Legislative Issues

The 2023 General Assembly Session convened January 11, 2023.

If you are interested in coming to Richmond to meet with your local legislator please be in touch with VASWCD staff to arrange for legislative support. 

It is important your voice is heard. The VASWCD is willing to assist with local SWCD outreach including the organization of zoom meetings or a local 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 6, 2022 and to be used in advocating district needs.
  • Legislative Handouts on SWCD Program Impacts: Check back as session starts to find talking points and ideal documents to leave behind/share with a legislator.
  • Policy Book – As approved with edits December 6, 2022. Policies are approved every three years. New policies adopted December 6, 2022 include solar, natural landscaping and engineering. 
  • General Assembly Legislative Tracking ReportThis report is updated 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. 
  • Contact your Legislator – Now is the time to contact Delegates and Senators who are considering priority investments in Virginia’s soil and water district needs. The proposed state budget has historic funding for Virginia’s natural resources. We are working hard with partners to keep this historic funding.  Easy copy-and-paste messages for you to consider sharing with your legislator will be posted here during session.
  • Budget Amendments pursued by VASWCD in support of VASWCD Legislative Agenda are under development and due by January 13, 2023.

The VASWCD is also 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. It is the only statewide organization that has a primary focus on increasing funding for natural resources protection.

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.

  • Legislative Training: Understanding the Legislative Process, the Work of your VASWCD & the SWCD Role and Impact. Additional material: Tips on Effectively Working with Congress (government relations/lobbying) by John Peterson, VASWCD Legislative Committee Co-Chairman

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 details the importance of technical assistance and the need for improved support and funding.
  • Chesapeake Bay and Virginia Waters Clean-Up Plan Report – 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: