Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Virginia Resources

This State Guide lists the major sources of law Virginia.

Legislative History

There is no official legislative history information in Virginia, so the documents and resources that will help to establish legislative intent are varied. Make sure you have the law's bill number and chapter number before you start on a history.

Document Locations

Code of Virginia

Annotations: The Text of each statutes is followed by parenthetical information about its history. For code provisions enacted since 1950, the note refers to the appropriate volume and chapter of the Acts of the General Assembly, and to earlier code citations if a particular title has been recodified. For code provisions already in effect in 1950, the note refers to an earlier edition of the code.

See in this guide: Statues section, also Historical Statutes for versions of superseded codes

Session Laws.

Acts also contain all joint resolutions agreed to by the General Assembly and respective House Resolutions agreed to by the body.

See in this guide: Session Laws section
Bills See in this guide: Bills & Bill Status section

Reports to the General Assembly and Special Studies

The House or Senate will sometimes order committees to prepare studies of topics important to the Assembly. 

Virginia's Legislative Information System (1897 - )

Legislative Bill Room, (804) 786-6984, 900 E. Main Street, Pocahontas Bldg Ste W528, Richmond, VA 23219

Floor Debates

There are no paper records of the proceedings of the General Assembly. Instead, there are videotapes available for viewing at the offices of the General Assembly in Richmond. House debates are available from the 1980s to the present, and Senate debates are available for the past six months. You must call ahead to make sure the tapes are available, and you must know the dates of the proceedings you want to see.

House Clerk's office, (804) 698-1530

House recordings at Library of Virginia

Senate Clerk's Office, (804) 698-7400

Newspaper: Richmond Times-Dispatch

Richmond's daily newspaper, covers the General Assembly well, and can be a good resource for background information on legislation. It has a special section for articles cover the General Assembly, i.e., Metro & Virginia and General Assembly.

Richmond Times-Dispatch on Lexis (1995 - )

Richmond Times-Dispatch on Westlaw (1985 - )

Richmond Times-Dispatch access points through catalog

More Richmond Times-Dispatch access points through catalog

Newspaper: Virginia Politics in The Washington Post

This section in the newspaper covers Virginia legislative events.

The Washington Post

See also newspaper access points on News Research guide.

Newspaper: Virginia Lawyers Weekly

A legal newspaper that covers legislative activities.

In print: Virginia Lawyers Weekly, Call Number: Journals 1st Floor K26 .I1755 (1986 - 2020, canceled at Law Library)

Virginia Lawyers Weekly access points through catalog (coverage varies by database)

Virginia Lawyers Weekly on Lexis (2002 - )

Virginia Lawyers Weekly on Westlaw (2003 - )

Research Guides