This has been possibly the most historic year in the Virginia General Assembly in decades. During the regular session alone, 3,857 bills were introduced, spanning thousands of pages covering topics as vast as criminal justice reform to election laws to natural resource protection.1 As if that wasn’t enough, the General Assembly reconvened for a Special Session in August to address the COVID-19 pandemic, related budgetary changes, and a myriad of police conduct-related bills in response to the killing of George Floyd and the national Black Lives Matter movement. This article will provide a summary of some of the major bills that were introduced, passed, or failed this Regular Session and Special Session. The other articles within this issue were selected to provide a deeper dive into highly influential pieces of legislation and touch on the following topics: marijuana decriminalization, the Virginia Values Act, the Equal Rights Amendment, redistricting, and the COVID-19 pandemic’s influence on the budget. This article summarizes key legislation grouped in the following nine areas. I. Agriculture and Natural Resources, II. Commerce, III. Civil and Criminal Law, IV. Voting and Elections, V. Firearms, VI. Health, Safety and Human Rights, VII. Housing and Transportation, VIII. Racial Justice with a Focus on Confederate Monument Litigation, and IX. Special Session Legislation.
Samantha R. Galina,
No Rest for the Weary: A Survey of Virginia's 2020 General Assembly Regular and Special Sessions,
Rich. Pub. Int. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.richmond.edu/pilr/vol24/iss1/3