Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 30. General Assembly
1/24/2019

Chapter 2.2. Division of Legislative Services.

§ 30-28.12. Creation of Division; appointment, term and qualifications of Director.

There shall be a legislative agency known and designated as the Division of Legislative Services, hereinafter in this chapter sometimes called the Division. The Division shall be in the charge of a Director, who shall be appointed by, subject to confirmation of the General Assembly, and serve at the pleasure of the Committees on Rules of the House of Delegates and the Senate.

The Director shall be an experienced lawyer and a graduate of the school of law of an approved institution of higher education.

1966, c. 676; 1970, c. 478; 1973, c. 322.

§ 30-28.13. Assistants, draftsmen and clerks.

The Director may employ and fix the compensation of necessary assistants, draftsmen and clerks, who shall be selected solely on the grounds of fitness for the performance of the duties assigned to them. Such compensation shall be paid out of appropriations made for the purpose.

1966, c. 676; 1970, c. 478; 1973, c. 322.

§ 30-28.14. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1978, c. 128.

§ 30-28.15. Use of state libraries; withdrawal of books; charges.

A. The Division, through its Director and employees, shall have access to the State Law Library and The Library of Virginia, with the right to withdraw, in the performance of their duties, any books, pamphlets or printed data from either library, subject to the rules of the libraries as to time.

B. Upon the request of the Division, the library of any public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth shall furnish the Division photocopies of materials on file without any charge except the actual cost of photocopying. Such libraries shall not charge the Division for any library exchange services.

1966, c. 676; 1989, c. 412; 1994, c. 64.

§ 30-28.16. Duties of Division and of Director.

A. The Division shall:

1. Establish a reference library which develops and maintains a library collection to support the work of the Division and the General Assembly and which provides general and specific reference services to members of the General Assembly;

2. Keep on file copies of all bills, resolutions, amendments thereto, reports of committees and other documents printed by order of either house of the General Assembly;

3. Accumulate data and statistics regarding the practical operation and effect of statutes of this and other states;

4. Carry out such research projects as shall be assigned to it by the Committees on Rules of the House of Delegates and the Senate;

5. Furnish upon written request of any person a copy of any charter of a city or town of the Commonwealth at the charge prevailing from time to time for reproducing same;

6. Carry out research and obtain and analyze information for members of the General Assembly and its committees; and

7. Provide an annual report to the General Assembly, indexed according to standing committee jurisdiction, on the status of all reports, actions, or data collection that is required by legislation enacted by the General Assembly or otherwise requested by the General Assembly of agencies and collegial bodies of state government. The report for the most recently completed calendar year shall be submitted to the General Assembly and the Governor as soon as practicable after the first day of the next regular session and may be provided through the legislative electronic information system.

B. Upon the request of the Governor, any member of the General Assembly, any Governor's Secretary, or the head of any legislative, judicial or independent agency, the Division shall:

1. Draft or aid in drafting legislative bills or resolutions and amendments thereto;

2. Advise as to the constitutionality or probable legal effect of proposed legislation;

3. Prepare summaries of existing laws affected by proposed legislation, compilations of laws in other states or countries relating to the subject matter of such legislation, and statements of the operation and effect of such laws; or

4. Make researches and examinations as to any subject of proposed legislation.

C. The Director shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by the Committees on Rules of the House of Delegates and the Senate.

1966, c. 676; 1973, c. 322; 1977, c. 672; 1979, c. 311; 1980, cc. 687, 723; 1984, c. 202; 1989, c. 412; 1990, c. 485; 2006, c. 662; 2008, c. 677; 2011, c. 765.

§ 30-28.17. Books and documents to be accessible to officers and general public.

All the books, documents and other materials, and the guides to materials shall be at all times accessible to the Governor and members of the General Assembly, state and municipal officers, boards and commissions, and the general public, for reference purposes.

1966, c. 676.

§ 30-28.18. Requests for drafting bills or resolutions; bills to conform to request; public access.

A. All requests for the drafting of bills or resolutions by the Division shall be submitted in person, in writing, or by voice transmission. Each request shall contain a general statement respecting the policies and purposes that the requester desires incorporated in and accomplished by the bill. All written requests shall be signed by the person submitting them. Neither the Director nor any employee of the Division shall reveal to any person outside of the Division, except to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems in fulfilling its duties as provided in § 30-34.14, the contents or nature of any request or statements except with the consent of the person signing such request. Exceptions to this general rule are as follows:

1. When the Director or an employee receives a request that is substantially the same as one previously received, he may, unless specifically directed not to do so by the person first submitting such request, so inform the person submitting the similar request;

2. Unless specifically directed otherwise, the Director or employee may reveal the nature of a request when seeking information from anyone to assist in drafting the bill; and

3. Copies of all floor substitute bills, conference committee reports, and substitute bills accompanying a conference committee report shall be placed in a secure electronic file immediately following the final drafting of the legislation and may be accessed by either the Clerk of the House of Delegates or the Clerk of the Senate or their employee designees after such legislation is offered for introduction in either house.

Bills drafted by the Division shall conform to the statements submitted with the request or any supplementary instructions submitted by the person who originally made the request.

B. All legislative drafting requests and accompanying documents shall be maintained by the Division as permanent records. Each of these separate files shall be considered the property of the requester and no one other than members of the Division staff shall have access to any such file without the specific approval of the requester.

C. All legislative drafting requests from the Governor, a Governor's Secretary, the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, or the head of any judicial, legislative, or independent agency shall be submitted to the Division on or before the same deadline applicable to members of the General Assembly for submitting legislative drafting requests for legislation to be prefiled to the Division, as established by the procedural resolution adopted by the General Assembly, or in default thereof, as adopted by the Joint Rules Committee. Requests from the Governor may also be submitted in accordance with the procedures established by the Rules Committees of the House of Delegates and the Senate for the conduct of business during a legislative session.

1966, c. 676; 1976, c. 112; 1988, c. 214; 1989, cc. 412, 512; 2001, cc. 568, 584; 2002, c. 2; 2005, c. 839; 2017, c. 489.

§ 30-28.19. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1983, c. 62.

§ 30-28.20. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1976, c. 746.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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