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In 2010, the House was [[Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions| in session]] from January 13 to March 13.<ref>[http://dls.virginia.gov/pubs/calendar/cal2010_2.pdf 2010 session dates for Virginia legislature]</ref>
In 2010, the House was [[Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions| in session]] from January 13 to March 13.<ref>[http://dls.virginia.gov/pubs/calendar/cal2010_2.pdf 2010 session dates for Virginia legislature]</ref>
==Ethics and transparency==
{{Transparency card|State=Virginia|Grade=A}}
{{Transparency card|State=Virginia|Grade=A}}

Revision as of 22:24, 8 July 2013

Virginia House of Delegates

Seal of Virginia.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 9, 2013
Website:   Official House Page
House Speaker:  William J. Howell, (R)
Majority Leader:   Kirk Cox, (R)
Minority Leader:   David Toscano, (D)
Members:  100
   Democratic Party (32)
Republican Party (67)
Independent (1)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art IV, Virginia Constitution
Salary:   $17,640/year + per diem
Last Election:  November 8, 2011 (100 seats)
Next election:  November 5, 2013 (100 seats)
Redistricting:  Virginia Legislature has control
The Virginia House of Delegates is the lower house of the Virginia General Assembly, the state legislature of Virginia. A total of 100 members serve in the House of Delegates and meet at the State Capitol in Richmond. Each member represents an average of 80,010 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 70,785 residents.[2] The General Assembly meets annually, beginning on the second Wednesday in January, for 60 days in even-numbered years and for 30 days in odd-numbered years, with an option to extend annual sessions for a maximum of 30 days. [3]

Elections to the House of Delegates are held every two years in odd-numbered years. The most recent election was held on November 3, 2009. Terms of newly-elected or re-elected members of the House of Delegates begin on January 13, 2010 with the official inauguration on January 16.[4]

As of April 2015, Virginia is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.


Article IV of the Virginia Constitution establishes when the Virginia General Assembly, of which the House of Delegates is a part, is to be in session. Section 6 of Article IV states that the General Assembly is to convene annually on the second Wednesday in January. In even-numbered years, regular sessions are limited to sixty days. In odd-numbered years, regular sessions are limited to thirty days. Section 6 allows the General Assembly to extend its regular sessions by thirty days if two-thirds of each house vote to extend the session.

Section 6 allows the Governor of Virginia to convene special sessions of the General Assembly. Section 6 also allows for a special session to be called when it is requested by two-thirds of the members of each house.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the General Assembly was in session from January 9 through February 25.

Major issues

Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included abortion, education, transportation, gun control, and ending a ban on uranium mining.[5]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the House was in regular session from January 11 through March 10.[6]


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Legislature was in regular session from January 12 through February 27. On February 27, a special redistricting session was convened. A reconvened session will begin on April 6 at 12 p.m. to consider any Governor's amendments and/or vetoes to legislation passed by the General Assembly. This is the only business that can occur during the reconvened session. [7]

A second special session convened June 9 and lasted through July 29. The session was called to elect judges to the state Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.[8]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the House was in session from January 13 to March 13.[9]

Ethics and transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Virginia was given a grade of A in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.[10]



See also: Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2011

Elections for the office of Virginia's state house representatives were held in Virginia on November 8, 2011.


As of the 2000 Census, Virginia's 100 state representatives each represent an average population of 70,785 people. In 2007, the candidates running for state house raised a total of $32,931,206 in campaign contributions.

Year Number of candidates Total contributions
2007 156 $32,931,206
2005 187 $25,340,303
2003 158 $13,103,722
2001 182 $13,681,547

The top 10 donors were:[11]


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

If there is a vacancy in the House of Delegates, a special election must be conducted to fill the vacant seat[12]. Within 15 days of the vacancy, the governing body of the city or county that represents the vacant seat must petition to a circuit court for a special election. All special elections must be held promptly[13]. No special election can be held with less than 60 days left in the vacant legislator's term and 55 days before statewide primary or general elections[14].


See also: Redistricting in Virginia

The General Assembly handles redistricting through the passage of maps as regular legislation subject to gubernatorial veto.

2010 census

Virginia received its local census data on February 3, 2011. The state grew by 13 percent from 2000 to 2010; its growth mostly occurred in the northeastern part of the state, while declines ranging up to -13.4 percent occurred in counties along the southern and western edges. Loudoun County stood out with an 84.1 percent increase. Growth in the largest cities was less generous: Virginia Beach grew by 3.0 percent, Norfolk grew by 3.6 percent, Chesapeake grew by 11.6 percent, Richmond grew by 3.2 percent and Newport News grew by 0.3 percent.[15]

The Assembly was split going into redistricting; Republicans controlled the House, and Democrats controlled the Senate. The House set a 1% standard for allowance of deviation from the ideal district size (88,900 people), while the Senate passed a 2% standard (200,000 being the ideal size). The Senate and House reached a verbal agreement that the houses would draw their own lines and not interfere with the other's.

The House and Senate approved their maps on April 6 and 7, 2011, respectively. While the House had an overwhelming 86-8 vote, the Senate went along party lines 22-18. Governor Bob McDonnell vetoed the maps on April 15, citing concerns about the increase in the number of divided communities, the Senate plan's higher deviation standard, and the partisan vote in the Senate.

The House quickly returned and passed revisions that rejoined several divided districts; Senate Democrats initially would not budge, but the chamber eventually worked out a compromise (passing on a 32-5 vote) that split Virginia Beach, reduced the number of splits in Prince William County, and split the College of William & Mary from Thomas Norment's district. McDonnell signed the revised plan on April 29, 2011.


Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 32
     Republican Party 67
     Vacancy 1
Total 100

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Virginia State House from 1992-2013.

Partisan composition of the Virginia State House.PNG


See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Virginia House of Delegates are paid $17,640/year. Representatives receive $135/day per diem tied to the federal rate.[16]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Virginia legislators assume office the second Wednesday in January after the election.


The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body. Duties of the Speaker include assigning bills to committee and appointing the membership of standing committees.[17][18]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Virginia House of Delegates
Office Representative Party
State Speaker of the House William J. Howell Ends.png Republican
State House Majority Leader Kirk Cox Ends.png Republican
State House Majority Whip Ends.png Republican
State House Minority Leader David Toscano Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Minority Caucus Leader Electiondot.png Democratic

Current members

Change in partisan composition of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1991-2007

November 3, 2009 elections

The list below includes current members of the Virgina House of Delegates. Some of them did not run for re-election, or lost their elections on November 3, 2009. Their newly-elected replacements will officially take their seats on January 13, 2010.

Newly-elected members of the House of Delegates include James Morefield (District 3), William Cleaveland (District 17), Richard Bell (District 20), Ronald Villanueva (District 21), T. Scott Garrett (District 23), Thomas Greason (District 32), Barbara Comstock (District 34), Mark Keam (District 35), Kaye Kory (District 38), Scott Surovell (District 44), Patrick Hope (District 47), Richard L. Anderson (District 51), Luke Torian (District 52), John Cox (District 55), James Edmunds, II (District 60), James LeMunyon (District 67), Betsy Carr (District 69), Christopher Stolle (District 83), Robin Abbott (District 93).

  • Morefield, Cleaveland, Bell, Villanueva, Garrett, Greason, Comstock, Anderson, LeMunyon, Stolle are Republicans who beat incumbent Democrats.
  • John Cox and James Edmunds, II are Republicans who won open seats held by Republicans who did not run for re-election.
  • Keam, Kory, Surovell and Hope are Democrats who won election in districts previously held by a Democrat.
  • Torian is a Democrat who won an open seat previously held by a Republican.
  • Carr is a Democrat who won election in a district with a vacant seat.
  • Abbott, a Democrat, beat an incumbent Republican.

Altogether, eight districts that were held by Democrats voted in a Republican in November.

List of members 2010-2012

Current members, Virginia House of Delegates
District Delegate Party Assumed office
1 Terry Kilgore Ends.png Republican 1994
2 Mark Dudenhefer Ends.png Republican 2012
3 James Morefield Ends.png Republican 2010
4 Joe Johnson Electiondot.png Democratic 1990
5 Israel O'Quinn Ends.png Republican 2012
6 Anne B. Crockett-Stark Ends.png Republican 2006
7 Larry Rush Ends.png Republican 2012
8 Greg Habeeb Ends.png Republican 2011
9 Charles Poindexter Ends.png Republican 2008
10 Randall Minchew Ends.png Republican 2012
11 Onzlee Ware Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
12 Joseph Yost Ends.png Republican 2012
13 Bob Marshall Ends.png Republican 1992
14 Danny Marshall Ends.png Republican 2002
15 C. Todd Gilbert Ends.png Republican 2006
16 Donald Merricks Ends.png Republican 2008
17 Chris Head Ends.png Republican 2012
18 Michael Webert Ends.png Republican 2012
19 Lacey Putney Grey.png Nonpartisan 1962
20 Richard Bell Ends.png Republican 2010
21 Ronald Villanueva Ends.png Republican 2010
22 Kathy Byron Ends.png Republican 1998
23 T. Scott Garrett Ends.png Republican 2010
24 Ben Cline Ends.png Republican 2002
25 Steve Landes Ends.png Republican 1996
26 Tony Wilt Ends.png Republican 2010
27 Roxann Robinson Ends.png Republican 2010
28 Bill Howell Ends.png Republican 1988
29 Beverly Sherwood Ends.png Republican 1994
30 Ed Scott Ends.png Republican 2004
31 Scott Lingamfelter Ends.png Republican 2002
32 Thomas Greason Ends.png Republican 2010
33 Joe T. May Ends.png Republican 1994
34 Barbara Comstock Ends.png Republican 2010
35 Mark Keam Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
36 Ken Plum Electiondot.png Democratic 1982
37 David Bulova Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
38 Kaye Kory Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
39 Vivian Watts Electiondot.png Democratic 1996
40 Tim Hugo Ends.png Republican 2003
41 Eileen Filler-Corn Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
42 Dave Albo Ends.png Republican 1994
43 Mark Sickles Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
44 Scott Surovell Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
45 Rob Krupicka Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
46 Charniele Herring Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
47 Patrick Hope Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
48 Bob Brink Electiondot.png Democratic 1998
49 Alfonso Lopez Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
50 Jackson H. Miller Ends.png Republican 2006
51 Richard L. Anderson Ends.png Republican 2010
52 Luke Torian Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
53 Jim Scott Electiondot.png Democratic 1992
54 Bobby Orrock Ends.png Republican 1990
55 John Cox Ends.png Republican 2010
56 Peter Farrell Ends.png Republican 2012
57 David Toscano Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
58 Rob Bell Ends.png Republican 2002
59 Matt Fariss Ends.png Republican 2012
60 James Edmunds, II Ends.png Republican 2010
61 Tommy Wright Ends.png Republican 2001
62 Riley Ingram Ends.png Republican 1992
63 Roz Dance Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
64 Rick Morris Ends.png Republican 2012
65 Lee Ware Ends.png Republican 1998
66 Kirk Cox Ends.png Republican 1990
67 James LeMunyon Ends.png Republican 2010
68 Manoli Loupassi Ends.png Republican 2008
69 Betsy Carr Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
70 Delores McQuinn Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
71 Jenn McClellan Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
72 Jimmie Massie Ends.png Republican 2008
73 John O'Bannon Ends.png Republican 2001
74 Joseph Morrissey Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
75 Roz Tyler Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
76 Chris Jones Ends.png Republican 1998
77 Lionell Spruill Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
78 John Cosgrove Ends.png Republican 2002
79 Johnny Joannou Electiondot.png Democratic 1998
80 Matthew James Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
81 Barry Knight Ends.png Republican 2009
82 Bob Purkey Ends.png Republican 1986
83 Christopher Stolle Ends.png Republican 2010
84 Salvatore Iaquinto Ends.png Republican 2006
85 Bob Tata Ends.png Republican 1984
86 Tom Rust Ends.png Republican 2002
87 David Ramadan Ends.png Republican 2012
88 Mark Cole Ends.png Republican 2002
89 Daun Sessoms Hester Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
90 Algie Howell Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
91 Gordon Helsel Ends.png Republican 2011
92 Jeion Ward Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
93 Michael Watson Ends.png Republican 2008
94 David Yancey Ends.png Republican 2012
95 Mamye BaCote Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
96 Brenda Pogge Ends.png Republican 2008
97 Chris Peace Ends.png Republican 2006
98 Keith Hodges Ends.png Republican 2012
99 Margaret Ransone Ends.png Republican 2012
100 Lynwood Lewis Electiondot.png Democratic 2004

Standing committees

House of Delegates
SLP badge.png
House Committees

Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee
AppropriationsCommerce and Labor
Counties, Cities and Towns
Courts of JusticeEducationFinanceGeneral Laws
Health, Welfare and Institutions
Militia, Police and Public Safety
Privileges and ElectionsRulesScience and Technology

Senate Committees

The Virginia House of Delegates has 14 standing committees:

Committee Chair Senior Minority Member
Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee Beverly Sherwood Ken Plum
Appropriations Lacey Putney Bud Phillips
Commerce and Labor Terry Kilgore Ken Plum
Counties, Cities and Towns Riley Ingram Bob Hull
Courts of Justice Dave Albo Joe Johnson
Education Bob Tata James Shuler
Finance Harry R. Purkey Joe Johnson
General Laws Chris Jones Bud Phillips
Health, Welfare and Institutions Bobby Orrock Lionell Spruill
Militia, Police and Public Safety Scott Lingamfelter Jim Scott
Privileges and Elections Mark Cole Bud Phillips
Rules Bill Howell Johnny Joannou
Science and Technology Kathy Byron Vivian Watts
Transportation Joe T. May Jeion Ward


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Virginia
Partisan breakdown of the Virginia legislature from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Virginia State House of Representatives for the first four years while the Republicans were the majority for the last 14 years. Virginia was under Republican trifectas for the final two years of the study.

Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Virginia, the Virginia State Senate and the Virginia House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Virginia state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links