The Resource Agency history of the Virginia Division of Legislative Services
- Agency history of the Virginia Division of Legislative Services
- Biographical or historical data
- On March 21, 1914 the Legislative Reference Bureau was created within the Office of the Attorney General by an act of the General Assembly. Its primary purpose was to draft legislation for the governor and members of the General Assembly, collect materials related to proposed legislation, maintain files of all legislative documents, and to analyze the legal effects and other aspects of proposed legislation. The agency was to be run by a director appointed by the Governor. On March 24, 1930 the General Assembly changed the name to the Divison of Statutory Research and Drafting and the Division was moved from the Office of the Attorney General to the legislative branch of state government. The director of the Division was required to periodically review the statutory law of the Commonwealth and to suggest changes to the governor. In addition to drafting legislation, the agency was also charged with legal support services for the General Assembly.
- The Division of Statutory Research and Drafting was reorganized into the Division of Legislative Services on March 15, 1973. Its director is appointed by the General Assembly and serves at the pleasure of committees on rules of the Senate and House of Delegates. By 1975 the Legislative Process Commission concluded that the General Assembly needed greater research capabilities. That same year, the Division was given the responsibility of providing both legal and research staff support to all standing committees of both houses of the General Assembly. In 1989, under new leadership, the Division was organized into operational sections, currently Business and Jurisprudence; Finance and Government; and Rules, Education, Elections and Special Projects.
- The Division's major responsibilities include conducting legal and general research, drafting legislation, providing staff support to all standing committees and legislative study committees, subcommittees and commissions, evaluating the constitutionality and legal effects of legislation, and performing various other member services. The mission of the Division of Legislative Services is to assist legislators in fulfilling their duties and obligations as members of the General Assembly.
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