General Assembly Republicans will limit 2021 Session to 30 days mandated by Constitution

gshipley2021 General Assembly, Press Releases

Senate Republican Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City) and House Republican Leader C. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) today announced they will oppose extending the 2021 General Assembly session beyond the 30 days mandated by the Constitution of Virginia.

As Article IV, Section 6 of the Constitution requires “the concurrence of two-thirds of the members elected to each house” to extend sessions held in odd-numbered years, their announcement means the 2021 session will only last 30 calendar days.

“Considering the lengthy regular and special sessions held this year, the General Assembly should be able to complete its work for 2021 in the 30 days the Constitution allows,” said Senator Norment. “This year’s regular session lasted 65 days and the special session stretched out over 84.

The Constitution limits General Assembly sessions to 60 days in even-numbered years and 30 in odd-numbered ones. Since this special session amended the budget, 30 days is sufficient time to complete our work in the upcoming regular session.”

“The Constitution limits the duration of General Assembly sessions to ensure we have a citizen legislature, not one populated by full-time politicians,” Delegate Gilbert noted. “Given that we’ve already addressed the primary purpose of the upcoming session, amending the state budget, it makes sense that we keep within the constitutional minimum until the people of Virginia can once again fully participate in their government.”

“Although the 2021 regular session will last only 30 days, the 2020-2021 General Assembly will still exceed the number of legislative days it would have met had we conducted our customary 60-day and 46-day regular sessions.”

“This decision is consistent with the Constitution and fiscally sound,” Senator Norment concluded. “It is the right decision for the Commonwealth and the people we are entrusted to serve.”