The Resource Agency history of the Virginia General Assembly, Senate
- Agency history of the Virginia General Assembly, Senate
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- The four principal agents of colonial government were Governor, Council, House of Burgesses, and the Judiciary. During the colonial period the Council served as the upper house of the legislative branch of government in Virginia. The state constitution adopted in 1776 reduced the function of the Council of State to an advisory and co-executive role and established the Senate as the upper legislative chamber.
- The primary function of the Senate is to review merits of a legislative bill and vote in regard to their adoption or rejection to the bill. Bills can originate either in the Senate or in the House of Delegates. Both chambers can establish study committees, and each serves as a check upon each other to ensure a thorough debate on the merits of each bill. The Senate is presided over by the lieutenant governor, which currently (1994) has 40 members. Currently the Senate, together with the House of Delegates, meet as the General Assembly in annual sessions of alternately of thirty or sixty days duration.
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