Bill expanding terminology for a County’s presiding officer signed by Governor

March 5, 2020

A bill that broadens the terminology that a County’s presiding officer may use for his/her title has been signed into law by Governor Northam.

HB 738 (Reid) specifies that the presiding officer of a board of supervisors shall be called “chairman,” “chairwoman,” “chair,” “chairperson,” or “chair-at-large,” at the presiding officer’s discretion.  Prior to this bill’s passage, Virginia law required that all presiding officers be referred to as “chairman” in official correspondence.

Lawmakers have introduced similar bills in prior sessions, but Delegate Reid’s bill was the first to gain serious traction in the General Assembly, let alone make it to the Governor’s desk.  HB 738 passed the House 91-8 and passed the Senate 36-3.  The bill was signed into law by Governor Northam on March 4.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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