How Laws Are Made in Virginia

Bill Idea & Drafting | Introduction | Evaluation | Citizen Involvement | Passage


The Final Vote

At the third reading, the final version of the bill is presented to both the House of Delegates and the Senate for a final vote. If the bill is passed in both chambers, it is ready to be sent to the governor for consideration.

On The Governor's Desk

According to the Virginia Constitution, the governor has seven days to make three choices when presented with a bill:

  • Sign the bill.
  • Veto the bill. The governor's veto may be upheld or overridden by the General Assembly. If the veto is upheld, the bill dies. The vote to override a governor's veto requires a two-thirds vote of both the House of Delegates and the Senate. By using the "pocket item veto," the governor may veto certain items in an appropriations bill and still sign the bill.
  • Offer amendments for the bill. The General Assembly can agree on or reject the governor's recommendations. If the amendments are agreed on by the full assembly, the bill becomes law. If rejected, it is sent back to the governor.

If the governor does not act on the bill, it becomes law without a signature. Approved bills become law the first day of July following adjournment of the regular session.

Source: Va. General Assembly
Kamille Whittaker -

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