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Virginia House of Delegates
|Virginia House of Delegates|
|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)|
| Democratic Party (32) |
Republican Party (67)
|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|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Elections
- 3 Redistricting
- 4 Delegates
- 5 Current members
- 6 Standing committees
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
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.
As of March 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 will be in session from January 9 through February 23.
Major issues for 2013 include abortion, education, transportation, gun control, and ending a ban on uranium mining.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in regular session from January 11 through March 10.
- 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. 
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.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
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|
The top 10 donors were:
|2007 Donors, Virginia House of Delegates|
|Democratic Party of Virginia||$2,187,401|
|Virginia House Democratic Caucus||$1,816,227|
|Republican Party of Virginia||$1,297,018|
|Dominion Leadership Trust||$794,000|
|Moving Virginia Forward||$429,990|
|Virginia Association of Realtors||$401,466|
|House Republican Campaign Cmte||$290,487|
|Virginia Bankers Association||$283,172|
|Virginia Automobile & Truck Dealers Association||$281,841|
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the House of Delegates, a special election must be conducted to fill the vacant seat. 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. 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.
- See also: Redistricting in Virginia
The General Assembly handles redistricting through the passage of maps as regular legislation subject to gubernatorial veto.
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.
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.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of March 2015|
The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Virginia State House from 1992-2013.
- 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.
When sworn in
Virginia legislators assume office the second Wednesday in January after the election.
|Current Leadership, Virginia House of Delegates|
|State Speaker of the House||William J. Howell||Republican|
|State House Majority Leader||Kirk Cox||Republican|
|State House Majority Whip||Republican|
|State House Minority Leader||David Toscano||Democratic|
|State House Minority Caucus Leader||Democratic|
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
The Virginia House of Delegates has 14 standing committees:
Partisan balance 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.
- Official website of the Virginia House of Delegates
- Official list of the current members of the Virginia House of Delegates
- Population in 2010 of the American states
- Population in 2000 of the American states
- "Virginia General Assembly" About House Sessions, March 13, 2009
- Visitor's Guide to the Virginia House of Delegates
- WRIC, "Virginia General Assembly To Convene For 2013 Session," January 9, 2013
- StateScape, Session schedules, accessed April 30, 2012
- Virginia General Assembly
- Post Local, Va. assembly to vote Friday on Supreme Court, appeals judges, July 29, 2011
- 2010 session dates for Virginia legislature
- Follow the Money: "Virginia House 2007 Campaign Contributions"
- Virginia General Assembly "Code of Virginia"(Referenced Statute 24.2-228.1 (A), Code of Virginia)
- Virgina General Assembly "Code of Virginia"(Referenced Statute 24.2-682(C), Virginia Code)
- Virgina General Assembly "Code of Virginia"(Referenced Statute 24.2-682(A), Virginia Code)
- 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.
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- Virginia General Assembly general information
- 2010 Leadership of the Virginia House of Delegates
State of Virginia
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | Auditor of Public Accounts | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Secretary of Natural Resources | Commissioner of Labor and Industry | Chairman of State Corporation Commission |