The Virginia State Senate

The Upper Level of the General Assembly

General Information

The General Assembly is Virginia's legislative branch. The General Assembly traces it's origins to the House of Burgess established at Jamestown in 1619. This makes Virginia's legislative branch the oldest legislative assembly still in use.

The General Assembly is a bicameral legislative, meaning there are two houses. Most state legislative branches are bicameral. In Virginia the two sides are called the Senate and the House of Delegates. The Senate is the higher branch.
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Senate Specifics

  • 33-40 members. We currently have 40
  • 4 year terms
  • Sessions: Meet once annually. In even-numbered years they meet for 60 days. In odd-numbered years they meet for 30 days, but they may vote to extend it by another 30 days.
  • Qualifications: 21 yrs old, resident of the district they seek to elect, qualified to vote
  • Salary: 18,000 a year
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Senate Leadership

  • Lt. Governor is the president of the Senate
  • The President Pro Tempore and the Clerk of the Senate are elected by the membership, each for a four-year