Rules Committee, Virginia State Senate

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Virginia State Senate
SLP badge.png
Senate Committees

Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
Commerce and Labor
Courts of Justice
Education and HealthFinance
General Laws and Technology
Local Government
Privileges and Elections
Rehabilitation and Social Services

House Committees
The Rules Committee of the Virginia State Senate has sixteen members.

Per the Senate Rules, committees of the Virginia State Senate are assigned by the majority caucus. The caucus submits a nominations report for all committees that must be approved by a majority vote of the chamber. Committees are assigned at the start of each term.[1] A majority of appointed members make up a committee's quorum.[2] The President is not recognized as an "ex officio" member of any committee.

DocumentIcon.jpg See rules: Senate Rules


A Committee on Rules, which shall be in addition to the foregoing standing Committees, consisting of the standing Committee Chairs; the President pro tempore, if the person is not a Chair; the Majority Leader, if the person is not a Chair; the Minority Leader; and other Senators to comprise not more than 17. The Chair of the Committee on Rules shall not be Chair of any standing Committee. The Committee shall consider all resolutions amending or altering the Rules of the Senate; all joint rules with the House of Delegates; all bills and resolutions creating study committees or commissions; and all other resolutions (except those of a purely procedural nature, those concerning nominations and appointments to any office or position in the Commonwealth including the nominations of Justices and Judges, and those concerning constitutional amendments). The Committee may report such bills or resolutions with the recommendation that they be passed, or that they be rereferred to another Committee. In considering a bill or resolution, the Committee is empowered to sit while the Senate is in session. There shall be a subcommittee of the Committee, consisting of the Chair and members appointed by the Chair to equal the number of House members appointed to the subcommittee, which shall exercise on behalf of the Committee such powers as are delegated to the Committee when acting jointly with the Committee on Rules of the House of Delegates or a subcommittee thereof.[3][4]

Veto power

In February 2014, on the back of their new majority, Democrats amended the chamber's rules to allow the chair of the Senate Rules Committee to veto any senate bills that have been heavily amended by the house. Republican senators spoke out against the change, saying that the change removes voter accountability and creates a so-called "super senator" with more power than the lieutenant governor. The move is also controversial because the chamber rules are typically amended at the start of each quadrennium following an election. Senate Democrats defended the move, claiming it allows them to prevent the house from hijacking bills, as happened in 2011 when a senate bill on hospital infection control was transformed into a bill creating new building codes for abortion clinics in the house. “We now have the majority, and we have a responsibility to use that majority to get to work on the issues that voters care about,” said Dick Saslaw, the newly-appointed majority leader.[5][6]


2015 legislative session

The following table describes committee membership at the beginning of the 2015 legislative session.

Rules Committee Members, 2015
Democratic members (4)Republican members (12)
Charles ColganRyan McDougle, Chair
Dick SaslawThomas Norment
Janet HowellWalter Stosch
Louise LucasSteve Martin (Virginia)
Emmett Hanger
Stephen Newman
John Watkins
Frank Ruff
Frank Wagner
Mark Obenshain
Ralph Smith
Jill Vogel

2014 legislative session

The following table describes committee membership at the beginning of the 2014 legislative session.


The following table describes committee membership at the beginning of the 2012 legislative session.


The following table describes committee membership at the beginning of the 2010 legislative session.

External links