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Virginia Resources

This State Guide lists the major sources of law Virginia.

Regulations

Administrative law in Virginia is governed by the Administrative Process Act, Va. Code Ann. § 2.2 et seq. Administrative law consists of the regulations and decisions made by Virginia agencies, whether executive or independent. Basic procedure includes publication of proposed and final regulations in the Virginia Register of Regulations, and publication of final regulations by topic in the Virginia Administrative Code.

The process of promulgating a regulation is clearly explained in the Legislative Information Service web site:

"An agency wishing to adopt, amend, or repeal regulations must first publish [the proposed regulation] in the Virginia Register a notice of intended regulatory action. . . [the agency then accepts] public comments for a minimum of 60 days . . . The Governor reviews the proposed regulation to determine if it is necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare, and if it is clearly written and easily understandable . . . When final action is taken, the agency again publishes the text of the regulation as adopted, highlighting all changes made to the proposed regulation and explaining any substantial changes made since publication of the proposal. A 30-day final adoption period begins upon final publication in the Virginia Register . . . A regulation becomes effective at the conclusion of the 30-day final adoption period, or at any other later date specified by the promulgating agency . . ."

For a more detailed description, including exceptions and special rules, see Regulatory Process in Virginia (Virginia Register of Regulations).

Virginia Administrative Code

The Virginia Administrative Code is the official source for promulgated rules and regulations currently in effect. It is organized by subject in 24 titles, and is updated twice a year with an Annual Supplement located in the front of each volume. In print, there is a General Index as well as indexes at the back of each title. There is also a conversion table which translates Virginia Register provisions. Each regulation entry in the Virginia Administrative Code includes the text of the regulation and historical notes with information about its proposed and final entry in the Virginia Register, amendment information, and annotations to statutory law, case law and secondary sources. The Administrative Code also publishes Executive Orders, meeting and hearing schedules, and general information about agencies.

Virginia Register

The publication includes proposed and final rules and regulations. In print, it is published every other week while the indexes are published quarterly with a final annual cumulative index for each volume. Regulations in the Virginia Register are published by status (proposed or final), and by Virginia Administrative Code title. A history of the Virginia Register is provided by the Virginia Code Commission.