Post written by Grafton deButts, VP of Membership & Government Affairs
Compared to the over 120 days that the Virginia General Assembly spent in Session in 2020, the 2021 30-Day Session may feel like the blink of an eye to some. Session began only two Wednesday’s ago and today marks the halfway point.
Many major pieces of legislation that pose a substantial threat to doing business in the Commonwealth don’t seem to be gaining momentum thus far. HB1755 (Carter – Prince William) which would repeal “Right To Work” provisions in the Code of Virginia has yet to be assigned to a committee. Along with SB1330 (Boysko – Loudoun/Fairfax) sought to mandate paid family and medical leave through an assessment on employers and their employees will not make it to the floor for a vote this session.
Here’s a list that highlights some the bills we’re advocating for or against and their impact on our business community.
- More Dulles Greenway Oversight – HB1832: This bill authored by Delegate Subramanyam (Dulles) will provide the State Corporation greater access to the detailed financial health of owners of the road and use it in a more transparent process to determine what a fair return on investment and toll rate should be. The Chamber testified in favor of this bill before the House Transportation Subcommittee along with County leadership in favor of this bill.
- Voluntary Family Medical Leave – SB1219: Another member of the Loudoun Delegation, Senator Barbara Favola, was the chief patroon this bill that would call for a study to determine how to incentivize the business community to voluntarily provide a 12-week family medical leave benefit for their employees through a private insurance marketplace. SB1219 would form a stakeholder group to begin that study as well as remove legal roadblocks for private insurers.
In Opposition of:
- Permanent Eviction Legislation – HB1889: This bill would remove the expiration date on a piece of temporary legislation approved last summer that allows for the deferral of rent payments due to economic hardships associated with the pandemic. All major property-owner organizations were in favor of the temporary bill last year to help their tenants through the pandemic, but removing expiration date on temporary legislation will only extend the issue for all involved. We believe a new more holistic solution should be created for this challenging and important issue.
- Additional Regulation on Utility Upgrades – HB1934: Targeted at the energy industry, HB1934 would require any utility company that must place or repair a utility pipe over twelve inches to acquire Board of Supervisors approval. This legislation could potentially lead to delays in upgrading aging infrastructure and extension to future commercial and economic development projects.
- Extension of ABC License Review – HB2131: We are joined in our opposition by the Virginia Winery Association and Virginia Craft Brewers Association. This bill would double the amount of time, from 15 to 30 days, that a business seeking an ABC license would be open to objections to their application.
If there are any bills that you have questions about, or that your organization is seeking advocacy on, please don’t hesitate to contact Vice President of Membership & Government Affairs, Grafton deButts, 703-431-8443.