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2024 General Assembly Convenes

The first day of the 2024 General Assembly session featured a mixture of continuity and change, as the many newly-elected legislators took office and both new and returning legislators settled into the recently-reopened General Assembly Building.  In addition to the traditional procedural duties for the first day of the session, including the adoption of the session schedule and the appointment of members to standing committees, the House of Delegates marked the historic election of Delegate Don Scott as Speaker, the first African-American to serve in this capacity.  Senator Louise Lucas, who is the first African-American and first woman to serve as President Pro Tempore of the Senate, will continue in this role, alongside Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle Sears, the first African-American and first woman elected to this office.

In keeping with tradition, Governor Glenn Youngkin addressed the legislature in his annual State of the Commonwealth speech, highlighting his legislative and budget priorities, as well as progress on Administration initiatives at his term’s “halftime.”  He pledged to work with the legislature on a plan to convert Virginia’s current system of funding K-12 staffing through the Standards of Quality to a student-based funding formula, which was a policy option discussed in the recently-released JLARC report on K-12 funding; this plan is to be delivered by November 1 of this year.  He discussed several priorities in his proposed budget, including child care, public safety, workforce development, and modernization of the state’s tax structure, and he also reiterated his challenge to the legislature to eliminate the car tax.  He highlighted progress on reforms to the behavioral health system through the Right Help Right Now initiative, as well as efforts to improve the state’s foster care system implemented by the Safe and Sound Task Force.  He also touted the proposed relocation of the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards to a new sports and entertainment complex in the City of Alexandria.

General Assembly committees began considering legislation today; as of the evening of January 10, more than 1,800 pieces of legislation had been filed and posted on the legislature’s website.  Updated membership lists for House committees may be found at this link, and Senate committee rosters may be found at this link.  VACo staff are reviewing legislation and will be providing regular updates in future editions of Capitol Contact.

Watch Governor Youngkin’s State of the Commonwealth.

VACo Contact:  Katie Boyle

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