Virginia General Assembly Update and AAM Museums Advocacy Day
The General Assembly has reached crossover. This means that for the remainder of the session, the House may only consider Senate bills while the Senate may only consider House bills. Both chambers will complete their respective budgets by Sunday, February 21st. At this point in session, most bills have passed through full committee review and are either defeated, being heard on the floor of their respective full chambers, or have already passed their house of origin.

Here is the status of the bills we brought to your attention in January:

HB 122
  • Preservation of History of Formerly Enslaved African Americans in VA., Commission on; established.
    This bill was referred to House appropriations last week, but did not pass. It was left in committee when the crossover happened, so no further action will take place on this bill this session.
HB 41
  • Thomas Jefferson Scenic Byway Loop; Virginia byway designation
    This bill passed the House and was referred to the Senate transportation committee.
SB 232
  • Capital Outlay plan for projects funded in total or partially by the general fund
    This bill was replaced by a substitute bill, which passed the Senate
    .

Luckily, a bill that some of our Northern Virginia members were very concerned about failed:

HB 736
  • Property Tax; Repeals Exemptions in Frederick County
    This bill, which would have affected nonprofits in Frederick County by potentially eliminating their property tax exemption, and could have served as a precedent in other parts of the state, was tabled by the House, so that will not go anywhere this session. 

If you would like an update on a bill you are following, you can use the state’s bill tracker.

Join the Movement; Speak Up for Museums During Museums Advocacy Day!
 
On Feb. 22-23, nearly 250 staff, students, board members, volunteers, supporters and independent professionals who work for and with museums will travel to Capitol Hill from across the country to advocate for federal support of America’s museums. Advocates will present Congress with powerful research and stories on the economic, educational and community impact museums make locally and nationally.

VAM is a proud supporter of Museums Advocacy Day, and several VAM members will be representing Virginia museums next week. Can’t make it to Washington, DC? Use the American Alliance of Museums’ Advocate from Anywhere tools to learn about the issues, contact your legislators and help spread the word!