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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Feb 07

Crossover Day at General Assembly

Posted on February 7, 2017 at 8:10 AM by Communications Department

Today is Crossover Day at the Virginia General Assembly. In states with bi-cameral legislatures (i.e., two houses) Crossover Day is the last day for legislation to be considered in the chamber in which it was introduced. Bills that successfully pass from their own chamber are then transferred to the other for consideration. Crossover is often referred to as theCrossover_SC mid-point of the session. Although some bills do not make it through Crossover, the work of the General Assembly does not slow down. In fact, the process of working through bills from the other chamber can be as hectic as the beginning of session. Crossover also allows stakeholders the opportunity to continue to support, oppose, or amend bills of interest. It is not uncommon for a bill that was favorably considered in one chamber to be laid to rest in the other! This year, Virginia’s General Assembly members introduced 2,489 bills and considered an additional 242 that were carried over from the previous session. With only 45 days in the short session, working through those 2,731 bills is quite a challenge.

Revenue and budget bills are exempt from crossover. Using the Governor’s budget as a starting point, each Chamber considers budget amendments. Amendments that are approved in each Chamber are incorporated into their budget document resulting in both a House and Senate version of the budget. Budget bills are considered on the floor of their respective Chamber and are adopted as a block except for specific amendments that members object to and ask be considered separately.

After each Chamber approves its budget bill, it is transmitted to the opposite Chamber. By custom, the Chambers reject the opposite Chamber’s budget allowing for a Committee of Conference to be appointed. Budget conferees, generally four senior members from the Senate Finance Committee and four from the House Appropriations Committee, are charged with resolving all the differences between the House and Senate budgets. The Conference Committee’s report is then sent back to the House and Senate floors for final approval. The Conference Report must be accepted or rejected in its entirety. It cannot be amended. Upon approval by both the House and Senate, the budget is sent to the Governor for his signature. If necessary, the Governor’s amendments or vetoes are considered during the veto session, which is held about six weeks after the regular session adjourns.

 To learn more about the General Assembly visit http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/index.php .