Legislative Issues

The 2021 General Assembly Session will convene on January 13, 2021 for a short session. In light of COVID-19 this session will not only be held differently but will require different outreach efforts by SWCDs. Bill limitations will be imposed on legislators and much of the business of the General Assembly will be conducted in a virtual setting. There will be no in person legislative day. 

We encourage SWCDs to review materials from the following zoom sessions held recently to help inform about session and budget expectations. If you are interested in joining the Legislative Committee please contact Kendall.Tyree@vaswcd.org.

  • January 6, 2021 – 10:00AM-11:30AM
    Partner Agency Panel Updates and Q&A – Speakers: Director Clyde Cristman, VA DCR; Director Dave Paylor, VA DEQ; State Conservationist Dr. Edwin Martinez, NRCS; and Michael Crowder, NACD President-Elect. Click here for a video recording. Presentation Materials: [DCR Presentation] [NRCS Presentation] [Virginia NRCS Programs Report] [Virginia Trees for Clean Water Request for Proposal]
  • January 7, 2021 – 10:00AM-11:30AM
    Legislative Training: Understanding the Legislative Process, the Work of your VASWCD & the SWCD Role and Impact. Hear from Delegate Ken Plum with General Assembly Insights. Legislative Training: Understanding the Legislative Process, the Work of your VASWCD & the SWCD Role and Impact. Hear from Delegate Ken Plum with General Assembly Insights. Click here for a video recording. Click here for a copy of today’s presentation.

It is important your voice is heard. The VASWCD is willing to assist with local SWCD outreach including the organization of a legislative tour. Uncertain who represents your area, check out the Who’s Your Legislator tool for reference of elected officials by SWCD/locality.

The following VASWCD legislative items are also of importance:

  • Legislative Agenda – As approved by members at the VASWCD Annual membership meeting on December 7, 2020 and to be used in advocating district needs.
  • Legislative Handouts on SWCD Program Impacts: VCAP and Environmental Education
  • VASWCD Policy Book– As approved with edits December 4, 2018. Policies are approved every three years. New policies adopted December 7, 2020 include a Healthy Soil Initiative and Non-Discrimination policy statement and will be added to the existing policy book. 
  • 2021 General Assembly Legislative Tracking Report – This report will be posted during session and sent to the alldistirct list serve regularly. The VASWCD legislative tracking report is updated and posted during the General Assembly Session and tracks the status of legislation of interest to SWCDs. These reports provide a summary and impact of the legislation as well as the VASWCD position. Contact VASWCD staff if you have any questions or if there are additional pieces of legislation you wish tracked. 
  • The VASWCD is a member of VirginiaForever, a unique, diverse coalition of businesses, environmental organizations, and outdoor enthusiasts that advocates for increased government funding for water quality improvements and land conservation across the Commonwealth – including SWCD efforts of cost share and technical assistance. It is the only statewide organization that has a primary focus on increasing funding for natural resources protection.

These legislative reports relating to SWCD funding and the organization of water quality programs are of importance:

  • Chesapeake Bay Commission Technical Assistance Report The report released fall 2017 details the importance of technical assistance and the need for improved support and funding.
  • Chesapeake Bay and Virginia Waters Clean-Up Plan Report – https://rga.lis.virginia.gov/Published/2019/RD585/PDF – The report in Chapter 4 encompasses the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s report of “Annual Funding Needs for Effective Implementation of Agricultural Best Management Practices” pursuant to subsection C of §10.1-2128.1 of the Code of Virginia. This report also satisfies reporting requirements in §2.2-220.1 of the Code of Virginia regarding the Chesapeake Bay 2000 Agreement.
  • 2013 Virginia Soil & Water Conservation District Funding Study

Additional Information, bookmark these websites to quickly access legislation and General Assembly contact info: