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General Assembly Update

The Virginia General Assembly passes important environmental justice legislation!


NVCT’s biggest legislative priority of this session, the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, has passed the General Assembly unanimously and is headed to Governor Northam’s desk for signature. The bill ensures the rights and due process of landowners who have had properties passed down to them through generations without a will or an estate. Never again will low income Virginians with family farms and valuable property be taken advantage of because they cannot afford or don’t have access to legal services that would protect their inherited land. NVCT thanks Delegate Patrick Hope and Senator Frank Ruff for championing this important, bipartisan legislation.


Here are a number of other bills working through the House of Delegates and the Senate that we have been working on. Please consider calling your State senators and delegates right away and urge them to protect and invest in our lands, water, and wildlife during the ongoing General Assembly.


HB 314 Historical African American cemeteries; Loudoun County (Support)

This bill adds Mt. Zion Old School Baptist Church Cemetery in Loudoun County to the list of cemeteries for which qualified organizations may receive funds from the Department of Historic Resources for the care of historical African American cemeteries and graves. (Approved and headed to the Governor’s desk for signature)


HB 379 Historical African American cemeteries; Arlington County (Support)

This bill adds three cemeteries in Arlington County to the list of cemeteries for which qualified organizations may receive funds from the Department of Historic Resources for the care of historical African American cemeteries and graves. The cemeteries are Calloway Cemetery, Lomax Cemetery, and Mount Salvation Cemetery.

(Passed the House and awaiting Senate floor vote)


HB 1156 Historic rehabilitation tax credit (Support)

This bill increases from $5 million to $10 million the maximum amount of the historic rehabilitation tax credit, including amounts carried over from prior taxable years, that may be claimed by a taxpayer in any taxable year.

(Passed on until next legislative session)


HB 1424 & SB 407 Virginia Revolutionary 250 Commission (Support)

This bill establishes the Virginia Revolutionary 250 Commission to plan, develop, and perform programs and activities to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution, the Revolutionary War, and the independence of the United States. The bill has an expiration date of July 1, 2027.

(Awaiting votes on final passage in both the House and Senate)


HB 1605 & SB 553 Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (Support)

One of NVCT’s highest priorities during this assembly session, this environmental justice bill protects the rights of property owners who have had land passed down to them informally from generation to generation. The legislation addresses partition action abuses that have led many such Americans to lose their tenancy-in-common property involuntarily in legal proceedings.

(Approved and headed to the Governor’s desk for signature)


HB 1623 Open-Space Lands Preservation For Virginia Outdoors Foundation (Support)

This bill supports one of NVCT’s key partners, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF), by raising the existing deed recordation fee VOF receives from $1 to $3, generating significant additional revenue for land conservation across the state.

(Passed the House and awaiting Senate floor vote)


HB 1695 & SB 1004 Wildlife Corridor Action Plan (Support)

This bill promotes the protection of wildlife corridors across the state through the establishment of a Wildlife Corridor Action Plan. The plan will list priority projects to protect wildlife corridors and improve road safety in Virginia to meet the conservation goals of the Commonwealth.

(Awaiting votes on final passage in both the House and Senate)


SB 604 Land Preservation Tax Credit Verification Requirements (Neutral)

Requires landowners making conservation easement donations to have their project verified by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation if the conservation value of their donation is $500,000 or more. Current law requires such verification for tax credits of $1 million or more.

(Defeated on the Senate floor)


SB 621 Open-space and conservation easements; rule of construction (Support)

This bill provides that if language in an open-space or conservation easement is ambiguous, such language shall be construed against the landowner and in favor of the conservation easement holder.

(Defeated on the Senate floor)


SB 854 Virginia Urban Agriculture Advisory Council (Support)

This bill creates the Virginia Urban Agriculture Advisory Council as an advisory council in the legislative branch of state government to encourage urban agriculture and contribute to building a local food economy. The bill has an expiration date of July 1, 2023.

(Passed the Senate; awaiting House action)

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