General Assembly Overview

Overall process and timeline

In 2019 the Virginia General Assembly celebrates 400 years of legislative deliberations. Originally called the House of Burgesses, Virginia’s legislative deliberations date back to 1609. The House of Burgesses in Virginia was the first democratic institution in the Western Hemisphere.

The 2019 session in Virginia will be a “short session” meaning it is 46 days from beginning to end. The first day of session is on January 9th and the last day will be February 22nd. Crossover, the midway point that requires each chamber to conclude work on its own bills/resolutions, is scheduled for February 5th.

To ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia both the House of Delegates and the Senate must approve the same resolution with a simple majority. It is anticipated there will be both matching and non matching resolutions in both the House and Senate. One resolution per chamber will be considered and other resolutions in the chamber will be “rolled into” that resolution.

To ratify, one resolution must be approved in one chamber and then “cross over” and be approved in the other chamber. It is not required to wait for the crossover date of February 5th for the second chamber to consider an approved resolution.

While the ERA is a resolution, not a bill the process is basically the same. Image Source:

VAratifyERA plans to welcome back our elected officials on the first day of General Assembly and then have citizen advocates on site every day of session until the Equal Rights Amendment is ratified. Click here for more details and to get involved!