After three years of working major changes to the Virginia Administrative Process Act (VAPA), the General Assembly paid scant attention to the Commonwealth's fundamental law of administrative procedure in 1987. During its most recent session, the legislature produced only three amendments to VAPA, inserting a regulation severability provision, modifying VAPA's impact on Voluntary Formulary changes, and narrowing the exemption enjoyed by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. In two other statutory changes affecting administrative procedure, the General Assembly expressly provided for agency subdelegation and specified the method for computing time for a rule of court. While severability has evolved into an issue of some import in federal administrative law, its 1987 expression by statutory amendment is unlikely to create a controversy in Virginia administrative law. Three of the other legislative changes should give neither bench nor bar much pause. The subdelegation provision, however, does present a potential problem because of its apparent incompatibility with recent changes to the law of administrative adjudication. The problem is unlikely to be serious given the demonstrated good sense of Virginia's agency heads, but it ought to be remedied by prompt corrective legislation.
John P. Jones,
Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Administrative Procedure,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol21/iss4/3