URGENT: 2019 Legislative Priorities

Advocacy Point #1


Persons meeting Priority One have been assessed as needing support immediately--by the Commonwealth's own definition. Funding waivers for these persons is critical.

Advocacy Point #2


Nursing rates are based on outdated information from the 2013 by the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) when nursing rates were set at 63% of the recommended rate.

Advocacy Point #3


Current CSA funding methods systematically incentivize the most restrictive environments for students by only providing this additional funding for students IF they are placed outside the the public schools.


Download The Arc of Virginia's Budget Hearing Toolkit

Download the toolkit

The Virginia General Assembly

What is the Virginia General Assembly?

The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and is considered the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World.

What bodies are combined to form the General Assembly?

The Virginia General Assembly is separated into two bodies, including the House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia

When does the General Assembly meet?

The General Assembly meets each even-numbered years and for 30 days in odd-numbered years. You can also find a calendar here.

How do I find my legislator?

You can find your legislator by clicking here.

How does the budget work?

Virginia's budget is a biennial budget, which means it covers two fiscal years. Each fiscal year in the Commonwealth begins on July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year. 

The Governor introduces his or her proposed budget prior to the General Assembly session, usually sometime in December.  

At the beginning of the General Assembly session, legislators across the Commonwealth will submit amendments to the proposed budget, which are then reviewed by the Senate Finance Committee and the House Appropriations Committee. 


Budget amendment hearings press release.


Speaking with Your Legislators

  • Make your introduction. Tell them your name, where you live, and why you are speaking with them.
  • Spend about three minutes with your legislator talking about the issue at hand. Stick to facts and the reason this issue is important to you. For example, if you are advocating for increased waiver slots, share the number of individuals on the urgent wait list for your community. Does your family member need a slot? Tell them briefly what a waiver would enable your loved one to do. Is there a bill number? Be sure to have it on hand.
  • Leave materials! Craft a letter and leave it with your legislator. They are very busy, and having information to review is often helpful to them.