Becky Bowers-Lanier, VHF/HACA Advocacy Consultant

The 2024 Session of the General Assembly adjourned sine die (indefinitely) on Saturday, March 9th. While the term sine die means “indefinitely,” we do know for certain that the Assembly will meet next for its reconvened session on April 17th.

During the regular session, the 140 General Assembly members introduced 2390 bills (the full stats are available on this link). As of this writing (Friday, March 15), 1,098 passed, and most are awaiting gubernatorial action. When one thinks of the glacial speed with which our US Congress moves, the Virginia General Assembly could give their federal counterparts some lessons!

Also, we witnessed another first in Virginia: the election of Delegate Don Scott of Portsmouth as the first black Speaker of the House. Additionally, Democrats gained control of both the House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia, resulting in new leadership for the respective caucuses.

As a consequence, over 50 new members took their place in their respective houses. The changes are due to redistricting, retirements, and primaries where incumbents were unseated. Despite the changes, the General Assembly sent a biennial budget to the Governor for his consideration and adjourned sine die on time.

VHF focused efforts on monitoring several health insurance bills in order to assure that Virginians have access to the full array of products to treat hemophilia. HB 946 and SB 376 would place a limit on cost-sharing payments for prescription medication for state-regulated health insurance plans. These bills failed to advance, but we have been assured that the measure will be studied by the Health Insurance Reform Commission (HIRC) during the interim before the 2025 General Assembly session.

HB 570, which authorizes the establishment of prescription drug affordability board (PDAB), will go into effect January 1, 2025. PDABs have been established in several states, and their work remains controversial.  The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has a brief informative piece on PDABs, and while they have been around since 2019, few states have initiated PDABs, and the data on whether they actually keep the price of prescription drugs “affordable” remains controversial. Hemophilia advocates are concerned that a PDAB could recommend actual constriction of access to drugs that our community depends on. After consulting with NHF, VHF did not sign a letter of support for this bill. Our main concern is that, if the PDAB is established, it must have robust participation from consumers.  With the bill’s passage, our community will remain vigilant on the issue of consumer representation on the PDAB.

What’s next? The General Assembly will reconvene April 17th to take action on the Governor’s vetoes and recommendations. With some talk taking place about the failure of the General Assembly to approve a budget amendment to support the building of a proposed sports arena in Northern Virginia, we may still have a special called session after April. So stay tuned to the political “drama” in Richmond.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at