Virginia General Assembly


Virginia General Assembly

The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its existence dates from the establishment of the House of Burgesses at Jamestown in 1619. It became the General Assembly in 1776 with the ratification of the Virginia Constitution.

The General Assembly is a bicameral body consisting of a lower house, the Virginia House of Delegates, with 100 members, and an upper house, the Senate of Virginia, with 40 members. The House of Delegates is presided over by a Speaker of the House, while the Senate is presided over by the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. The House and Senate each elect a clerk and sergeant-at-arms. Unlike the United States Senate, the Senate of Virginia's clerk is known as the "Clerk of the Senate", instead of the title "Secretary of the Senate" used in the U.S. Senate.

The General Assembly meets in Virginia's capital, Richmond. When sitting in Richmond, the General Assembly holds sessions in the Virginia State Capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson in 1788 and expanded in 1904. The building was renovated in 2005-2006. Senators and Delegates have their offices in the General Assembly Building across the street directly north of the Capitol. The Governor of Virginia lives across the street directly east of the Capitol in the Virginia Governor's Mansion.

The Virginia General Assembly is the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere. It previously met in Jamestown, Virginia from 1619 until 1699, when it moved to Williamsburg, Virginia and met in the colonial Capitol. The government was moved to Richmond in 1780 during the administration of Governor Thomas Jefferson, and the General Assembly has met there ever since.

Salary and qualifications

The annual salary for senators is $18,000 per year and for delegates it is $17,640 per year.cite web|url=http://www.vakids.org/pubs/virginia_state_legislature_faq.pdf|title=Virginia State Legislature|publisher=VAKids.org|accessdate=2008-09-12] To qualify for office, legislators 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 General Assembly legislators.cite web|url=http://www.vakids.org/pubs/virginia_state_legislature_faq.pdf|title=Virginia State Legislature|publisher=VAKids.org|accessdate=2008-09-12] The regular session of the General Assembly is 60 days long during even numbered years and 30 days long during odd numbered years, unless extended by a two-thirds vote of both houses.cite web|url=http://www.vakids.org/pubs/virginia_state_legislature_faq.pdf|title=Virginia State Legislature|publisher=VAKids.org|accessdate=2008-09-12]

ee also

*Virginia State Capitol
*Virginia House of Delegates
*Senate of Virginia

References

External links

* [http://legis.state.va.us/ Virginia General Assembly]
* [http://www.richmondsunlight.com/ "Richmond Sunlight,"] a sort of IMDB for this legislature
* [http://www.readthehook.com/stories/2008/02/14/COVER-stupidbills%20REFEED-C.rtf.aspx "Stupid legislative tricks? 2,900 bills flood General Assembly"]


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