On January 12th, the Virginia General Assembly gaveled into the 2022 session. In even-numbered years, the General Assembly convenes for a “long session” which is 60 days as prescribed by the Constitution. The COVID-19 pandemic still looms, but legislative business will be conducted in person with protective protocols.

A year ago, Democrats controlled both chambers and the Governor’s mansion making significant advancements in their legislative agenda without any legitimate opposition. However, the November elections cast a new narrative for this year. Republicans flipped the House of Delegates, commanding a 52-48 majority, and swept all three statewide offices (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General). Democrats still hold a narrow 21-19 majority in the Senate. However, all it takes is one Democrat to break ranks and the scales tilt the other way with a Republican Lieutenant Governor casting tie-breaking votes.

Please note the following key dates of the session:

  • January 12 – General Assembly session convenes
  • January 21 – Bill cut-off (last day to introduce bills and certain joint resolutions)
  • February 15 – Bill crossover (last day for each house to act on its own legislation)
  • March 12 – Session adjourns sine die
  • April 11 – Last day for Governor’s action on legislation
  • April 27 – Reconvened session

AIA Virginia’s Legislative Priorities

AIA Virginia will be introducing HB 429 carried by Del. David Bulova (D-Fairfax) which drastically simplifies the Virginia Public Procurement Act regarding architectural and engineering term contracts. The bill provides that the sum of all projects performed in an architectural and professional engineering contract term shall not exceed $10 million, and the fee for any single project shall not exceed $2.5 million. In addition, the bill allows a contract for multiple architectural or professional engineering projects to be renewable for up to three additional terms at the option of the public body. Currently, there are numerous project and fee limits based on locality population size, type of work, and a host of other factors. The companion to this bill is SB 225 carried by Sen. Jeremy McPike (D-Woodbridge).

In addition, we have played a strong supporting role in the legislature’s bipartisan Commission on School Construction and Modernization. Several of the Commission’s recommendations are being presented as bills in which we will be prepared to lend our support as needed. Finally, as a follow-up to our inaugural ARCHITECTS Speak Up! event last year, we will be following legislation related to the program’s key topics of Design of Healthy and Safe Schools; Energy Efficiency and Sustainability in the Built Environment; and the Design of Affordable Housing.

Please support our advocacy efforts by investing in our PAC at Virginia American Institute of Architects PAC.  We can’t do the great work we are doing without your support.