2024 State Legislative Session Takeaways: Virginia

Written by Ian Thompson

The Virginia General Assembly adjourned the 2024 legislative Session on April 17 following a reconvened session to address Governor Glenn Youngkin’s (R) vetoes. A special session was called for May 13, which resulted in a passed budget. In total, the legislature introduced 3,595 bills with 838 bills signed by the governor and a record 153 bills vetoed. In Virginia, bills may be carried over from an even-numbered year to an odd-numbered year if a committee voted to carry it over. In total, 405 bills are being carried over from the 2024 session to the 2025 session.

Here’s what you may have missed:

Prescription Drug Affordability Board

For the second year in a row, the legislature introduced legislation to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) like ones in Colorado and Washington. SB 274 was prefiled by Senator Robert Creigh Deeds (D) on January 9, 2024, and supported by a group of bipartisan legislators aiming to reduce drug prices. Upon introduction of the bill, Deeds said "If we want to make Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family, we have to bring down not only the cost of living but, more importantly, the cost of staying alive. It's time for Virginia to take action to lower the cost of living."

SB 274 aimed to reduce prescription drug prices by establishing a board that would conduct affordability reviews by considering the average price, market competition, manufacturer price concession, and cost-effectiveness of prescription drugs. The board would also have been permitted to establish an upper payment limit amount. The bill moved through the General Assembly at a quick pace and was amended once in the senate on February 5, passed the senate on February 13, and passed the house on February 23. It was vetoed by Youngkin on April 8, his last day to veto bills, with the justification that a board could limit access to treatments, hinder medical innovation, and increase taxes by implementing a new governmental entity.

During the reconvened session on April 17, the senate reacted to the veto by voting to not send their version of the bill back to Youngkin for approval. This ultimately killed the bill as it is no longer eligible for consideration.

PDAB legislation has been a common sight over the past year. Currently, Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont all have legislation pending that would create a PDAB.

Licensing Compacts

The legislature passed five bills this year to allow Virginia to become signatories to the Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact, the Social Work Licensure Compact, and the Physician Licensure Compact.

HB 225 and SB 22 were introduced by Delegate Mark Sickles (D) and Senator Mamie Lock (D). These bills enter the Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact. This allows dentists and dental hygienists licensed in other states to have licensure reciprocity in Virginia. Both bills moved through the General Assembly with minor amendments changing effective dates. HB 225 was signed by Youngkin on March 30 and SB 22 was signed on March 8. Since Virginia became the fifth state to adopt this compact, two more states have adopted it, bringing the total to the seven needed to reach activation. The implementation process for the compact will take 18 to 24 months before compact privileges are able to be issued.

HB 326 and SB 239 were introduced by Delegate Jackie Glass (D) and Senator Ghazala Hashmi (D). These bills allow Virginia to become a signatory to the Social Work Licensure Compact. This allows social workers in other compact states to practice social work in Virginia through licensure reciprocity. These bills moved through the General Assembly with minor changes. They were both signed by Youngkin on April 8. Virginia joins Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, Vermont, Maine, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington in this compact.

HB 324 was introduced by Delegate Jackie Glass (D) and allows reciprocity between physician assistant licensing in Virginia and other member states. The bill moved through the General Assembly with minor amendments and was signed by Youngkin on April 4. With passage of this bill, Virginia became the seventh state to join, activating the compact.


The legislature and Youngkin could not come to an agreement on the budget during the legislative session. Key conflicts were provisions related to mandating Virginia’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, an increase in the sales tax for digital goods and services, reducing sentences for nonviolent offenses through enhanced credits, and an arena project that would have moved the Washington Wizards and Capitals to Alexandria. At the end of the session on April 17, the General Assembly failed to pass a budget that would have been approved by Governor Youngkin.

To rectify this and prevent a government shutdown on July 1, the legislature and the governor announced a special session on May 13. The General Assembly convened with a compromised budget and passed it on the same day.

The passed budget removed provisions related to the digital sales tax, tax increases, skill games, and mandates to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The budget now provides increased funding for K-12 schools and higher education, early childhood, behavioral health services, health care, and increased teacher salaries.

Upon signing the budget, Youngkin said, “This is an important day for Virginia. While Virginia’s elected officials can sometimes be far apart on policy, today demonstrates and reiterates that we can come together to deliver for the Commonwealth. This budget resolution was empowered by the strength of our labor market, with more Virginians working than ever before and investments by businesses large and small, that have fueled record revenues for the Commonwealth,”


Following the elections in November 2023, the General Assembly switched from a divided to a united body. Democrats now control the house and the senate while Republican Glenn Youngkin controls the governor’s office. This led to multiple legislative standoffs during the 2024 session and will likely lead to further standoffs until the 2026 elections.

The 2025 session will see 405 bills carried over from the 2024 session. Some notable carry-overs include HB 1347, which prohibits health carriers from imposing copays, coinsurance, or deductibles for the diagnosis or treatment of autism spectrum disorder for individuals under eighteen; HB 1344, which is a fair employment measure aimed at protecting employees who disclose illegal activities; and SB 432, which imposes parental consent requirements on the collection of children’s data in certain circumstances. In addition to these bills, prefiling will begin on July 15.

For questions on any of the bills carrying over to the 2025 legislative session and to stay up to date on all things Virginia General Assembly, please contact Constantine Costidis at cec@stateside.com

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