committees from 20 to 14 and eliminating a number of scheduling and space conflicts. The Board recognizes that the best time to implement this recommendation would be for the 2002 Session immediately following the next General Election of all members of the House of Delegates.
13. Committee clerks in the House of Delegates should be responsible for staffing subcommittees and keeping track of all bills through the subcommittee process.
Currently, most subcommittees are staffed administratively by the chairman's legislative assistant. For consistency, the Committee Clerk assigned to the committee by the House Clerk's Office should handle these responsibilities. Because of the proliferation in subcommittees, the House Clerk’s office does not have sufficient staff to assume full responsibilities for each subcommittee. Until there is a reduction in the number of subcommittees, the House Committee staff should be responsible for coordinating subcommittee meetings (times/dates/locations) and the subsequent notification of members, patrons, and the public regarding the meetings as is presently done for the standing committees. The House Clerk's Office indicated that plans are already in place to implement the subcommittee meeting coordination and notification aspects of this proposal for the 2001 Session.
14. The Chamber floor session schedule should be changed by implementing pro-forma and business sessions, e.g., Monday and Friday pro-forma sessions and Tuesday-Thursday business sessions and/or setting designated days to consider uncontested legislation as is presently done for commending and memorial resolutions.
Conducting pro-forma and designated business sessions would maximize committee time, particularly in the early stages of the sessions when the average session length is approximately 30-40 minutes. The Board leaves it to the respective houses to determine the best days and times for holding pro-forma and designated sessions and determining the appropriate calendar for those days.
15. The Joint Rules Committee should continue to investigate and fully explore the latest types of technologies to better enable the legislature to serve the citizens of Virginia. In particular, the Joint Rules Committee should consider studying the use of digital signatures and electronic filing and distribution of legislation.
In recent years, the General Assembly has embraced new technologies to improve the efficiency of the legislature. Chamber automation, LIS, and bill-drafting services have revolutionized the way the General Assembly conducts its business. The investigation and development of technologies to increase efficiency and public access should continue to be an on-going process in each house.
16. Floor sessions should be video-streamed over the Internet.
Approximately 50 percent of the states broadcast their daily floor sessions over the Internet to promote public access to the legislative process. Closed-circuit coverage of the floor sessions has been available on the Capitol grounds in Virginia for a number of years. With the current technological capacity, the transition to video-streaming the sessions over the Internet should be an easy process. Because of the presence of cameras in the chamber, the adjustment for members should also be minimal.
17. The practice of creating studies by letter should be discontinued. The implementation clause that allows the final decision on a study to be deferred until after the session should be removed from all study resolutions. Each house should develop a process for prioritizing studies based upon input from the appropriate standing committees.
Letter studies do not carry the force of resolutions and create uncertainty in what is expected from those who receive the letter. Deferring action on studies until after the session also creates a degree of uncertainty. To remove these uncertainties, the Board recommends that both houses act upon studies during the session. Standing committees should develop a priority system to rank proposed studies by need and importance.
18. Study reports should be submitted no later than October 1.
Study reports are valuable in the legislative process because they often provide the rationale for legislation introduced. However, it has become the practice for most study groups to continue to meet late into the calendar year, and some, through the first week of session, before making their final recommendations. Time constraints make the writing of the report prior to the session difficult. With the emphasis on prefiling in December and election campaigns in October and November, study groups should complete their work by October 1 to allow sufficient time for the publication of the report and the drafting of the recommendations.
19. The interim meeting schedule for studies should be standardized.
To keep time demands reasonable during the interim for the part-time legislature, meeting times for studies should be standardized. A standardized schedule may restrict the time for meeting during certain days of the week and certain weeks in the month. For example, interim study meetings could be scheduled for Tuesday-Thursday during the first and third weeks of each month.
20. Larger committees in the House of Delegates should be reduced to 22 members.
The size of some committees in the House of Delegates makes it difficult to obtain and maintain a quorum. Reducing larger committees to 22 members (2 members per congressional district) would help to alleviate this problem. The Board recognizes that the best time to implement this recommendation would be at the 2002 Session after the 2001 General Election.
21. The practice of continuing legislation in the odd-year sessions should be eliminated.
The original intent of allowing legislation to be continued in the odd-year session to the even-year session was to give the standing committees time to work out compromises on controversial legislation during the interim. In accordance with the procedural resolution, committees must act on continued legislation by December 20. However, many committees have no intention of meeting during the interim and simply continue legislation as an easy way to dispense with it. During the 1998-1999 carryover period, both houses eventually passed only 7.7 percent of the continued legislation. Because the original intent has been lost and members typically reintroduce continued legislation at the next session, the practice should be eliminated.
22. Appointment of committees should occur no later than the third calendar day of the session.
The timely appointment of members to committees is necessary if prefiling is to have a major impact on regulating the flow of legislation during the session. Appointment of committees prior to the session during an "organizational session" would not be possible without a constitutional amendment. Requiring the Speaker and the Senate to make committee assignments within the first three days of the start of the Session allows committees to begin meeting on the first Monday of the session.
23. We encourage the Joint Rules Committee to follow through on whatever it concludes are appropriate new procedures to be followed in the 2001 and 2002 Sessions.
The Board recognizes that not all changes can be implemented for the 2001 Session. However, the Joint Rules Committee should act now to lay the groundwork for improving the process - then make the process even better for tomorrow.
The Citizen Advisory Board would like to thank Senator Norment for his vision in sponsoring Senate Joint Resolution 243 and the Speaker of the House of Delegates, the Senate Rules Chairman, and the members of the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections for the opportunity to assist the Joint Rules Committee in finding ways to promote increased efficiency in the legislative process. The Board would especially like to thank David Bailey, our chairman, for his leadership and the staff for their hard work in making our task a rewarding and productive experience. Because of our positive experience, we hope that the Joint Rules Committee will utilize a citizen advisory board again in the future as part of a continuous review of the legislative process.
David L. Bailey, Jr., Chairman
Kay A. Kemper, Vice Chair
James W. Beamer
Edward E. Brickell, Ed.D.
John W. Jones
Terri A. Haack
Sudhakar V. Shenoy
Mark I. Singer
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 243
Directing the Joint Rules Committee to study ways to improve the legislative process and to maintain the citizen legislature.
Agreed to by the Senate, March 9, 2000
Agreed to by the House of Delegates, March 8, 2000
WHEREAS, the part-time "citizen legislature" is an integral part of Virginia's history and an institution that the General Assembly is committed to continuing into the twenty-first century; and
WHEREAS, the General Assembly is equally committed to promoting the full and open consideration of issues, increasing public accessibility to the legislative process and fostering the most efficient use of the legislature's time; and
WHEREAS, in recent years, the workload of the General Assembly has grown in magnitude, scope and complexity, increasing the amount of time members must deal with legislative affairs; and
WHEREAS, procedures and practices governing the scheduling of activities of the General Assembly and its committees have gone largely unchanged during the past twenty years; and
WHEREAS, proposed constitutional amendments to change the commencement date of the General Assembly have been introduced to alleviate the workload around the holiday season for members and their staffs, but have never been submitted to the voters for approval; and
WHEREAS, a recess at the commencement of the session would allow for more time for bills to be printed and reviewed, thereby giving legislators an additional opportunity to confer with their constituents on matters before the General Assembly; and
WHEREAS, most interim meetings are scheduled through the polling of members, and are held during various times of the month, often resulting in personal and professional conflicts as well as limiting members' ability to make advanced plans during the interim; and
WHEREAS, many states provide for an organizational meeting prior to the convening of their legislative session to adopt rules and make standing committee appointments; and
WHEREAS, comprehensive review of the processes and procedures governing the activities of the General Assembly would yield valuable information that could lead to the streamlining of operations and allow the General Assembly to continue to prosper as a citizen legislature; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the Joint Rules Committee be directed to study ways to improve the legislative process and to maintain the citizen legislature. The study shall include, but not be limited to, an examination and evaluation of: (i) bill drafting practices, including, but not limited to, a review of titles, summaries, and conventions such as the use of population brackets; (ii) prefiling; (iii) procedures for the introduction and patronage of legislation; (iv) committee and subcommittee size and responsibilities; (v) consideration of legislation in committees, subcommittees, and on the floor; (vi) the use of technology, including technology for filing legislation and adding and removing
copatrons electronically; (vii) the scheduling of interim meetings and activities; (viii) session dates and the possible inclusion of recesses; (ix) the budget process; (x) staffing services; (xi) orientation and training of members and staff; and (xii) other aspects of the legislative process designed to improve efficiency and maintain the citizen legislature; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That a Citizen Advisory Board shall be established to assist the Joint Rules Committee in its work as prescribed in this resolution, and on other issues as may be directed by the Committee. The Citizen Advisory Board shall be composed of eight members as follows: three citizen members appointed by the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections and five citizen members appointed by the Speaker of the House.
The direct cost of this study shall not exceed $4,800.
The Clerk of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Delegates along with the Division of Legislative Services shall provide staff support for the study. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Joint Rules Committee, upon request.
The Joint Rules Committee shall complete its work in time to submit its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the 2001 Session of the General Assembly as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents.
01-7901999 10/03/00 4:19 PM Virginia Edwards
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO.________
Providing for a Joint Assembly and establishing a schedule for the conduct of business coming before the 2001 Regular Session of the General Assembly of Virginia.
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly shall meet in joint session in the Hall of the House of Delegates on Wednesday, January 10, 2001, at such time as specified by the Speaker of the House of Delegates, to receive the Governor of Virginia, and such address as he may desire to make, and that the rules for the government of the House of Delegates and the Senate, when convened in joint session for such purpose, shall be as follows:
Rule I. At the hour fixed for the meeting of the Joint Assembly, the Senators, accompanied by the President and the Clerk of the Senate, shall proceed to the Hall of the House of Delegates and shall be received by the Delegates standing. Appropriate seats shall be assigned to the Senators by the Sergeant at Arms of the House. The Speaker of the House of Delegates shall assign an appropriate seat for the President of the Senate.
Rule II. The Speaker of the House of Delegates shall be President of the Joint Assembly. In case it shall be necessary for the Speaker to vacate the Chair, the President of the Senate shall serve as the presiding officer.
Rule III. The Clerk of the House of Delegates shall be Clerk of the Joint Assembly and shall be assisted by the Clerk of the Senate. The Clerk of the Joint Assembly shall enter the proceedings of the Joint Assembly in the Journal of the House and shall certify a copy of the same to the Clerk of the Senate, who shall enter the same in the Journal of the Senate.
Rule IV. The Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeepers of the House shall act as such for the Joint Assembly. Rule V. The Rules of the House of Delegates, as far as applicable, shall be the Rules of the Joint Assembly.
Rule VI. In calling the roll of the Joint Assembly, the names of the Senators shall be called in alphabetical order, then the names of the Delegates in like order, except that the name of the Speaker of the House shall be called last.
Rule VII. If, when the Joint Assembly meets, it shall be ascertained that a majority of each house is not present, the Joint Assembly may take measures to secure the attendance of absentees, or adjourn to a succeeding day, as a majority of those present may determine.
Rule VIII. When the Joint Assembly adjourns, the Senators, accompanied by the President and the Clerk of the Senate, shall return to their chamber, and the business of the House shall be continued in the same order as at the time of the entrance of the Senators; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That for purposes of the procedural deadlines established herein for the 2001 Regular Session of the General Assembly:
"Adult/juvenile correctional impact bill" shall mean, in accordance with § 30-19.1:4, any bill which would result in a net increase in periods of imprisonment in state adult correctional facilities or periods of commitment to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice. The first-day introduction deadline shall not apply to any adult/juvenile correctional impact bill whose only impact is to create a misdemeanor or increase or decrease a penalty to a misdemeanor.
"Appropriation bill" shall mean any bill, except the general appropriation bill (Budget Bill), that authorizes or directs the expenditure of state funds.
"Budget Bill" shall mean the general appropriation bill introduced in each house which authorizes the biennial expenditure of public revenues for the period from July 1, 2000, through June 30, 2002.
"Debt bill" shall mean any bill that authorizes the issuance of debt.
"Legislative day" shall mean the period of time that begins with a call to order by the presiding officer and ends when declared adjourned by the presiding officer. Unless another time is specified, any deadline established in this resolution shall expire at the end of the legislative day.
"Local fiscal impact bill" shall mean, in accordance with §§ 30-19.03:1 and 30-19.03:1.1, any bill that mandates a county, city, or town to incur an additional net expenditure or a net reduction of revenues. The first-day introduction deadline shall not apply to any local fiscal impact bill whose only impact is to create a misdemeanor or increase or decrease a penalty to a misdemeanor.
"Revenue bill" shall mean any bill that increases or decreases the total revenues available for appropriation, including any sales tax exemption bill.
"Virginia Retirement System bill" shall mean, in accordance with § 30-19.1:7, any bill that amends, repeals, or modifies any provision of the Virginia Retirement System, the State Police Officers' Retirement System, or the Judicial Retirement System and that is required to be filed by the first day of the regular session.
"Virginia Retirement System bill" shall also mean any bill that amends, repeals, or modifies any provision of the Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System (§ 51.1-211 et seq.) and that is required to be filed by the first day of the regular session.
Each adult/juvenile correctional impact, appropriation, budget, debt, local fiscal impact, revenue, and Virginia Retirement System bill shall have its appropriate designation stamped upon its cover. Each adult/juvenile correctional impact or local fiscal impact bill whose only fiscal impact is to create a misdemeanor or increase or decrease a penalty to a misdemeanor shall state this opinion in the summary appearing on the bill's cover; and, be it
RESOLVED FINALLY, That the 2001 Regular Session of the General Assembly shall be governed by the following procedural rules, which establish time limitations for elections and for all legislation introduced for or continued to the 2001 Regular Session except:
House and Senate resolutions;
joint commending and memorial resolutions;
legislation affecting the rules of procedure or the schedule of business of the General Assembly, either of its houses, or any of its committees;
any adult/juvenile correctional impact, local fiscal impact, or Virginia Retirement System bill filed after the first-day introduction deadline with the required consent;
bills or joint resolutions introduced after the introduction deadline with the required consent;
or legislation requested in writing by the Governor.
Rule 1. Pursuant to House Joint Resolution No. 6 (2000), neither house of the General Assembly shall receive from any committee any bill, joint resolution, or resolution that was continued on the agenda of such committee and acted upon later than Wednesday, December 20, 2000. For purposes of this rule, a motion to refer a measure to another committee shall be treated as an action by a committee.
Rule 2. Notwithstanding any other provision of this resolution and in accordance with the practices of each house, a request to be added or removed as a co-patron must be received prior to the time a bill or joint resolution is initially communicated to the other house after passage from the house of origin or prior to the time a House or Senate resolution is agreed to.
Rule 3. No later than Monday, January 22, 2001, the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Retirement System shall submit, in accordance with § 30-19.1:7 and this resolution, impact statements for all Virginia Retirement System bills filed on the first day of session. For any Virginia Retirement System bill filed later than the first day of session, the Board of Trustees shall use due diligence in preparing the impact statement in time for review by the standing committees.
Rule 4. No later than Monday, January 22, 2001, each house shall begin its consideration of any election to fill a seat or office (i) due to the expiration of a term of a justice or judge or the Auditor of Public Accounts, (ii) currently held by a justice or judge serving under a pro tempore appointment of the Governor pursuant to Section 7 of Article VI of the Constitution of Virginia, (iii) currently held by a judge serving under a pro tempore appointment of a circuit court pursuant to § 16.1-69.9:2 of the Code of Virginia. In the event that the houses cannot agree on any such election before Tuesday, January 23, 2001, such election shall become the subject of a special and continuing joint order in each house at the time such house completes its morning hour, and such special and continuing joint order shall have precedence over all other business of either house, until such time as both houses reach agreement on such election or agree to hold it at another specific time. The Rules of each house, as far as applicable, shall be the Rules governing any such election.
Rule 5. The committees responsible for the consideration of adult/juvenile correctional impact, appropriation, debt, revenue, and Virginia Retirement System bills in the houses of introduction shall complete their work on such bills no later than midnight, Thursday, February 1, 2001.
Rule 6. The committees responsible for the consideration of the Budget Bill in the houses of introduction shall complete their work on such bill no later than midnight, Sunday, February 4, 2001, and any amendments proposed by such committee shall be made available to their respective houses no later than noon, Tuesday, February 6, 2001.
Rule 7. Except for the Budget Bill, beginning Wednesday, February 7, 2001, the House of Delegates shall consider only Senate bills, Senate joint resolutions, House bills with Senate amendments, and House joint resolutions with Senate amendments; the Senate shall consider only House bills, House joint resolutions, Senate bills with House amendments, and Senate joint resolutions with House amendments; each house may consider conference reports and other privileged matters to the end that the work of each house may be disposed of by the other.
Rule 8. The houses of introduction shall complete their consideration of the Budget Bill, except for conference reports and other privileged matters relating thereto, no later than Thursday, February 8, 2001.
Rule 9. The committees responsible for consideration of revenue bills of the other house shall complete their consideration of such bills no later than midnight, Tuesday, February 13, 2001.
Rule 10. No later than midnight, Wednesday, February 14, 2001, each house shall complete consideration of the Budget Bill and all revenue bills of the other house, except for conference reports and other privileged matters relating thereto, and the appointing authority shall appoint the conferees to such bills.
Rule 11. The first conference on any revenue bills shall complete its deliberations no later than midnight, Saturday, February 17, 2001, and the report of such conference shall be made available to all members of the General Assembly no later than noon, Monday, February 19, 2001.
Rule 12. Beginning Tuesday, February 20, 2001, neither house shall receive from any committee any bill, joint resolution, or resolution acted on by any committee later than midnight, Monday, February 19, 2001.
Rule 13. The first conference on the Budget Bill shall complete its deliberations no later than midnight, Tuesday, February 20, 2001, and the report of such conference shall be made available to all members of the General Assembly no later than noon, Thursday, February 22, 2001; no engrossment of the Budget Bill shall be required in either house, and any conference on the Budget Bill shall consider, as the basis of its deliberations, the Budget Bill as recommended by the Governor and introduced in the House and the amendments thereto proposed by each house.
Rule 14. No later than Tuesday, February 20, 2001, each house shall begin consideration of joint resolutions to fill any existing or pending vacancy on (i) the Supreme Court of Virginia, (ii) the Court of Appeals of Virginia, (iii) any circuit or district court of the Commonwealth, (iv) the State Corporation Commission, (v) the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission, and (vi) the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission. In the event that the houses cannot agree on the filling of any such vacancy before Wednesday, February 21, 2001, such vacancy shall become the subject of a special and continuing joint order in each house at the time such house completes its morning hour, and such special and continuing joint order shall have precedence over all other business of either house, until such time as both houses reach agreement or either house votes to suspend or discharge the order. The Rules of each house, as far as applicable, shall be the Rules governing the filling of any such vacancy.
Rule 15. Except for joint resolutions affecting the rules of procedure or the schedule of business of the General Assembly, beginning Friday, February 23, 2001, the House shall consider only Senate joint resolutions and House joint resolutions with Senate amendments, the Senate shall consider only House joint resolutions and Senate joint resolutions with House amendments, and each house may consider conference reports or joint resolutions and other privileged matters relating thereto, to the end that the work of each house may be disposed of by the other.
Rule 16. This session of the General Assembly shall be extended beyond the thirty-day period provided in Section 6 of Article IV of the Constitution of Virginia and shall adjourn sine die no later than Saturday, February 24, 2001.
Rule 17. Pursuant to Section 6 of Article IV of the Constitution of Virginia, the General Assembly shall reconvene Wednesday, April 4, 2001, for the purpose of considering bills which may have been returned by the Governor with recommendations for their amendment and bills and items of appropriation bills, including the general appropriation act, which may have been returned by the Governor with his objections.
Rule 18. The conduct of the business of any subcommittee of any House committee, any joint subcommittee of House and Senate committees, and any interim study commission created pursuant to a House measure shall be governed by the Rules of the House of Delegates; the conduct of the business of any subcommittee of any Senate committee, any joint subcommittee of Senate and House committees, and any interim study commission created pursuant to a Senate measure shall be governed by the Rules of the Senate.
Rule 19. Any staff member assigned to work for, and support the efforts of, any committee of the House or Senate, any subcommittee of any such committee, any joint subcommittee of House and Senate committees, or any interim study commission shall work under the direction of the chairman of such committee, subcommittee, joint subcommittee, or interim study commission.
01-7904988 10/03/00 4:19 P.M. Virginia Edwards
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. _______
Establishing deadlines for requesting and introducing legislation for the 2001 Regular Session of the General Assembly.
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the 2001 Regular Session of the General Assembly of Virginia shall be governed by the following procedural rules, which establish deadlines for requesting and introducing legislation for the 2001 Regular Session of the General Assembly:
Rule 1. Requests for the drafting, redrafting, or correction of any bill required to be filed on the first day of session shall be submitted to the Division of Legislative Services no later than 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 9, 2001.
Rule 2. No retail sales and use tax exemption bill as defined in § 30-19.1:3, or property tax exemption bill as defined in § 30-19.1:2, or bill affecting the Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System shall be offered in either house after the adjournment of that house on January 10, 2001.
Rule 3. Except for bills and resolutions required to be requested earlier, requests for the drafting, redrafting, or correction of any bill or joint resolution shall be submitted to the Division of Legislative Services no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, January 12, 2001.
Rule 4. Except for bills required to be filed earlier, no bill or joint resolution shall be offered in either house after 5:00 p.m., Friday, January 19, 2001.
01-7905988 10/03/00 4:18 PM Virginia Edwards
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO._______
Establishing certain exceptions to the introduction deadlines for legislation introduced for the 2001 Regular Session of the General Assembly of Virginia.
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the 2001 Regular Session of the General Assembly of Virginia shall be governed by the following procedural rule, which establishes certain exceptions to the deadlines for introducing legislation for the 2001 Regular Session of the General Assembly:
The deadlines for introducing legislation shall not apply to any bill or joint resolution affecting the rules of procedure or the schedule of business of the General Assembly, either of its houses, or any of its committees, introduced with the unanimous consent of the members elected to the house in which the bill or joint resolution is offered, or introduced with the written request of the Governor.
01-7906988 10/03/00 4:17 P.M. Virginia Edwards
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO.______
Establishing session introduction limits and a schedule for prefiling legislation for the 2001 Regular Session of the General Assembly of Virginia.
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the 2001 Regular Session of the General Assembly of Virginia shall be governed by the following procedural rules, which establish session introduction limits and a schedule for prefiling legislation for the 2001 Regular Session of the General Assembly:
Rule 1. "Prefiled legislation" shall mean any bill or joint resolution requested from the Division of Legislative Services no later than 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 20, 2000, and introduced no later than 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 10, 2001.
Rule 2. Requests for drafts of any bill or joint resolution to be prefiled must be submitted to and received by the Division of Legislative Services no later than 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 20, 2000, and such drafts shall be returned for review no later than Tuesday, January 2, 2001.
Rule 3. Requests for redrafts and corrections of any draft prepared for prefiling must be submitted to and received by the Division of Legislative Services no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, January 5, 2001. The Division shall make available the final drafts of legislation prepared for prefiling no later than 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, January 9, 2001.
Rule 4. After the deadline for introduction of prefiled legislation, no member of the General Assembly shall introduce more than a combined total of six bills and joint resolutions. This limit shall not apply to any House or Senate resolution; joint commending or memorial resolution; any bill or joint resolution affecting the rules of procedure or the schedule of business of the General Assembly, either of its houses, or any of its committees; introduced with the unanimous consent of the members elected to the house in which the bill or joint resolution is offered; introduced with the written consent of the Governor; or requested by a member-elect who was elected subsequent to the November 7, 2000, election.
Virginia General Assembly Session Calendar
Appendices D and E