Legislating In A Virtual World
The 2021 session of the Virginia General Assembly was like nothing we have ever experienced. The Virginia General Assembly, like the rest of us, had to adjust to a virtual legislative session. The Senate relocated to a large space in the Science Museum of Virginia where the 40 members could be distanced while the 100-member House of Delegates met virtually. As during the regular, in-person sessions, meetings started at 7:00 a.m. and went into the evenings. Individuals testifying were given a very short time to state their position and numerous odd and disconcerting things happened – like the committee meeting time Zooming-out or gaps in Internet connection.
Despite the difficulties for legislators, lobbyists, and the public, the legislature was able to accomplish a fair amount. Wisely, the number of bills each legislator could introduce this year was capped and the number of bills introduced was cut nearly in half.
Unless otherwise noted, each of the Acts below will be effective on July 1, 2021.
There were 1,555 bills and resolutions introduced. The NVAR and the Virginia Realtors® Bill Review Committees reviewed bills that might have an impact on the real estate industry and took positions on those. The committees took a position of “Action” on 41 bills. Of those, 36 had a “Support” position, of which 30 were passed by the legislature; six were defeated. Five bills that were of concern were amended to a position we could accept. Another 45 bills were actively monitored to make sure they were not amended in a way that would be detrimental to our industry.