2012 Bills Pending Before the Virginia General Assembly: A Digression on Resolutions

Author Melinda H. South, Attorney

Each year, the Virginia General Assembly considers thousands of pieces of legislation and decides whether to pass them into law, table them for further review, or to turn them down.[1] Scrolling through the list of the bills that have been introduced, it is a mystery how so much work will be addressed in such a short period of time.   Even though this year is a “long session” lasting 60 days[2], over a thousand bills to review is still a lot of work!   Rather than discussing some important bill making its way through the General Assembly that will affect the practice of personal injury law which our Firm does, this article will look at two of the resolutions recognizing organizations, groups or individuals.

One resolution that caught my attention was House Joint Resolution No. 11 commending the Oak Grove Baptist Church in the Virginia Beach area on the occasion of its 250th Anniversary.  This church is the oldest commissioned Baptist church in the State of Virginia.  The original name of this Virginia church was Pungo Baptist Church which split from a North Carolina church, Shiloh Baptist Church.  After the church building was destroyed by fire, it was rebuilt in a location of red and white oak trees and renamed Oak Grove.  Having served on numerous committees, I can imagine there was a lot of discussion regarding the name change alone.  One interesting note in their history was the sanctuary was used by the Union troops as a stable during the Civil War.

At the same time that Oak Grove Baptist Church was organizing as a church, the son of Virginia landowner and former speaker of the House of Burgesses Robert “King” Carter, Charles Carter, sent a dozen bottles of his wine made from American winter grapes and white Portugal summer grapes to the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in London, England.  The Society awarded Mr. Carter’s wines a gold medal, thus making his Virginia wines the first internationally recognized wines of America.  The Virginia Wine Industry is celebrating the 250th Anniversary of the first internationally recognized fine wines produced in the Commonwealth as recognized by this award, and the Virginia General Assembly’s House Joint Resolution No. 274 honors this recognition and celebration.

Now that I have indulged in a bit of history, it is time to go back and check on those bills that are winding their way through to enactment, and will become the Commonwealth of Virginia’s new laws on July 1, 2012.

About the Author: Melinda H. South has been involved with the Virginia Teacher of the Year program for over a decade and serves on the Selection Panel. She  is the “go to” person for answers to legal questions regarding Virginia and national case law, state and federal safety regulations, and building and fire codes at the personal injury law firm of Allen & Allen. Melinda is based in the Richmond, Virginia office.


[1] For more information about the bills pending before the Virginia General Assembly, see http://lis.virginia.gov.
[2] During even numbered years such as 2012, the Virginia General Assembly meets for 60 days; in odd numbered years such as 2013, the Assembly meets for only 30 days.  This year, however, the General Assembly has agreed to reconvene in March to consider the budget and a few other pieces of litigation.