On January 20, the Norfolk Division of the Chamber hosted the third part in its “Civic Lunch and Learn” series. The topic, the Legislative Process and Redistricting, featured guest speaker Suffolk Republican Senator Fred Quayle, who retired this month from office after two decades. Approximately 20 Chamber members attended the lunch.
Senator Quayle explained the process of how a bill becomes a law in Virginia. Bills may originate in either the House of Delegates or the Senate. He said, “A good suggestion to your legislator might end up turning into a law.” He shared a story with the group about a current toy law that was originally recommended by a local fourth grade class. “Most work is done by Committees,” he said. Every committee meets once a week, and some meet more often. More bills die in committee than anywhere else. Bills also get amended here.
The Virginia General Assembly convened on January 11, 2012. Quayle said that typically 3,000 pieces of legislation are handled in the 60 days of the General Assembly. Quayle explained that during even years, a bill can be carried over to the next year’s session. However, he said, “In most cases, the bill ends up dying when its carried over.” Any bill passed will take effect on July 1 of that year and Emergency Acts become effective when signed by the Governor.