Difference between revisions of "Virginia House of Delegates"

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{{Virginia budget process}}
{{Virginia budget process}}
===Cost-benefit analyses===
::''See also: [[Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative Cost-Benefit Study]]''
{{Pew cost-benefit study|State=Virginia|Rank=Best}}
==Ethics and transparency==
==Ethics and transparency==

Revision as of 09:27, 6 June 2014

Virginia House of Delegates

Seal of Virginia.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 8, 2014
Website:   Official House Page
House Speaker:  William J. Howell (R)
Majority Leader:   Kirk Cox (R)
Minority Leader:   David Toscano (D)
Members:  100
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art IV, Virginia Constitution
Salary:   $17,640/year + per diem
Last Election:  November 5, 2013 (100 seats)
Next election:  November 3, 2015 (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]

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

See also: Virginia State Legislature, Virginia State Senate, Virginia Governor


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 2014 state legislative sessions

In 2014, the General Assembly was in session from January 8 through March 10.

Major issues

Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included expanding Medicaid, a $97 billion spending plan, and raising minimum wage.[4]


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]

Role in state budget

See also: Virginia state budget

The state operates on a biennial budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[10][11]

  1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in April and August.
  2. State agency budget requests are submitted in June and October.
  3. Agency hearings are held in September and October.
  4. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the Virginia General Assembly by December 20.
  5. The General Assembly holds public hearings in January.
  6. The General Assembly adopts a budget in March or April. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.
  7. The biennial budget cycle begins in July.

Virginia is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[11]

Though the governor and General Assembly are not required by law to submit or pass a balanced budget, the Virginia Constitution does require the budget to be balanced before the governor signs it into law.[11]

Cost-benefit analyses

See also: Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative Cost-Benefit Study
Map showing results of the Pew-MacArthur cost-benefit study.

The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 indicating that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis, while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. The challenges states faced included a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Virginia was one of the 10 states that used cost-benefit analysis more than the rest of the states with respect to determining return on investment regarding state programs. In addition, these states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis with respect to large budget areas and when making policy decisions.[12]

Ethics and transparency

Following the Money report

See also: "Following the Money" report, 2014

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending.[13] According to the report, Virginia received a grade of B+ and a numerical score of 87, indicating that Virginia was "advancing" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.[13]

Open States 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.[14]



See also: Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2013

Elections for the office of Virginia House of Delegates consisted of a primary election on June 11, 2013, and a general election, which took place on November 5, 2013.


See also: Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2011

Elections for the office of Virginia House of Delegates consisted of a primary election on August 23, 2011, and a general election on November 8, 2011.

During the 2011 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $25,013,110. The top 10 contributors were:[15]


See also: Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2009

Elections for the office of Virginia House of Delegates consisted of a primary election on June 9, 2009, and a general election on November 3, 2009.

During the 2009 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $35,947,346. The top 10 contributors were:[16]


See also: Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2007

Elections for the office of Virginia House of Delegates consisted of a primary election on June 12, 2007, and a general election on November 6, 2007.

During the 2007 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $32,931,206. The top 10 contributors were:[17]


See also: Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2005

Elections for the office of Virginia House of Delegates consisted of a primary election on June 14, 2005, and a general election on November 8, 2005.

During the 2005 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $25,340,303. The top 10 contributors were:[18]


See also: Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2003

Elections for the office of Virginia House of Delegates consisted of a primary election on June 10, 2003, and a general election on November 4, 2003.

During the 2003 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $13,103,722. The top 10 contributors were:[19]


See also: Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2001

Elections for the office of Virginia House of Delegates consisted of a primary election on June 12, 2001, and a general election on November 6, 2001.

During the 2001 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $13,681,547. The top 10 contributors were:[20]


Delegates must be at least 21 years of age at the time of the election, residents of the district they represent, and qualified to vote for members of the Virginia General Assembly.[21]


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, then a special election must be conducted to fill the vacant seat.[22] Within 15 days of the vacancy, the governing body of the county or city that represents the seat must petition to a circuit court to hold a special election. All special elections must be held promptly.[23] No special election can be held with less than 60 days remaining in the vacant Senator's term or less than 55 days before a statewide primary or general election.[24]


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.[25]

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 May 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.[26]

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.[27][28]

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 Jackson H. Miller Ends.png Republican
State House Minority Leader David Toscano Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Minority Whip Charniele Herring Electiondot.png Democratic

Current members

Change in partisan composition of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1991-2007
Current members, Virginia House of Delegates
District Delegate Party Assumed office
1 Terry Kilgore Ends.png Republican 1994
2 Michael Futrell Electiondot.png Democratic 2014
3 James Morefield Ends.png Republican 2010
4 A. Benton Chafin Ends.png Republican 2014
5 Israel O'Quinn Ends.png Republican 2012
6 Jeffrey L. Campbell Ends.png Republican 2014
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 S. "Sam" Rasoul Electiondot.png Democratic 2014
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 Les R. Adams Ends.png Republican 2014
17 Chris Head Ends.png Republican 2012
18 Michael Webert Ends.png Republican 2012
19 Terry Austin Ends.png Republican 2014
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 Mark J. Berg Ends.png Republican 2014
30 Ed Scott Ends.png Republican 2004
31 Scott Lingamfelter Ends.png Republican 2002
32 Thomas Greason Ends.png Republican 2010
33 Dave A. LaRock Ends.png Republican 2014
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 Marcus Simon Electiondot.png Democratic 2014
54 Bobby Orrock Ends.png Republican 1990
55 Buddy Fowler Ends.png Republican 2014
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 Jay Leftwich Ends.png Republican 2014
79 Johnny Joannou Electiondot.png Democratic 1998
80 Matthew James Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
81 Barry Knight Ends.png Republican 2009
82 Bill R. DeSteph, Jr Ends.png Republican 2014
83 Christopher Stolle Ends.png Republican 2010
84 Glenn Davis Ends.png Republican 2014
85 Scott W. Taylor Ends.png Republican 2014
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 T. Monty Mason Electiondot.png Democratic 2014
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 Robert S. Bloxom, Jr. Ends.png Republican 2014

Standing committees

The Virginia House of Delegates has 14 standing committees:


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 had 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

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Virginia state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. During the course of the study, Virginia experienced both Democratic and Republican trifectas as well as divided governments. For over half the years of the study, Virginia was ranked in the top-10. This occurred during a Democratic trifecta, Republican trifectas and divided government. Both its highest ranking, finishing 1st in 2006, and its lowest ranking, finishing 26th in 1997, occurred during divided governments.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 11.00
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 7.67
  • SQLI average with divided government: 9.00
Chart displaying the partisanship of the Virginia government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

External links


  1. census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
  2. U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population: 2000," April 2, 2001
  3. "Virginia General Assembly" About House Sessions, March 13, 2009
  4. Daily Press, "Virginia General Assembly opens, lawmakers ease back into action," January 8, 2014
  5. WRIC, "Virginia General Assembly To Convene For 2013 Session," January 9, 2013
  6. StateScape, Session schedules, accessed April 30, 2012
  7. Virginia General Assembly
  8. Post Local, Va. assembly to vote Friday on Supreme Court, appeals judges, July 29, 2011
  9. 2010 session dates for Virginia legislature
  10. National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
  12. Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
  14. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  15. Follow the Money, "Virginia 2011 Candidates," accessed August 5, 2013
  16. Follow the Money, "Virginia 2009 Candidates," accessed August 5, 2013
  17. Follow the Money, "Virginia 2007 Candidates," accessed August 5, 2013
  18. Follow the Money, "Virginia 2005 Candidates," accessed August 5, 2013
  19. Follow the Money, "Virginia 2003 Candidates," accessed August 5, 2013
  20. Follow the Money, "Virginia 2001 Candidates," accessed August 5, 2013
  21. vakids.org, "Virginia State Legislature For Kids," accessed December 18, 2013
  22. Virginia General Assembly, "Code of Virginia," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Statute 24.2-228.1 (A), Code of Virginia)
  23. Virginia General Assembly, "Code of Virginia," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Statute 24.2-682(C), Virginia Code)
  24. Virginia General Assembly, "Code of Virginia," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Statute 24.2-682(A), Virginia Code)
  25. U.S. Census Bureau, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Virginia's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," February 3, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2012
  26. NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
  27. Virginia General Assembly general information
  28. 2010 Leadership of the Virginia House of Delegates