Virginia Capitol Connections Winter 2023

end on a Thursday it would just be the 44th day, not the 30th because 30 plus 14 equals 44. If you extend by 15 days, thus creating the mythical 45-day Session, then adjournment would fall on a Friday. Not necessarily a bad idea, folks could get home for the weekend, but it does create a ripple effect on a whole host of procedural deadlines. But if you extend by 16 days, then Session ends on a Saturday, the same as an even-year Session AND all of those pesky final week deadlines still fit within what we think of as normal for a final week of Session.

The bottom line is that a 46-day, odd-year Regular Session maintains the tradition of adjourning sine die on a Saturday, giving the shorter in length but not in substance, odd-year legislative session a comforting even-year feel. Use this bit of legislative procedural knowledge to update all your newsletters and factoids to reflect accurately that the Virginia General Assembly will convene on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, for the odd year Regular Session, which will be scheduled to adjourn sine die on Thursday, February 9, 2023, and if extended the usual 16 days, the then 46-day Session will adjourn sine die on Saturday, February 25, 2023. Finally, one more thing before we get off our soap box. It is the Reconvened Session, not the Veto Session. Scott Maddrea and Jeff Finch are both former Deputy Clerks with the House of Delegates with almost 75 years of legislative process knowledge between them. They both currently work as legislative process consultants for International Roll-Call Corporation.

Now look at an odd-year Regular Session—a 30-day constitutional odd-year session. Having trouble finding one? Not surprising. Since the 30-day, odd-year Session was adopted, the General Assembly has only held one 30-day, Regular session and that was a virtual session in 2021 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. And I think we can all agree it was anything but normal. But if you go back and look at the procedural resolution (HJR 575), there it is in Rule 12 (top of page 3), “This session of the General Assembly shall adjourn sine die no later than midnight on Thursday, February 11, 2021.” That’s right—THURSDAY! You probably didn’t notice, or maybe you did and amidst all the madness one more abnormality didn’t seem all that abnormal. But just as the 60th day after the second Wednesday in January is always a Saturday, the 30th day is always a Thursday. Per the Constitution, odd-year Regular Sessions always time out on a Thursday, unless extended. If you were to add two weeks (14 days) from the initially scheduled 30-day odd-year Session, the Regular Session would still



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V irginia C apitol C onnections , W inter 2023


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