1. Any member or member-elect of the next regular session of the General Assembly may prefile bills and resolutions for even-numbered-year regular sessions beginning the third Monday in November of the preceding year with the Clerk of the House of Delegates or Senate as appropriate.
2. Any member or member-elect of the General Assembly may prefile bills and resolutions for odd-numbered-year regular sessions beginning the third Monday in July of the preceding year with the Clerk of the House of Delegates or Senate as appropriate.
3. Any bill or resolution prefiled shall be endorsed by the handwritten signature of at least one member or member-elect as a patron. An electronic signature may be substituted for a handwritten signature on prefiled legislation as may be approved by each house in accordance with its rules and procedures. In no event shall a bill or resolution be prefiled by a member of the General Assembly who was not re-elected to the next regular session of the General Assembly. The deadline for submitting drafting requests for legislation to be prefiled to the Division of Legislative Services and the deadline for prefiling legislation with the appropriate Clerk shall be established by the procedural resolution adopted by the General Assembly, or in default thereof, adopted by the Joint Rules Committee.
B. In the event of the convening of a special session of the General Assembly, only bills relating to the stated purpose of such special session and resolutions affecting the rules of procedure or schedule of business of the General Assembly may be prefiled as provided in subsection A of this section beginning on the day on which either (i) the Governor announces the date on which such special session is to convene, or (ii) two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly make application to the Governor for the convening of such special session.
C. The Clerks of the House of Delegates and Senate shall assign numbers to prefiled bills and resolutions in the order of their receipt, refer them to the appropriate committee with the advice of the Speaker of the House of Delegates, in the case of House bills, and in the case of Senate bills, in accordance with the Rules of the Senate, and have a sufficient number of them printed for circulation as provided in this section.
D. Printed prefiled bills and resolutions shall be periodically mailed to each member and member-elect of the General Assembly and shall be made available to the press and public in the same manner as bills and resolutions introduced after the General Assembly convenes.
1969, Ex. Sess., c. 24; 1973, c. 488; 1981, c. 196; 1987, c. 124; 2001, cc. 568, 584; 2004, c. 718; 2007, c. 442; 2012, c. 670.