State delegates and senators constitute the state's legislative branch. They draw up the state's budget and pass bills, which must be signed by the governor before they become law. Legislative sessions start in January and last 30 days in odd years and 60 days in even years.
The General Assembly was first convened in Jamestown in 1619, making Virginia's legislature the oldest continuous law-making body in the world.
Each of the 100 members of the House of Delegates represents approximately 71,000 citizens and is paid an annual salary of $17,640. The 40 state senators represent roughly 176,000 citizens and are paid a salary of $18,000.
Every General Assembly seat is up for election in November. To find out who represents you or to track legislation, go to the General Assembly's Web page at http://legis.state.va.us.
<lst>Sen. Mark Herring (D-33): Herring was elected to the Senate of Virginia in January 2006 in a special election. In 1999, Herring was elected to the Loudoun Board of Supervisors representing the Leesburg district. In the Senate he serves on the General Laws and Technology, Local Government and Rehabilitation and Social Services committees. Herring is running for a second term in office and will face Republican nominee Patricia Phillips in November.
Del. Robert Marshall (R-13): Marshall was re-elected to the 13th district in 2005. He has been a member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 1992. In the house he is vice chair of the Counties, Cities and Towns committee, and serves on the Privileges and Elections and Science and Technology committees. Marshall is running for another term and will face Democratic nominee Bruce Roemmelt in November.
Del. David Poisson (D-32): Poisson was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2005. He was the only Democrat in Virginia to defeat a sitting Republican in 2005, four-term incumbent Dick Black. Poisson serves on the House Agriculture, Chesapeke and Natural Resources and the Militia Police and Public Safety committees. His district includes Lowes Island, Cascades, Countryside, Sugarland Run, Ashburn, Ashburn Farm, Lansdowne and Broadlands, and he is running for a second term in office and he will face Republican Lynn Chapman in November.
Del. Tom Rust (R-86): Rust was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2001. He currently serves on the House Education, Transportation and Science and Tecnology committees. Rust will run for reelection in November against Democrat Jay Donahue.