It is that time of year again, when Senators and Delegates from around the Commonwealth huddle in Richmond to review more than 3,000 pieces of proposed legislation. The makeup of the Virginia General Assembly is different this year, but don’t worry– the Loudoun Chamber is still on the job, reviewing the legislation and communicating with our delegation on your behalf.
The Loudoun Chamber is supporting several bills. Here are highlights from a few of them:
- House Bill 1279 by Delegate Kathy Tran of Fairfax – HB1279 is designed to assist veterans who are pursuing an education in a Virginia public institution of higher education. This legislation would enable them to transfer academic credit for military training courses from one college or university in Virginia to another.
- Senate Bill 449 by Senator Jennifer Wexton of Loudoun – SB449 will create a Philanthropy and Social Innovation Advisory Board to advise the Governor and Cabinet on matters relating to the promotion and development of funding partnerships between the Commonwealth and philanthropic foundations.
- Senate Joint Resolution 13 by Delegate Dick Black of Loudoun – SJ13 will establish a joint committee of the Senate and House to study the 2016 conditional rezoning proffer reform bill. The purpose of the study is to find out how the proffer reform bill has impacted development in the Commonwealth.
We are also monitoring numerous bills that could be harmful to businesses, including minimum wage increases and increased regulations. Here are a few specific bills that the Loudoun Chamber is opposed to.
- House Bill 242 by Delegate Michael Webert of Fauquier County – HB242 would prohibit Loudoun County (and all other jurisdictions in the Commonwealth) from making deals to bring professional sports teams in. The Chamber supports the rights of localities to make these types of decisions for themselves.
- House Bill 876 by Delegate Webert – HB876 is designed to keep Virginia from making a deal to bring the Washington Redskins playing facility to the Commonwealth.
- House Bill 1224 by Delegate Tim Hugo of Fairfax – This bill would remove the current exemption for farm buildings and structures from the Uniform Statewide Building Code if the building is operated as a licensed winery or farm winery or brewery. Doing so would be damaging to the rural and farm economy here in Loudoun. Many of our more than sixty wineries and breweries feature historic buildings as part of the attraction on their property. Those businesses that have been operating safely for years would be suddenly forced to either put in expensive upgrades to these historic structures or stop using their property altogether! The unique character of the rural tourism industry in Loudoun and the surrounding area is being threatened by this misguided proposal.
The Loudoun Chamber will continue to monitor legislation that could have an adverse impact on the Loudoun business community, and communicate its concerns with the General Laws Committee in the Virginia House of Delegates. If you have any questions about a specific piece of legislation in the General Assembly this year, please do not hesitate to contact the Loudoun Chamber staff!