Bills We’re Watching

Our bill tracking system, “Bills We’re Watching,” provides a quick and easy way for our members to stay abreast of all legislation pertinent to business. Short, concise summaries of each bill are provided along with the Chamber’s “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down” position.

New legislation is still being filed, so this tracking sheet will change often. We are still formulating our positions on recently filed legislation.

During the General Assembly Session, the Virginia Chamber holds weekly “Legislative Roundtable” meetings for our members to gather to discuss issues of importance to the business community and the bills that we are tracking. These informal, discussion based meetings allow attendees to update one another on bills and other items of note during the fast-moving General Assembly session.

For more information on Legislative Roundtable meetings, contact Kim Mckay, Manager of Public Policy, at 804-237-1469 or k.mckay@vachamber.com.

 

Key

The Chamber supports this legislation.

This is a Blueprint Virginia initiative.

The Chamber opposes this legislation.

All

Budget

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
S. Chris Jones

Budget Bill. Amending Chapter 836 of the 2017 Acts of Assembly.

S. Chris Jones

Budget Bill. Appropriations of the Budget submitted by the Governor of Virginia in accordance with the provisions of § 2.2-1509, Code of Virginia, and to provide a portion of revenues for the two years ending respectively on the thirtieth day of June, 2019, and the thirtieth day of June, 2020.

S. Chris Jones

Revenue Reserve Fund created. Creates the Revenue Reserve Fund to be used to offset shortfalls in the budget of two percent or less of certified tax revenues collected

Thomas K. Norment, Jr.

Budget Bill. Amending Chapter 836 of the 2017 Acts of Assembly.

Thomas K. Norment, Jr.

Budget Bill. Appropriations of the Budget submitted by the Governor of Virginia in accordance with the provisions of § 2.2-1509, Code of Virginia, and to provide a portion of revenues for the two years ending respectively on the thirtieth day of June, 2019, and the thirtieth day of June, 2020.

M.1. Out of the amounts in this Item, $24,450,000 the first year and $24,450,000 the second year from the general fund shall be deposited to the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Fund to encourage regional cooperation among business, education, and government on strategic economic and workforce development efforts in accordance with § 2.2-2487, Code of Virginia. In addition, $1,595,000 the first year and $1,595,000 the second year from the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Fund is hereby appropriated. Notwithstanding § 2.2-2487, Code of Virginia, there is no limitation on the percentage of moneys in the Fund that shall be awarded or allocated in any fiscal year.

 

2. Of the amounts provided in this paragraph, the appropriation shall be distributed as follows: (i) $2,250,000 the first year and $2,250,000 the second year from the general fund shall be allocated to qualifying regions to support organizational and capacity building activities; (ii) $10,900,000 the first year and $10,900,000 the second year from the general fund and $1,595,000 the first year and $1,595,000 the second year from the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Fund shall be allocated to qualifying regions based on each region’s share of the state population; and (iii) $11,300,000 the first year and $11,300,000 the second year from the general fund shall be awarded to regional councils on a competitive basis. In distributing the amounts included for per capita allocations, the department shall provide a minimum amount for each region of $750,000. Those regions receiving the minimum amount of $750,000 shall only be required to provide a match of the original per capita allocation based on the $10,900,000 appropriation.

A. Upon authorization of the Governor, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership may transfer funds appropriated to it by this act to a nonstock corporation.

 

B. Prior to July 1 of each fiscal year, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership shall provide to the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees and the Director, Department of Planning and Budget a report of its operating plan. Prior to September 1 of each fiscal year, the Partnership shall provide to the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees and the Director, Department of Planning and Budget a detailed expenditure report and a listing of the salaries and bonuses for all partnership employees for the prior fiscal year. All three reports shall be prepared in the formats as previously approved by the Department of Planning and Budget.

 

C. In developing the criteria for any pay for performance plan, the board shall include, but not be limited to, these variables: 1) the number of economic development prospects committed to move to or expand operations in Virginia; 2) dollar investment made in Virginia for land acquisition, construction, buildings, and equipment; 3) number of full-time jobs directly related to an economic development project; and 4) location of the project. To that end, the pay for performance plan shall be weighted to recognize and reward employees who successfully recruit new economic development prospects or cause existing prospects to expand operations in localities with fiscal stress greater than the statewide average. Fiscal Stress shall be based on the Index published by the Commission on Local Government. If a prospect is physically located in more than one contiguous locality, the highest Fiscal Stress Index of the participating localities will be used.

 

D.1. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership shall report before the General Assembly convenes in January of each year on the status of the implementation of the state’s comprehensive economic development strategy, and shall recommend legislative actions related to the implementation of the comprehensive economic development strategy. The report shall be submitted to the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees, and shall include the number of site visits made by employees of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership with potential economic development prospects.

 

2. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership shall identify and target industries suited for location in the southside and southwest regions of the state.

 

E. The State Comptroller shall disburse the first and second year appropriations in twelve equal monthly installments. The Director, Department of Planning and Budget may authorize an increase in disbursements for any month, not to exceed the total appropriation for the fiscal year, if such an advance is necessary to meet payment obligations.

 

F. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership shall provide administrative and support services for the Virginia Tourism Authority as prescribed in the Memorandum of Agreement until July 1, 2020, or until the authority is able to provide such services.

 

G. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership shall report one month after the close of each quarter to the Chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees on the Commonwealth’s Development Opportunity Fund. The report shall include, but not be limited to, total appropriations made or transferred to the fund, total grants awarded, cash balances, and balances available for future commitments.

 

H. Prior to purchasing airline and hotel accommodations related to overseas trade shows, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership shall provide an itemized list of projected costs for review by the Secretary of Commerce and Trade.

 

I. Out of the amounts in this Item, $500,000 the first year and $500,000 the second year from the general fund is provided to market distressed areas of the Commonwealth.

 

J. Out of the amounts in this Item, $215,000 the first year and $215,000 the second year from the general fund is provided to assist small manufacturers with the export of advanced manufacturing products.

 

K. Out of the amounts in this Item, $500,000 the first year and $500,000 the second year from the general fund is provided for an expanded international and domestic marketing campaign to market Virginia to attract additional businesses to the Commonwealth.

 

L. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership shall investigate additional ways in which it might encourage the export of products and services from the Commonwealth to international markets, including researching potential methods through which to support broader availability of bridge loans and shipment insurance for Virginia exporters.

 

M. Out of the amounts in this Item, $1,097,957 the first year and $1,097,957 the second year from the general fund is provided for administration and operating expenses of the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

 

N.1. Out of the amounts in this Item, $2,250,000 in the first year and $2,250,000 in the second year from the general fund shall be deposited in the Virginia Brownfields Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund established pursuant to § 10.1-1237, Code of Virginia.

 

2. Guidelines developed by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Quality, governing the use of the Fund shall provide for grants of up to $500,000 for site remediation and include a requirement that sites with potential for redevelopment and economic benefits to the surrounding community be prioritized for consideration of such grants.

 

O. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership shall transfer to the Department of Environmental Quality up to $250,000 of the amounts appropriated in this Item to conduct research and for other appropriate costs associated with the development of a long-term offsetting methods within the Virginia Nutrient Credit Exchange. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership shall work in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Quality to develop the long-term offsetting methods.

 

P. Out of the amounts in this Item, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership shall provide $925,000 the first year and $925,000 the second year from the general fund to the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing for rent and operating support.

 

Q. Out of the amounts in this Item, $4,865,700 the first year and $4,865,700 the second year from the general fund shall be provided to strengthen and promote economic development initiatives. The funding shall be allocated as follows: $366,000 the first year and $366,000 the second year to expand and rebrand the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, $950,000 the first year and $950,000 the second year to support the Virginia International Trade Alliance, $1,900,000 the first year and $1,900,000 the second year to match federal grants for the Going Global Defense Initiative and the State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) grant program, $605,000 the first year and $605,000 the second year to Support Virginia exporters, $250,000 in each year to implement the recommendations of the Virginia Sustained Growth Study and $794,700 in each year to support US and international business attraction.

EE. Out of this appropriation, $5,000,000 the first year and $5,000,000 the second year from the general fund is provided to increase access to medication assisted treatment for individuals with substance use disorders who are addicted to opioids. In expending this amount, the department shall ensure that preferred drug classes shall include non-narcotic, non-addictive, injectable prescription drug treatment regimens.

I. 1.Out of this appropriation, $5,000,000 the first year and $7,500,000 the second year from the general fund is designated for the New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Program.

2. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia shall develop guidelines for the program, collect data, evaluate and approve grant funds for allocation to eligible institutions.

3. Local community colleges shall not start new workforce programs that would duplicate existing high school and adult Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs for high-demand occupations in order to receive funding under this Grant.

Conflicts of Interest

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Christopher T. Head

Lobbyist disclosure; out-of-state registration report. Requires any lobbyist required to register in the Commonwealth who (i) lobbies in another state and is required to register as a lobbyist pursuant to that state’s laws or (ii) lobbies before the federal government and is required to register as a lobbyist pursuant to federal law to file an annual report disclosing where and for whom he lobbies outside the Commonwealth. The report is required to be filed with the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council by May 1 on a form prescribed by the Council, and the Council is required to include the reports on the searchable database maintained by the Council.

Economic Development

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
James W. Morefield

Income tax; modification for certain companies and subtraction for their employees; local grants. Establishes an income tax modification for companies that, from 2018 through 2028, either (i) invest at least $5 million in new capital investment in a qualified locality and create at least 10 jobs in a qualified locality or (ii) create at least 50 jobs in a qualified locality. Such companies are exempt from withholding for their employees that reside in a qualified locality.

The bill defines qualified locality to include (i) the Counties of Bland, Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, and Wise or the Cities of Bristol and Norton, (ii) the Counties of Grayson, Henry, Halifax, or Pittsylvania or the Cities of Danville, Galax, or Martinsville, and (iii) the City of Petersburg. Qualified locality also includes certain real property owned or partly owned by such localities outside of their territorial boundaries.

A company is eligible to claim the subtraction if it had no property or payroll in Virginia or if it had property or payroll in a qualified locality on the effective date of the act and remits its applicable estimated tax to the Tax Department. The bill authorizes the Commonwealth’s Development Opportunity Fund and the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Fund to issue grants or loans to eligible companies to pay their estimated tax liability. The bill defines applicable estimated tax as the sum of (i) the company’s tax liability, calculated without allowing the modification, and (ii) the amount it would have been required to withhold for each of its employees that reside in a qualified locality.

Generally, the amount of the modification is the value of the company’s property and payroll in qualified localities. The bill provides similar modifications for industries that use different apportionment formulas including motor carriers, financial companies, construction companies, railway companies, manufacturing companies, retailers, and businesses with enterprise data center operations.

The bill also establishes a subtraction from individual income tax for employees of an eligible company. Eligibility for the corporate and individual income tax subtractions shall continue for nine years following the year in which the company initially makes a modification to its apportionment formula. Continuing eligibility is contingent on the company maintaining its capital investment and jobs created in qualified localities.

The bill permits (i) the Counties of Bland, Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, and Wise and the Cities of Bristol and Norton, (ii) the Counties of Grayson, Henry, Halifax, and Pittsylvania and the Cities of Danville, Galax, and Martinsville, and (iii) the City of Petersburg to provide grants and loans to companies that qualify for the modification provided by the bill.  The bill also authorizes all industrial development authorities to provide grants and loans to such companies.

Daniel W. Marshall, III

Enterprise Zone Grant Program; designation of enterprise zone; amendments to the size of an enterprise zone. Codifies the minimum size and maximum size of enterprise zones under the Enterprise Zone Grant Program administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development. The bill also provides that amendments to an enterprise zone that include the elimination of an area or areas from the zone shall not exceed the maximum size provisions and shall be reviewed by the Department with the potential impact on affected businesses and property owners given primary consideration.

Wendy W. Gooditis

Agricultural enterprise facilities. Authorizes the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (the Department) to establish agricultural enterprise facilities in rural areas of the Commonwealth, with each facility to include a commercial kitchen, a packaging and labeling facility, and an animal slaughtering facility. The bill directs the Department to locate the facilities near small-scale rural agricultural producers and to seek to establish a facility within 50 miles of every agricultural producer in the Commonwealth.

S. Chris Jones

Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority. Clarifies that the members of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) Authority appointed by the Governor and the Joint Rules Committee are voting members of the Authority. The bill also extends to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) the existing closed meeting exemption for discussion of portions of the VEDP strategic, marketing, and operational plans that are exempt from public disclosure. Current law requires that VEDP report on these plans to the JLARC subcommittee on economic development but does not provide an exemption for discussion of the portions of those plans not subject to public disclosure.

Glenn R. Davis

Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority (VEDP); grants and other economic incentive programs administered by the VEDP; waiver. Provides that notwithstanding any provision of law or applicable VEDP guidelines, a political subdivision or eligible business, as the case may be, may request a waiver that permits it to use no more than one-quarter of the grant or loan from any fund administered by VEDP for a purpose indirectly related to the economic development project for which the grant or loan was awarded. The bill provides that any request for a waiver shall be submitted to the VEDP or the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, as appropriate, for approval and provides that no such waiver shall be granted unless also approved by the Governor. The bill contains technical amendments.

David E. Yancey

Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority; marketing plan and report. Requires the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority (Authority) to include in its marketing plan information as to participation in trade shows and international marketing efforts, and development of performance measures that compare Virginia’s marketing efforts with those of other states. The bill also requires that the Authority’s annual marketing report include information on improvements upon prior years’ results in meeting the goals and objectives as stated in the marketing plan and adds the Governor and the General Assembly to the list of entities to which the Authority must present an annual marketing report.

R. Steven Landes

Review of economic growth-sharing agreements. Provides that all economic growth-sharing agreements between localities that exceed five years in duration shall contain a provision that allows any party to the agreement to call for a review of the agreement no more often than once every five years to determine whether the agreement continues to be in the best interest of the reviewing locality. The agreement shall contain a provision allowing such locality to end the agreement if a majority of the members of the governing body of the reviewing locality affirmatively vote to end the agreement. The bill also provides that any such agreement that has been if effect for at least 10 years as of July 1, 2018, shall be subject to renegotiation if requested by one of the parties to the agreement. The parties to the agreement shall negotiate in good faith in an attempt to reach a new agreement.

Lashrecse D. Aird

Commonwealth’s Development Opportunity Fund; criteria for awarding grants and loans. Changes the criteria for awarding funds from the Commonwealth’s Development Opportunity Fund (the Fund) to include a fiscally stressed locality with an above average or high score as evidenced by the Commission on Local Government Fiscal Stress Index. The bill awards no less than one-third of the moneys appropriated to the Fund in every five-year period to counties and cities that apply for funding and are experiencing above average or high fiscal stress as evidenced by the Commission on Local Government Fiscal Stress Index. Currently, the law awards one-third of the moneys appropriated to the Fund in every five-year period based on unemployment rates of cities and counties.

John A. Cosgrove, Jr.

Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority; Managing Director of Aerospace and Aviation. Requires the Chief Executive Officer of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority to employ, or appoint an existing employee as, a Managing Director of Aerospace and Aviation, who shall encourage, stimulate, and support the development and expansion of the aerospace and aviation industries in the Commonwealth.

Amanda F. Chase

Local economic development expenditure. Provides that any local economic development expenditure shall be first approved by the local governing body.

Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.

MEI Commission; report. Clarifies that the annual report of the MEI Commission concerning endorsed incentive packages need only report on those incentive packages for which an offer has been made and publicly announced.

Education and Workforce

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
R. Steven Landes

Dual enrollment courses; quality standards; universal transfer course credit. Requires the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (the Council), in consultation with the Department of Education and each public institution of higher education, to establish (i) quality standards for dual enrollment courses, including quality standards for course instructors, materials, and content; (ii) a process by which dual enrollment courses that meet or exceed such quality standards are certified as universal transfer courses that satisfy course credit or other academic requirements at any public institution of higher education; and (iii) a policy for the satisfaction of course credit or other academic requirements through the successful completion of universal transfer courses by entering students that (a) identifies the course credit or other academic requirements of each public institution of higher education that the student satisfies by successfully completing a universal transfer course and (b) ensures, to the extent possible, that the satisfaction of course credit or other academic requirements is consistent across each public institution of higher education and each such universal transfer course. The provisions of the bill replace existing provisions that require the Council and each public institution of higher education to establish policies relating to course credit for dual enrollment courses but that do not provide for quality standards or the universal transfer designation for such courses.

Kaye Kory

In-state tuition; domicile; individuals granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Declares, absent congressional intent to the contrary, that any individual currently granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has the capacity to intend to remain in the Commonwealth indefinitely and is therefore eligible to establish domicile and receive in-state tuition charges at any public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth.

Alfonso H. Lopez

Eligibility for in-state tuition; certain individuals who have applied for permanent residency; certain individuals approved under deferred action programs. Declares eligible for in-state tuition any individual who (i) attended a public or private high school in the Commonwealth for at least three years; (ii) graduated from a public or private high school in the Commonwealth or passed a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education; (iii) registers as an entering student at or is enrolled in a public institution of higher education; (iv) provides an affidavit to the public institution of higher education at which he has registered as an entering student or is enrolled stating that he has filed an application to become a permanent resident of the United States and is actively pursuing such permanent residency or will do so as soon as he becomes eligible for such permanent residency; and (v) submits evidence to the institution at which he has registered as an entering student or is enrolled that he, or in the case of a dependent student, at least one parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis, has filed, unless exempted by state law, Virginia income tax returns for at least three years prior to the date of registration as an entering student or enrollment. The bill provides that any such individual shall remain eligible for in-state tuition for as long as he maintains continuous enrollment in the public institution of higher education and his application for permanent residency has not been denied. The bill also prohibits any student who became eligible for in-state tuition as a result of his lawful presence in the United States pursuant to approval under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or any other federal deferred action program from being deemed ineligible for in-state tuition by virtue of the elimination or modification of any such program.

Kaye Kory

School calendar; opening day of the school year. Makes local school boards responsible for setting the school calendar and determining the opening day of the school year and eliminates the post-Labor Day opening requirement and “good cause” scenarios for which the Board of Education may grant waivers of this requirement.

Gregory D. Habeeb

School calendar; opening day of the school year. Makes local school boards responsible for setting the school calendar and determining the opening day of the school year and eliminates the post-Labor Day opening requirement and “good cause” scenarios for which the Board of Education may grant waivers of this requirement.

Paul E. Krizek

Public institutions of higher education; in-state tuition; certain residents of United States territories. Declares eligible for in-state tuition at public institutions of higher education until July 1, 2022, any resident of a United States territory for which a major disaster has been declared by the President of the United States in 2017.

Paul E. Krizek

Teacher licensure by reciprocity; third-party verification of application documents. Requires the Board of Education, in its regulations providing for teacher licensure by reciprocity, to permit third-party verification of any documents required to be submitted by the applicant as part of the application packet.

Karrie K. Delaney

Certain school divisions; plan to fund and phase in full-day kindergarten. Requires each local school board that does not offer a full-day kindergarten program for each kindergarten student in the school division to develop a plan to fund and phase in a full-day kindergarten program for each kindergarten student in the school division and submit the plan to the General Assembly in advance of the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

Sam Rasoul

Department of Education; community schools. Requires the Department of Education to establish an interagency taskforce composed of state and local agencies and entities in the areas of early childhood development, health, social services, community engagement, family engagement, higher education, and workforce development for the purpose of developing a program for the establishment of community schools whereby public elementary and secondary schools serve as centers for the provision of such community programs and services to students and their families as may be necessary on the basis of the unique needs of the student population to be served. The bill requires such program to include a process by which school boards and community partnerships may apply to the Department of Education to designate an elementary or secondary school in the local school division as a community school. The bill also establishes a special nonreverting fund in the state treasury for the purpose of providing planning grants for school boards and community partnerships that seek to apply to the Department of Education through such program for community school designation.

David E. Yancey

Worker retraining tax credit; manufacturing instruction for students. Modifies the worker retraining tax credit by allowing credit to manufacturers conducting a manufacturing orientation, instruction, and training program that is (i) provided to students in grades six through 12, (ii) coordinated with the local school division and certified as qualified for tax credit by the Virginia Economic Partnership Development Authority, and (iii) conducted either at a plant or facility used by the manufacturer or at a public middle or high school in Virginia. The credit would equal 35 percent of the manufacturer’s direct costs in providing the program, not to exceed $2,000 for any year.

Barry D. Knight

Provisional teacher licensure; career switchers; adjunct professors. Declares eligible for a one-year provisional license through the Virginia Career Switcher Alternative Route to Licensure Program any individual who has (i) completed the application process, (ii) received a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, (iii) completed the requirements for an endorsement in a teaching area or the equivalent through verifiable experience or academic study, (iv) received qualifying scores on the professional teacher’s assessments prescribed by the Board of Education, and (v) completed at least 30 credit hours of teaching experience as an adjunct professor at an institution of higher education.

Jason S. Miyares

Baccalaureate public institutions of higher education; fixed in-state tuition rates. Requires the governing board of each baccalaureate public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth to annually establish a fixed in-state tuition rate for each incoming first year or transfer undergraduate Virginia student and declares eligible for such rate (i) each incoming first year student enrolled in a four-year baccalaureate degree program for four academic years or any portion or term thereof and (ii) each incoming transfer student enrolled in a four-year baccalaureate degree program for the remainder of the academic years or any portion or term thereof during which he makes satisfactory progress toward completing such degree program, provided that any such first year or transfer student maintains continuous enrollment. The bill permits such governing boards to grant (a) an exception to the requirement for continuous enrollment on a case-by-case basis to students whose enrollment is substantially disrupted or (b) any other exception to the foregoing requirements that the governing board deems appropriate, including an exception for eligible students who are enrolled in baccalaureate degree programs that require five academic years to complete.

Elizabeth R. Guzman

Public schools; Standards of Learning assessments. Reduces the total number and type of required Standards of Learning assessments to the minimum requirements established by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, P.L. 89-10, as amended.

Elizabeth R. Guzman

Public Preschool Fund and Grant Program. Establishes the Public Preschool Fund and Grant Program for the purpose of funding and providing on a competitive basis grants to local school boards to establish and maintain public preschool programs for children who reside in the local school division and who will have reached their fourth birthday on or before September 30 of the relevant school year. The bill requires the Department of Education to administer the Public Preschool Grant Program and establish (i) guidelines and procedures for grant applications, awards, and renewals; (ii) standards for preschool programs established and maintained by grant recipients, including standards for curriculum, student achievement, attendance, instruction, personnel, and length of school day and school year; and (iii) data collection and reporting requirements for grant recipients. The bill requires the Department of Education to give priority to grant applicants who propose a plan for the innovative use of facilities in the local school division to house the proposed public preschool program, including community centers and recreation centers.

Vivian E. Watts

Standards of Quality funding; apportionment of state and local share. Directs the General Assembly, in apportioning the state and local share of the costs of meeting the Standards of Quality, beginning July 1, 2018, to implement a formula that determines each locality’s ability to pay based on the ratios of (i) the reimbursement payment made to the locality for providing tangible personal property tax relief to the reimbursement payments made statewide for providing tangible personal property tax relief; (ii) the total value of real estate in the locality adjusted by the average of the cost of competing index if used for instructional personnel and for support positions to the statewide value of real estate per person; (iii) the local one percent sales tax revenue collected by the locality to the statewide total local sales tax revenue collected; (iv) the assessed value of the personal property taxed by the locality to the statewide assessed value of the local personal property tax; and (v) revenue collected from local lodging, local cigarette, and local meals taxes to the revenue collected statewide from such local lodging, cigarette, and meals taxes.

To determine each locality’s composite index of ability to pay, (a) the sum of the ratios calculated on the basis of average daily membership for each locality shall be divided by the sum of the average daily membership ratios for all localities; (b) the sum of the ratios calculated on a per capita basis for each locality shall be divided by the sum of the per capita ratios for all localities; and (c) the locality’s ratio calculated on the basis of average daily membership shall be multiplied by 0.66, and the locality’s ratio calculated on a per capita basis shall be multiplied by 0.33. The sum of the two adjusted ratios in clause (c) shall be the local composite index of ability to pay.

Jeion A. Ward

Three-year provisional licenses; extensions. Permits the Board of Education to extend, for up to two additional years, the three-year provisional license of any teacher who requires additional time to satisfy the requirements for a renewable license.

Jeion A. Ward

Teacher licensure by reciprocity; grace period. Permits teachers with a valid out-of-state license, with full credentials and without deficiencies, to teach in a public elementary or secondary school in the Commonwealth for up to one school year prior to applying for licensure by reciprocity.

Jeffrey M. Bourne

Virginia Preschool Initiative; enrollment. Permits any local school board to offer any slots in its Virginia Preschool Initiative program that remain unfilled by at-risk students after initial enrollment to students who reside in the school division and meet the age requirements but do not qualify as at-risk and to charge a fee for such enrollment.

Jeion A. Ward

Teacher licensure; prerequisites. Eliminates the requirements that teachers seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license (i) demonstrate proficiency in the use of educational technology for instruction and (ii) receive professional development in instructional methods tailored to promote student academic progress and effective preparation for the Standards of Learning end-of-course and end-of-grade assessments.

Jeion A. Ward

Provisional teacher licensure; grace period. Allows an individual who seeks a provisional teacher license to satisfy certain licensure requirements, such as demonstrating proficiency in the use of educational technology for instruction and completing study in child abuse recognition and intervention, during the first year of provisional licensure. Current law requires that such licensure requirements be met prior to the granting of a provisional teacher license.

R. Steven Landes

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; longitudinal data. Requires the data that the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia annually collects and publishes on (i) the percentage of graduates of public institutions of higher education and certain nonprofit private institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth who are known to be employed in the Commonwealth and (ii) the average salary and the average higher education-related debt for such graduates to be disaggregated by degree program and level. The bill requires an institution of higher education for which such data is collected and published to provide a link on its website to such data and make such link available to each admitted student.

David A. Reid

Full-day kindergarten program plans. Requires each local school board that does not offer a universal full-day kindergarten (FDK) program for each kindergarten student in the school division to develop and implement a plan to fund and phase in a universal FDK program for each kindergarten student in the school division and submit the plan to the General Assembly in advance of the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly. The bill requires such plan to identify the number and percentage of students enrolled in FDK in the local school division (i) during the 2014-2015 school year and (ii) at the end of 2017, the specific steps for full implementation of the plan, impediments to full implementation of the plan, the areas in which support from the Commonwealth is necessary to achieve full implementation of the plan, and lessons learned from previous or ongoing efforts to provide a universal FDK program that can be shared with other local school boards that do not offer a universal FDK program.

David A. Reid

Public institutions of higher education; tuition and room and board; enrollment. Requires, for the next four academic years, the tuition charged to Virginia students at each public institution of higher education to be capped at the rate charged to such students for the first academic term of the 2017-2018 academic year. The bill permits, during such four-year period, the room and board charged to such students to be increased on an annual basis in advance of the first academic term of the academic year, but requires the percentage of such increase to be capped at 90 percent of the annual percentage increase in the Average Consumer Price Index for all items, all urban consumers (CPI-U) for the preceding calendar year. The bill also requires, for the next four academic years, the percentage of non-Virginia students enrolled at each public institution of higher education to be capped at the percentage of such students enrolled for the first academic term of the 2017-2018 academic year and does not prohibit an increase in the tuition or room and board charged to such students during such four-year period.

David A. Reid

School calendar; opening day of the school year. Makes local school boards responsible for setting the school calendar and determining the opening day of the school year and eliminates the post-Labor Day opening requirement and “good cause” scenarios for which the Board of Education may grant waivers of this requirement.

Roxann L. Robinson

School calendar; opening day of the school year. Makes local school boards responsible for setting the school calendar and determining the opening day of the school year and eliminates the post-Labor Day opening requirement and “good cause” scenarios for which the Board of Education may grant waivers of this requirement. The bill requires local school boards that set the school calendar with a pre-Labor Day opening date, except those schools that were granted a “good cause” waiver for the 2017-2018 school year, to close all schools in the division from (i) the Thursday immediately preceding Labor Day through Labor Day or (ii) the Friday immediately preceding Labor Day through the Tuesday immediately succeeding Labor Day.

Paul E. Krizek

Grow Your Own Teacher Program Fund; Grow Your Own Teacher Programs. Establishes the Grow Your Own Teacher Program Fund and permits the Department of Education to award grants from such fund to local school boards to establish Grow Your Own Teacher Programs whereby the local school board provides scholarships not to exceed $7,500 per academic year for attendance at a baccalaureate institution of higher education in the Commonwealth to any individual who (i) graduated from a public high school in the local school division; (ii) was eligible for free or reduced price lunch throughout the individual’s attendance at a public high school in the local school division; and (iii) commits to teach, within three years of graduating from the baccalaureate institution of higher education in the Commonwealth and for a period of at least four years, in the school division at a public high school at which at least 50 percent of students qualify for free or reduced price lunch. The bill provides that in the event that any program scholarship recipient fails or refuses to comply with such teaching obligation, the sum of all scholarship funds received by such individual shall be converted to a loan that is subject to repayment with interest.

Mark L. Keam

High school graduation; certificates of program completion. Requires each student who has completed a course of study in accordance with the Standards of Quality and finishes his senior year in good academic standing to be awarded a certificate of program completion by the local school board if he is not eligible to receive a Board of Education-approved diploma. Under current law, such students are required to complete a prescribed course of study as defined by the local school board. The bill requires each local school board to permit each such student to participate in his high school graduation or commencement ceremony.

Glenn R. Davis

Education Improvement Scholarships tax credits; eligibility requirements and scholarship amounts. Eliminates the requirement that a student must currently attend or have recently attended a public school in order to qualify for a scholarship from a scholarship foundation that provides tax-credit-derived scholarships. The bill increases the maximum annual scholarship amount from 100 percent of the per pupil amount distributed to the local school division as its share of standards of quality costs (i) for a student with a disability, to 400 percent of such amount, and (ii) for a student who has an autism spectrum disorder, to $26,000. The bill adds to the definition of “qualified educational expenses” expenditures made in connection to summer education.

Mark L. Keam

School boards; work-based learning experiences for students; notification. Requires each school board to implement a plan to notify students and their parents of the availability of internships, externships, apprenticeships, credentialing programs, certification programs, licensure programs, and other work-based learning experiences.

Wendy W. Gooditis

Composite index of local ability-to-pay; use value of real estate in certain localities. Requires, for the purpose of determining the state and local shares of basic aid funding, that the composite index of local ability-to-pay utilize the use value of all applicable real estate (i) devoted to agricultural use, horticultural use, forest use, and open-space use in each locality that has adopted an ordinance by which it provides for the use valuation and taxation of such real estate and (ii) used in agricultural and forestal production within an agricultural district, forestal district, agricultural and forestal district, or agricultural and forestal district of local significance in each locality that provides for the use valuation and taxation of such real estate, regardless of whether it has adopted a local land-use plan or local ordinance for such valuation and taxation.

Jennifer Carroll Foy

High school graduation requirements; substitution of computer coding credit for foreign language credit. Requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to provide for the substitution of computer coding course credit for any foreign language course credit required to graduate, except in cases in which such foreign language course credit is required to earn an advanced diploma offered by a nationally recognized provider of college-level courses.

David A. Reid

Community service careers; tuition and fee waivers at public institutions of higher education. Requires the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (the Council) to establish and administer a community service career incentive program (the program) by which any student who is enrolled at a public institution of higher education, intends to pursue a community service career in an area of the Commonwealth in which there is a high need for professionals in such community service career, and meets certain other eligibility criteria established by the Council may apply to the Council for a renewable waiver of tuition and mandatory fees, including room and board. The bill requires each student who is granted a waiver by the Council pursuant to the program to enter into an agreement with the Council to serve in a community service career in an area of the Commonwealth in which there is a high need for professionals in such community service career for a period that is at least equal to the duration of the waiver and, in the event that he does not complete such service, to repay to the Council an amount equal to the full value of the waiver on the terms and in the manner that the Council prescribes. The bill requires each public institution of higher education to include in its catalog or equivalent publication a statement describing the waivers available pursuant to the program.

Robert B. Bell

Virtual Virginia; enrollment. Requires enrollment in the Virtual Virginia online learning program during the school year to be open, on a space-available basis and free of charge, to each public high school student in the Commonwealth and each high school student in the Commonwealth who receives home instruction.

Nicholas J. Freitas

Public institutions of higher education; dual enrollment course credit. Provides that credit received for the successful completion of any dual enrollment course offered pursuant to an agreement for postsecondary degree attainment between a comprehensive community college and a public high school shall satisfy degree requirements at each public institution of higher education.

Nicholas J. Freitas

Standards of Learning assessments; administration; testing periods. Requires the Department of Education to make available to school divisions Standards of Learning assessments in advance of each school year; requires each local school board to administer such assessments (i) on the date during the first quarter of the school year that the local school board deems most appropriate to evaluate each student’s knowledge, application of knowledge, critical thinking, and skills related to the Standard of Learning being assessed and (ii) on the date during the final quarter of the school year that the local school board deems most appropriate to evaluate each student’s progress toward demonstrating the knowledge, application of knowledge, critical thinking, and skills related to the Standard of Learning being assessed; and permits each local school board to administer such assessments on any other date that it deems appropriate.

Nicholas J. Freitas

Dual enrollment agreements; scope. Requires each agreement for postsecondary degree attainment between a local school board and a comprehensive community college to include a process by which high school students who reside in a school division that is governed by a school board that is not a party to such agreement may apply for enrollment in the dual enrollment courses offered pursuant to such agreement.

Nicholas J. Freitas

High School to Work Partnerships; establishment; exemptions. Permits each local school board to (i) establish High School to Work Partnerships (Partnerships) between public high schools and local businesses to create opportunities for high school students to (a) participate in an apprenticeship, internship, or job shadow program in a variety of trades and skilled labor positions or (b) tour local businesses and meet with owners and employees or (ii) delegate the authority to establish Partnerships to the local school division’s career and technical education administrator or his designee, in collaboration with the guidance counselor office of each public high school in the school division. The bill requires such local school boards to educate high school students about opportunities available through such Partnerships. The bill also requires the Board of Education, the Department of Labor and Industry, and the State Board for Community Colleges to identify Partnerships that may be eligible for exemptions from certain federal and state labor laws and regulations and establish procedures by which such exemptions may be obtained for such Partnerships.

Glenn R. Davis

High school graduation requirements; substitution of computer coding credit for foreign language credit. Requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to provide for the substitution of computer coding course credit for any foreign language course credit required to graduate, except in cases in which such foreign language course credit is required to earn an advanced diploma offered by a nationally recognized provider of college-level courses.

David L. Bulova

Career investigation courses and programs of instruction. Requires the Board of Education (Board) to (i) establish content standards and curriculum guidelines for courses and programs of instruction in existing courses in career investigation in elementary school, middle school, and high school; (ii) develop, in consultation with representatives of career and technical education, trade, and contractor organizations, career investigation resource materials that are designed to ensure that students have the ability to further explore interest in career and technical education opportunities in middle and high school; and (iii) disseminate such career investigation resource materials to each school board. The bill directs each school board to require each middle school student to take at least one course or program of instruction in an existing course in career investigation and permits each school board to require such courses or programs of instruction in career investigation at the elementary and high school level as it deems appropriate. The bill provides that each such course and program of instruction shall be equivalent in content and rigor to the Board’s content standards and curriculum guidelines and shall provide the foundation for students to develop their academic and career plans.

Kathleen Murphy

School Divisions of Innovation; performance-based assessments. Provides that a local school board applying for its school division to be designated as a School Division of Innovation may apply to the Board of Education (Board) to replace certain Standards of Learning assessments with performance-based assessments. The bill requires the Board to determine if the local school board has the capacity to administer and score performance-based assessments and provides criteria for such determination. Under the bill, any proposed performance-based assessment is required to be an adequate replacement of the relevant Standards of Learning assessment by requiring that students demonstrate the knowledge and skills required by the relevant Standards of Learning and one or more of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, or citizenship. The standards of learning assessments eligible for replacement are (i) Virginia Studies, (ii) Civics and Economics, (iii) elementary school science, and (iv) middle school science. The bill requires the Board to promulgate any necessary regulations and to submit to the U.S. Department of Education any necessary amendments to its consolidated State plan.

Terry G. Kilgore

Required local match for basic aid; debt service on projects in certain school divisions. Permits any local school board that governs a school division (i) in which the locality is designated as fiscally at-risk or fiscally distressed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in the most recent fiscal year or is determined to have above-average fiscal stress or high fiscal stress by the Virginia Commission on Local Government in its most recent “Report on the Comparative Revenue Capacity, Revenue Effort, and Fiscal Stress of Virginia Counties and Cities” and (ii) for which the composite index of local ability to pay is less than or equal to 0.2000 to expend up to 25 percent of the required local match for basic aid for debt service on school building capital renovation or construction projects. The bill provides that in the event that the school division no longer meets such criteria, the local school board shall develop and implement a plan to readjust expenditures of the required local match for basic aid over the course of no more than 10 fiscal years. The bill also provides that in the event that a school division that no longer met such criteria and that developed such plan subsequently meets the criteria again, the local school board may seek the approval of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to amend such plan.

Margaret B. Ransone

Cybersecurity Student Loan Repayment Grant Program established; report. Establishes the Cybersecurity Student Loan Repayment Grant Program, to be administered by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (the Council), whereby renewable grants of up to $20,000 of matching state and employer funds are provided on a competitive basis to an individual who (i) either (a) graduated within the past year from a public institution of higher education or nonprofit private institution of higher education with an undergraduate or graduate degree in computer science or another academic program recognized by the Council to prepare an individual for a career in cybersecurity and who resides in the Commonwealth or (b) has served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, was discharged or released within the past year from such service under conditions other than dishonorable, gained experience or received training in computer science during such service, and resides in the Commonwealth and (ii) accepts an offer of employment in a computer science position with any federal or state organization, including any federal or state military or defense organization, that is located in the Commonwealth or any private organization that contractually provides cybersecurity services for any such federal or state organization and that is located in the Commonwealth. The bill contains provisions relating to program administration and dissemination of information and reporting on the program.

Delores L. McQuinn

Virginia Public School Improvement Program. Creates the Virginia Public School Improvement Program to offer maximum educational options and flexibility for parents, teachers, and students. The bill authorizes any local school board to designate or approve any public school within its school division to participate in the Program if (i) a majority of parents and teachers of students at the school have petitioned the school board to participate in the Program, (ii) it does not meet the requirements to be fully accredited, or (iii) the school’s pass rates for English and mathematics are below the division-wide average. Local school boards would continue to receive state basic school aid funding for participating schools, and participating schools would be exempt from certain school division policies and state regulations but would have to meet Standards of Quality, Standards of Learning, Standards of Accreditation, and certain federal requirements. Participation in the Program can be rescinded (a) by petition of a majority of parents and teachers, (b) if the school makes application to operate as a charter school, (c) if the school violates the stipulated contract with the local school board, or (d) if students at a participating school fail to achieve satisfactory academic progress each year for two consecutive school years. The bill requires the Board of Education to establish guidelines to assist school boards in implementing the Program in the school division and provide technical assistance to school boards upon request.

Charles D. Poindexter

Eligibility for food stamp program; work requirement; employment and training program. Establishes a work requirement and an employment and training program for individuals receiving or applying to receive benefits through the food stamp program.

Karrie K. Delaney

School readiness tax credits. Establishes tax credits for five categories of expenditures related to school readiness: (i) parents’ child care expenses, (ii) child care providers’ expenses, (iii) educational development expenses of child care facility directors and staff, (iv) expenses paid by a business to improve child care for its employees’ children, and (v) business’s donations to child care resource and referral agencies. The bill defines “child” to mean a child under the age of six and “child care facility” to mean a facility that primarily serves children under the age of six.

The credits related to child care facilities are only available if the facility has attained at least level two in the Virginia Quality Rating and Improvement System administered by the Department of Social Services. If the facility has attained a higher level, the credits are increased by a multiplier.

The bill directs the Department of Social Services to develop professional development criteria for child care facility directors and staff. The criteria shall consist of four levels representing cumulative advancement in child care skill and shall be designed to ensure high-quality child care in Virginia. The credit for educational development expenses is increased by a multiplier depending on the level that the director or staff has achieved.

The credit for child care expenses is based on a percentage of the federal income tax credit for child care and other dependent care expenses; however, it is reduced based on the parent’s income level. The credits for child care expenses, child care providers, and educational development expenses are refundable if the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income is less than or equal to $25,000.  Taxpayers that have an adjusted gross income over $25,000 may carry forward any unused credit for up to five years.

The bill provides that the Department may recapture any credit issued, with interest, from any taxpayer that obtained the credit but failed to meet the applicable criteria.

Dawn M. Adams

Commission on Educational Parity established. Establishes the 19-member Commission on Educational Parity (the Commission), consisting of six members of the House Committee on Education, four members of the Senate Committee on Education and Health, four members of the Board of Education, and five nonlegislative citizen members, including at least one member of a parent-teacher association and at least one teacher, for the purpose of ensuring that the General Assembly and the Board of Education collaborate in the fulfillment of their constitutional duty to provide a system of high quality public elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth. The bill requires the Commission to (i) determine legislative priorities for achieving parity in educational outcomes for each public elementary and secondary school student in the Commonwealth, (ii) review the extent to which effective public elementary and secondary school teachers and principals are equitably distributed throughout the Commonwealth and make recommendations regarding how to more equitably distribute such effective personnel throughout the Commonwealth, and (iii) review the standards for public school buildings and maintenance and make recommendations regarding how to more equitably ensure the physical quality of the learning environment in each public elementary and secondary school. The provisions of the bill sunset on July 1, 2021.

Lamont Bagby

Virtual Virginia; availability. Requires the Virtual Virginia program, established by the Department of Education, to be made available to all public middle and high schools. The bill provides that such program may be made available to all public elementary schools. Under current law, Virtual Virginia is required to be made available to public high schools only. The bill also replaces the term “statewide electronic classroom” with “online learning program” to more accurately reflect the Virtual Virginia program.

S. Chris Jones

Virginia Community College System. Makes several changes to the Virginia Community College System to ensure a standard quality of education at all comprehensive community colleges, and to ensure in the transfer of community college credit to four-year public institutions of higher education in order to provide higher education as efficiently and cost effective as possible. The bill requires the development of a standard Passport Program and a Uniform Certificate of General Studies program to be offered at each community college. Initially, the Passport Program course offerings would be accepted as credit at a four-year institution, unless a four-year institution had applied for and received a waiver from accepting a particular course for a particular major, with a goal of making all courses in the Uniform Certificate transferrable. Four-year institutions, in cooperation with the Community College System, would be required to map out career education pathways to allow students to see the classes necessary to complete a four-year degree in a particular field of study. The Virginia Community College System would be required to create a single online repository where the public may access all transfer agreements and dual enrollment agreements with four-year institutions. Finally, the State Board for Community Colleges is required to implement an annual review for each community college, and to standardize the course offerings across the community college system.

The bill adds the Virginia Community College System to the Virginia Online Network, and requires that all Passport Program courses be made available through the Network. A community college would be required to indicate whether dual enrollment courses offered at local school division would be eligible for transfer. The Community College system would also be required to maintain a database of all dual enrollment course offered across the Commonwealth.

Glenn R. Davis

Public institutions of higher education; funding. Eliminates the targeted financial incentives currently made available to public institutions of higher education and provides that (i) 50 percent of the funds appropriated for public institutions of higher education from the state general fund or sources other than the state general fund, or both, for each fiscal year of each biennium shall be equitably apportioned among each public institution of higher education for basic operations and instruction, each Virginia undergraduate student actually enrolled at the institution, and need-based financial aid and (ii) the other 50 percent shall be apportioned among such institutions on the basis of performance metrics: percentage of Virginia students enrolled, tuition rates, average amount of time it takes students to complete degrees, student graduation rates, and student employment rates and median salaries six months after graduation.

Kathy J. Byron

Labor market information; transfer of administration from the Virginia Employment Commission to the Virginia Board of Workforce Development. Transfers labor market information research studies, programs, and operations from the Virginia Employment Commission to the Virginia Board of Workforce Development.

Les R. Adams

School calendar; opening day of the school year. Makes local school boards responsible for setting the school calendar and determining the opening day of the school year and eliminates the post-Labor Day opening requirement and “good cause” scenarios for which the Board of Education may grant waivers of this requirement.

Christopher T. Head

Education Improvement Scholarships tax credits; limits eligibility to pre-kindergarten students. Provides that, on and after June 30, 2018, eligibility for Education Improvement Scholarships shall be limited to children in nonpublic pre-kindergarten programs and those students who received scholarships for the 2017 school year and each year thereafter. Under current law, tax credits are awarded for donations to foundations that use the funds to award scholarships to certain students in grades K-12 who attend nonpublic schools.

The bill defines an eligible pre-kindergarten child and a nonpublic pre-kindergarten program and sets out several other curriculum and administrative requirements that must be met by a nonpublic pre-kindergarten program in order for children attending the program to be eligible to receive scholarships under the tax credit program. Under the bill, the Virginia Council for Private Education or the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation will certify nonpublic pre-kindergarten programs meeting such curriculum and administrative requirements.

The bill provides that the maximum annual scholarship a child will receive is the lesser of his actual educational expenses or the state share of the grant per child under the Virginia Preschool Initiative for the locality in which the child resides.

Kathy K. L. Tran

Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) programs; grants. Establishes the STEAM Education Fund for the purpose of awarding grants in amounts not to exceed $50,000 annually to any public elementary or secondary school in the Commonwealth at which at least 25 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch that provides an academic class, curriculum, or activity focused on a science, technology, engineering, arts, or mathematics (STEAM) discipline.

R. Steven Landes

Teacher licensure. Makes several changes to the teacher licensure process, including (i) allowing an individual who seeks a provisional teacher license to satisfy certain licensure requirements during the period of provisional licensure; (ii) permitting the Board of Education to extend, for up to two additional years, the three-year provisional license of any teacher who requires additional time to satisfy the requirements for a renewable license; (iii) permitting teachers with a valid out-of-state license, with full credentials and without deficiencies, to receive licensure by reciprocity without passing additional licensing assessments; (iv) eliminating the requirements that teachers seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license (a) demonstrate proficiency in the use of educational technology for instruction and (b) receive professional development in instructional methods tailored to promote student academic progress and effective preparation for the Standards of Learning end-of-course and end-of-grade assessments; (v) permitting any division superintendent to apply to the Department of Education for an annual waiver of the teacher licensure requirements for any individual whom the local school board hires or seeks to hire to teach in a specific content area who demonstrates exemplary content knowledge in such area; and (vi) specifying that for the purpose of Board of Education regulations for the approval of teacher education programs, the term “education preparation program” includes four-year bachelor’s degree programs in teacher education.

R. Steven Landes

Career and technical education; three-year licenses; eligibility and requirements. Makes changes to three-year career and technical education teacher licenses by (i) removing the cap on licensee teaching hours and permitting licensees to teach up to full time, (ii) expanding eligibility for such licenses to any individual who has at least two years of experience as a teaching assistant in the school division in the specific career and technical education subject area in which the individual seeks to teach and meets all other applicable eligibility criteria, and (iii) increasing from one year to two years the period during which the employing school board is required to assign a mentor to supervise a licensee.

R. Steven Landes

Education Improvement Scholarships tax credits; pre-kindergarten eligibility. Expands the Education Improvement Scholarships tax credits program by including, as eligible scholarship recipients, children enrolled in, eligible to attend, or attending nonpublic pre-kindergarten programs. The maximum annual scholarship that a child will receive is the lesser of the child’s actual educational expenses or the state share of the grant per child under the Virginia Preschool Initiative for the locality in which the child resides.

Under current law, tax credits are awarded to individuals and businesses making donations to nonprofit scholarship foundations that use the donated funds to award scholarships to certain students in grades K-12 attending nonpublic schools. Eligible scholarship recipients are students in grades K-12 with a finalized individualized education program (IEP) in place or whose annual household income is not in excess of 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

The bill defines an eligible pre-kindergarten child and a nonpublic pre-kindergarten program and includes several other curriculum and administrative requirements that must be met by a nonpublic pre-kindergarten program in order for children attending the program to be eligible to receive scholarships under the tax credit program. Under the bill, the Virginia Council for Private Education, the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, or the Virginia Department of Social Services will certify nonpublic pre-kindergarten programs meeting such curriculum and administrative requirements.

R. Steven Landes

Commission on the Future of Public Elementary and Secondary Education established. Establishes the 20-member Commission on the Future of Public Elementary and Secondary Education (the Commission), consisting of seven members of the House Committee on Education, six members of the Senate, five nonlegislative citizen members, the Superintendent of Public Instruction or his designee, and the Secretary of Education or his designee, for the purpose of ensuring a deliberate, thoughtful, coordinated, and year-round approach to legislative education reform in the Commonwealth. The bill requires the Commission to (i) collaborate with the Board of Education, the Department of Education, the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee, and other interested stakeholders to study (a) the need for revisions to or reorganization of the Standards of Quality with a particular emphasis on the effective use of educational technology, (b) emerging education issues in the Commonwealth, and (c) the future of public elementary and secondary education in the Commonwealth and (ii) establish and appoint members from a variety of stakeholder organizations to subcommittees in distinct subject matter areas. The provisions of the bill sunset on July 1, 2021.

Dave A. LaRock

School Divisions of Innovation; performance-based assessments. Provides that a local school board applying for its school division to be designated as a School Division of Innovation may apply to the Board of Education (Board) to replace certain Standards of Learning assessments with performance-based assessments. The bill requires the Board to determine if the local school board has the capacity to administer and score performance-based assessments and provides criteria for such determination. Under the bill, any proposed performance-based assessment is required to be an adequate replacement of the relevant Standards of Learning assessment by requiring that students demonstrate the knowledge and skills required by the relevant Standards of Learning and one or more of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, or citizenship. The standards of learning assessments eligible for replacement are (i) Virginia Studies, (ii) Civics and Economics, (iii) elementary school science, and (iv) middle school science. The bill requires the Board to promulgate any necessary regulations and to submit to the U.S. Department of Education any necessary amendments to its consolidated State plan.

Mark L. Cole

Dual enrollment agreements; scope. Requires each dual enrollment agreement to permit students enrolled at the relevant high school and students enrolled at the relevant comprehensive community college to participate in any dual enrollment course on a space-available basis, regardless of whether such course is offered at the relevant high school or at the relevant comprehensive community college.

James E. Edmunds II

Teacher licensure; trade and industrial waiver and career and technical license. Extends the term of the waiver of the teacher licensure requirements that a division superintendent may apply to the Board of Education for any individual whom the local school board hires or seeks to hire to teach in a trade and industrial education program and removes the requirement that such individual has at least 4,000 hours of recent and relevant employment experience. The bill also removes requirements that an individual seeking a three-year career and technical license (i) has at least four years of full-time work experience or its equivalent in the specific career and technical education subject area in which the individual seeks to teach and (ii) has obtained qualifying scores on the communication and literacy professional teacher’s assessment prescribed by the Board.

Richard P. Bell

Public School Capital Grant Program established. Requires the Virginia Public Building Authority to establish and administer the Public School Capital Grant Program (the Program) for the purpose of providing grants on a competitive basis to any local school board that governs a local school division in a locality that is determined to have high fiscal stress by the Virginia Commission on Local Government in its most recent “Report on the Comparative Revenue Capacity, Revenue Effort, and Fiscal Stress of Virginia Counties and Cities” for such school board to use for school building capital renovation or construction projects. The bill caps each Program grant at $10 million and requires local matching funds for each such grant.

Eileen Filler-Corn

Study; Standards of Learning Innovation Committee; experiential learning and workforce development opportunities in high-demand fields; report. Requests that the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee study experiential learning and workforce development opportunities for high school students in high-demand fields. The bill requires the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee to reports its findings no later than the first day of the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

Richard P. Bell

Study; joint committee; the future of public elementary and secondary education in the Commonwealth; report. Continues for one additional year the Joint Committee of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health to Study the Future of Public Elementary and Secondary Education in the Commonwealth, consisting of seven members of the House Committee on Education and six members of the Senate.

Cheryl B. Turpin

Study; JLARC; teaching profession in Virginia; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to study the teaching profession in Virginia. In conducting its study, JLARC shall (i) evaluate all areas of teacher preparation programs in Virginia, including entry-level positions, licensing and certifications, and programs related to master teachers, school counselors, and administrators; (ii) identify the reasons teachers leave the profession; (iii) review the Department of Education’s recent report to the General Assembly concerning teacher shortage disciplines for the 2017-2018 school year and project the shortage rates by subject areas for the next five years; (iv) determine whether disparities exist in compensation and benefits, work environment, turnover, and attrition by region of the Commonwealth and rank the regions where disparities and shortages are poorer; (v) compare the compensation, work environment, turnover, and attrition in Virginia with that of other states; (vi) evaluate current and innovative policies and programs that may contribute to improved student academic achievement and a strong teacher workforce implemented in Virginia and other states; and (vii) consider other issues and make recommendations that JLARC determines necessary for a thorough and comprehensive assessment of the teaching profession in the Commonwealth. The bill requires JLARC to report its findings to the Governor and the 2019 Session of the General Assembly.

Robert S. Bloxom, Jr.

Study; JLARC; costs of education; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the true cost of education in the Commonwealth and provide an accurate assessment of the costs to implement the Standards of Quality.

Lamont Bagby

Study; Department of Education to study teacher licensing process; report. Requests the Department of Education to study the teacher licensure process and the assessment requirements therein for any inherent biases that may prevent minority teacher candidates from entering the profession.

Lashrecse D. Aird

Study; Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission; universal access to Virginia Preschool Initiative programs; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the amount of funds required to make preschool available to each four-year-old in the Commonwealth through the Virginia Preschool Initiative by projecting, on a school division-by-school division basis for the 2019%962020 school year, (i) Virginia Preschool Initiative program enrollments, (ii) total four-year-old student populations, and (iii) the state and local funds required to expand access to such programs to each four-year-old based on the current allocation formula for determining the state and local share of funding.

Dave A. LaRock

Study; JLARC; costs of education; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the true cost of education in the Commonwealth and provide an accurate assessment of the costs to implement the Standards of Quality.

Jennifer Carroll Foy

Study; JLARC; costs of education; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the true cost of education in the Commonwealth and provide an accurate assessment of the funds necessary to fully implement the Standards of Quality.

William M. Stanley, Jr.

Education Improvement Scholarships tax credits; pre-kindergarten eligibility. Expands the Education Improvement Scholarships tax credits program by including, as eligible scholarship recipients, children enrolled in or attending nonpublic pre-kindergarten programs. The maximum annual scholarship that a child admitted to, enrolled in, or attending a nonpublic pre-kindergarten program will receive is the lesser of the child’s actual educational expenses or the state share of the grant per child under the Virginia Preschool Initiative for the locality in which the child resides.

Under current law, tax credits are awarded to individuals and businesses making donations to nonprofit scholarship foundations using the donated funds to award scholarships to certain students in grades K-12 attending nonpublic schools. Eligible scholarship recipients are students in grades K-12 with a finalized individualized education program (IEP) in place or whose annual household income is not in excess of 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

The bill defines an eligible pre-kindergarten child and a nonpublic pre-kindergarten program and includes several other curriculum and administrative requirements that must be met by a nonpublic pre-kindergarten program in order for children attending the program to be eligible to receive scholarships under the tax credit program. Under the bill, VCPE or the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation will certify nonpublic pre-kindergarten programs meeting such curriculum and administrative requirements.

William M. Stanley, Jr.

Virginia Community College System; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Scholarship Pilot Program. Directs the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) to establish and administer a two-year Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Scholarship Pilot Program (the Program) for the purpose of providing access to postsecondary educational opportunities to students living in poverty. The Program would provide scholarships to select comprehensive community colleges in the maximum amount of $4,000 per year, to be applied toward the costs of tuition and books, to 200 selected students who meet TANF eligibility requirements. The Program would be funded by the unexpended balance in federal TANF block grant funds. The bill directs VCCS to report to the Governor and the General Assembly no later than December 1 of each year regarding the effectiveness of and other information about the Program. The bill does not become effective unless an appropriation effectuating the purposes of the bill is included in an appropriation act passed in 2018 by the General Assembly that becomes law.

Bill R. DeSteph, Jr.

Tuition Assistance Grant Program; eligible institutions. Removes the requirement for private institutions of higher education to operate on a not-for-profit basis in order to be eligible to participate in the Tuition Assistance Grant Program.

Barbara A. Favola

Teacher licensure; approval of teacher education programs. Requires the Board of Education to include in its teacher licensure regulations standards for the approval of teacher education programs, including four-year undergraduate teacher education programs, from which graduates are eligible for licensure as teachers in the Commonwealth.

Glen H. Sturtevant, Jr.

Dual enrollment courses; quality standards; universal transfer course credit. Requires the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (the Council), in consultation with the Department of Education and each public institution of higher education, to establish (i) quality standards for dual enrollment courses, including quality standards for course instructors, materials, and content; (ii) a process by which dual enrollment courses that meet or exceed such quality standards are certified as universal transfer courses that satisfy course credit or other academic requirements at any public institution of higher education; and (iii) a policy for the satisfaction of course credit or other academic requirements through the successful completion of universal transfer courses by entering students that (a) identifies the course credit or other academic requirements of each public institution of higher education that the student satisfies by successfully completing a universal transfer course and (b) ensures, to the extent possible, that the satisfaction of course credit or other academic requirements is consistent across each public institution of higher education and each such universal transfer course. The provisions of the bill replace existing provisions that require the Council and each public institution of higher education to establish policies relating to course credit for dual enrollment courses but that do not provide for quality standards or the universal transfer designation for such courses.

David R. Suetterlein

Teacher licensure; reciprocity; spouses of Armed Forces members. Requires the Board of Education to provide for teacher licensure by reciprocity for a period of one year for any spouse of an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the Commonwealth, provided that such spouse has obtained a valid out-of-state license, with full credentials and without deficiencies, that is in force at the time the application for such a one-year reciprocal license is received by the Department of Education. The bill provides that any such individual who receives a satisfactory evaluation at the conclusion of the year of employment under such one-year reciprocal license is eligible for a renewable license.

David R. Suetterlein

Dual enrollment courses; quality standards; universal transfer course credit. Requires the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (the Council), in consultation with the Department of Education and each public institution of higher education, to establish (i) quality standards for dual enrollment courses, including quality standards for course instructors, materials, and content; (ii) a process by which dual enrollment courses that meet or exceed such quality standards are certified as universal transfer courses that satisfy course credit or other academic requirements at any public institution of higher education; and (iii) a policy for the satisfaction of course credit or other academic requirements through the successful completion of universal transfer courses by entering students that (a) identifies the course credit or other academic requirements of each public institution of higher education that the student satisfies by successfully completing a universal transfer course and (b) ensures, to the extent possible, that the satisfaction of course credit or other academic requirements is consistent across each public institution of higher education and each such universal transfer course. The provisions of the bill replace existing provisions that require the Council and each public institution of higher education to establish policies relating to course credit for dual enrollment courses but that do not provide for quality standards or the universal transfer designation for such courses.

David R. Suetterlein

Three-year provisional licenses; extensions. Requires the Board of Education to extend for at least one additional year, but for no more than two additional years, the three-year provisional license of a teacher upon receiving from the division superintendent (i) a recommendation for such extension and (ii) satisfactory performance evaluations for such teacher for each year of the original three-year provisional license.

Barbara A. Favola

School calendar; opening day of the school year. Makes local school boards responsible for setting the school calendar and determining the opening day of the school year and eliminates the post-Labor Day opening requirement and “good cause” scenarios for which the Board of Education may grant waivers of this requirement.

Barbara A. Favola

School Divisions of Innovation; performance-based assessments. Provides that a local school board applying for its school division to be designated as a School Division of Innovation may apply to the Board of Education (Board) to replace certain Standards of Learning assessments with performance-based assessments. The bill requires the Board to determine if the local school board has the capacity to administer and score performance-based assessments and provides criteria for such determination. Under the bill, any proposed performance-based assessment is required to be an adequate replacement of the relevant Standards of Learning assessment by requiring that students demonstrate the knowledge and skills required by the relevant Standards of Learning and one or more of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, or citizenship. The standards of learning assessments eligible for replacement are (i) Virginia Studies, (ii) Civics and Economics, (iii) elementary school science, and (iv) middle school science. The bill requires the Board to promulgate any necessary regulations and to submit to the U.S. Department of Education any necessary amendments to its consolidated State plan.

Mark J. Peake

Teacher licensure; critical shortage areas. Requires the Board of Education to provide for the issuance of a provisional license, valid for a period not to exceed five years, to any person who does not meet the requirements for licensure imposed by law but who has the appropriate level of experience or training in a critical teacher subject matter shortage area or agrees to teach in a critical teacher geographic area as defined in the Board’s regulations. The bill contains an emergency clause.

Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr.

Department of Environmental Quality; Department of Education; grade six science curriculum. Directs the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Education to update the “Window into a Green Virginia” curriculum developed by the Departments for sixth grade science to include a unit on the benefits, including the energy benefits, of recycling and reuse.

Ryan T. McDougle

Teacher licensure; waiver of professional teacher assessments. Provides that a local school board or division superintendent may waive the requirements to complete professional teacher’s assessments for any individual who holds a provisional license and is employed by the local school board. The bill provides that such individual is eligible for a five-year renewable license provided all other requirements are met.

Jennifer T. Wexton

School Divisions of Innovation; performance-based assessments. Provides that a local school board applying for its school division to be designated as a School Division of Innovation may apply to the Board of Education (Board) to replace certain Standards of Learning assessments with performance-based assessments. The bill requires the Board to determine if the local school board has the capacity to administer and score performance-based assessments and provides criteria for such determination. Under the bill, any proposed performance-based assessment is required to be an adequate replacement of the relevant Standards of Learning assessment by requiring that students demonstrate the knowledge and skills required by the relevant Standards of Learning and one or more of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, or citizenship. The standards of learning assessments eligible for replacement are (i) Virginia Studies, (ii) Civics and Economics, (iii) elementary school science, and (iv) middle school science. The bill requires the Board to promulgate any necessary regulations and to submit to the U.S. Department of Education any necessary amendments to its consolidated State plan.

Glen H. Sturtevant, Jr.

Public schools; Standards of Learning assessments. Reduces the total number and type of required Standards of Learning assessments to the minimum requirements established by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, P.L. 89-10, as amended. The bill requires the Department of Education to calculate any potential or realized savings from the implementation of the bill and to report the amount of such savings to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and Senate Committee on Finance by November 1, 2019. Such amount shall be included in the total for Direct Aid to Public Education in any general appropriation act for fiscal years 2021 and 2022.

Mark D. Obenshain

Public schools; regional charter school divisions. Authorizes the Board of Education (the Board) to establish regional charter school divisions consisting of at least two but not more than three existing school divisions in regions in which each underlying school division has (i) an enrollment of more than 3,000 students and (ii) one or more schools that have accreditation denied status for two out of the past three years. The bill requires such regional charter school divisions to be supervised by a school board that consists of eight members appointed by the Board and one member appointed by the localities of each of the underlying divisions. The bill authorizes the school board, after a review by the Board, to review and approve public charter school applications in the regional charter school divisions and to contract with the applicant. The bill requires that the state share of Standards of Quality per pupil funding of the underlying school district in which the student resides be transferred to such school.

Siobhan S. Dunnavant

Three-year provisional licenses; extensions. Permits the Board of Education to extend, for up to two additional years, the three-year provisional license of any teacher who requires additional time to satisfy the requirements for a renewable license.

Siobhan S. Dunnavant

Teacher licensure by reciprocity; grace period. Permits teachers with a valid out-of-state license, with full credentials and without deficiencies, to teach in a public elementary or secondary school in the Commonwealth for up to one school year prior to applying for licensure by reciprocity.

Siobhan S. Dunnavant

Teacher licensure; prerequisites. Eliminates the requirements that teachers seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license (i) demonstrate proficiency in the use of educational technology for instruction and (ii) receive professional development in instructional methods tailored to promote student academic progress and effective preparation for the Standards of Learning end-of-course and end-of-grade assessments.

Siobhan S. Dunnavant

Education improvement scholarships tax credits; eligibility; payout penalty. Expands the education improvement scholarships tax credits program by including as eligible scholarship recipients children who are eligible to enter pre-kindergarten. In addition, the bill reduces the penalty for failure to fully disburse all donations received from 200 percent of the difference between 90 percent of the value of the donations it received and the amount disbursed to 100 percent of the difference. Under current law, foundations must spend at least 90 percent of donations on scholarships in order to avoid the penalty.

Bill R. DeSteph, Jr.

Higher education; in-state tuition. Prohibits any percentage increase in in-state tuition or instructional fees for undergraduate students at Virginia’s public institutions of higher education that exceeds the annual percentage increase, as determined by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, in the national average wage index as defined in § 209(k)(1) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 409(k)(1), of the calendar year immediately preceding the affected year.

Siobhan S. Dunnavant

Virginia Longitudinal Data System; workforce data. Requires the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), through the Virginia Longitudinal Data System, to report additional information regarding the alignment of postsecondary education and workforce in the Commonwealth. The bill also directs the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Virginia Employment Commission, and the Department of Taxation to cooperate with SCHEV to further assist in the collection and sharing of data regarding workforce analysis.

Siobhan S. Dunnavant

Virginia Community College System continued as the Virginia College System. Renames the Virginia Community College System as the Virginia College System. The bill also renames the Chancellor and State Board for Community Colleges as the Chancellor of the Virginia College System and State Board for the College System.

Frank W. Wagner

Youth Employment Solutions apprenticeship program. Directs the Department of Labor and Industry and the Department of Education to determine the feasibility of implementing a Youth Employment Solutions (YES) apprenticeship program. Under a YES apprenticeship program, agencies of the Commonwealth enter into an agreement with a private staffing firm under which the firm provides services as an intermediary between the Commonwealth’s apprenticeship program and an employer. Under the agreement, the firm assumes legal duties and responsibilities with regard to apprentices, including those relating to workers’ compensation and insurance liability, that would otherwise apply to the employer. The measure directs the agencies to ascertain whether existing law prevents implementation of a YES apprenticeship program and, if so, identify such law in a report to the chairs of the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor, the Senate Committee on Education and Health, the House Committee on Commerce and Labor, and the House Committee on Education by October 1, 2018. If the agencies determine that implementing a YES apprenticeship program would be feasible and not require changes to existing law, the measure directs the agencies to implement a YES apprenticeship program in the Commonwealth.

Mark J. Peake

Teacher licensure; trade and industrial waiver and career and technical license. Extends the term of the waiver of the teacher licensure requirements that a division superintendent may apply to the Board of Education for any individual whom the local school board hires or seeks to hire to teach in a trade and industrial education program and removes the requirement that such individual has at least 4,000 hours of recent and relevant employment experience. The bill also removes requirements that an individual seeking a three-year career and technical license (i) has at least four years of full-time work experience or its equivalent in the specific career and technical education subject area in which the individual seeks to teach and (ii) has obtained qualifying scores on the communication and literacy professional teacher’s assessment prescribed by the Board.

Stephen D. Newman

Commission on the Future of Public Elementary and Secondary Education established. Establishes the 20-member Commission on the Future of Public Elementary and Secondary Education (the Commission), consisting of seven members of the House Committee on Education, six members of the Senate, five nonlegislative citizen members, the Superintendent of Public Instruction or his designee, and the Secretary of Education or his designee, for the purpose of ensuring a deliberate, thoughtful, coordinated, and year-round approach to legislative education reform in the Commonwealth. The bill requires the Commission to (i) collaborate with the Board of Education, the Department of Education, the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee, and other interested stakeholders to study (a) the need for revisions to or reorganization of the Standards of Quality with a particular emphasis on the effective use of educational technology, (b) emerging education issues in the Commonwealth, and (c) the future of public elementary and secondary education in the Commonwealth and (ii) establish and appoint members from a variety of stakeholder organizations to subcommittees in distinct subject matter areas. The provisions of the bill sunset on July 1, 2021.

Glen H. Sturtevant, Jr.

Higher education; in-state tuition. Prohibits, without the prior statutory approval of the General Assembly, any percentage increase in in-state tuition for undergraduate students at Virginia’s public institutions of higher education that exceeds twice the annual percentage increase, as determined by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, in the Average Consumer Price Index for all items, all urban consumers (CPI-U), as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, from January 1 through December 31 of the year immediately preceding the affected year.

Scott A. Surovell

Access to electronic textbooks and adequate connectivity. Prohibits local school boards from requiring the use of any electronic textbook in any course in grades six through 12 unless the school board adopts a plan to ensure that by July 1, 2020, (i) each student enrolled in such course will have access to a personal computing device capable of supporting such textbooks and (ii) the relevant school has adequate connectivity, which the bill defines as bandwidth of at least one megabit per second per enrolled student.

Barbara A. Favola

Study; Department of Education to study teacher licensing process; report. Requests to study the teacher licensure process and the assessment requirements therein for any inherent biases that may prevent minority teacher candidates from entering the profession.

John S. Edwards

Study; Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission; free community college; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the feasibility of providing Virginians the opportunity to attend comprehensive community college without paying tuition or fees.

John A. Cosgrove, Jr.

Study; aviation and aerospace certification of teachers and curriculum; report. Establishes a 13-member joint committee of the Senate Committee on Education and Health and the House Committee on Education to study how Virginia can meet the future workforce development needs of the aviation and aerospace industries. In conducting the study, the joint committee shall (i) seek out and interview representatives of aviation and aerospace workforce development programs and hear recommendations for changes that can be made to state law to assist, expand, and support such programs; (ii) provide recommendations for changes to state law that will ease certification of teachers of K-12 aviation and aerospace courses when such teachers are qualified by other professional organizations, while maintaining the overall high quality of Virginia’s public education system; and (iii) provide recommendations for changes to state law that will provide Virginia students opportunities to learn aviation and aerospace curricula in compliance with the Standards of Learning.

Glen H. Sturtevant, Jr.

Study; JLARC; costs of education; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the true cost of education in the Commonwealth and provide an accurate assessment of the costs to implement the Standards of Quality. 

Elections

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Sam Rasoul

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); initiatives, referendums, and recalls. Provides that, notwithstanding the powers of the General Assembly, the people reserve to themselves the power to propose and enact laws and constitutional amendments by initiative, to reject legislative acts by referendum, and to remove certain elected officials by recall. The amendment also provides petition requirements and an approval process for having questions placed on the ballot.

Mark L. Keam

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); joint election of Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Provides for the joint election of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, by which the names of the candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor appear jointly on the ballot at the general election and the voters cast a single vote applicable to both offices.

J. Chapman Petersen

Campaign finance; prohibited contributions to candidates. Prohibits any candidate from soliciting or accepting a contribution from any public service corporation, as defined in § 56-1, or any political action committee established and administered by such a corporation.

Amanda F. Chase

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); qualifications of Governor and Lieutenant Governor; residency requirement. Increases from five to eight the number of years a person must have been a resident of and registered voter in the Commonwealth in order to be eligible to the office of the Governor and, by reference, the Lieutenant Governor.

Energy

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Kay Kory

Electric utility regulation; approval of generating facilities. Allows the State Corporation Commission, in its consideration of an application for approval of an electrical generating facility, to consider environmental effects not expressly governed by a permit or expressly considered by a permitting authority, including carbon emissions and the overall impacts of new and existing facilities on the health and welfare of the residents of the Commonwealth. The measure also removes provisions that prohibited the Commission from imposing additional conditions with respect to such matters.

Rip Sullivan

Renewable energy property tax credit. Establishes, beginning in taxable year 2018, a tax credit for renewable energy property placed in service. The bill defines “renewable energy property” as certain biomass equipment that uses renewable biomass resources, combined heat and power systems using waste heat to produce electricity or thermal or mechanical energy, certain geothermal equipment, hydroelectric generators located at existing dams or in free-flowing waterways, solar energy equipment, and wind equipment that is necessary for capturing and converting wind energy into electricity or mechanical power.

The credit would equal 35 percent of the installed cost of the renewable energy property. However, the aggregate amount of credit allowed to each person for placing into service renewable energy property during the taxable year would not exceed $15,000. Only the ultimate consumer or user of the renewable energy property would be allowed to claim the credit.

The credit would be required to be claimed in five equal annual installments beginning with the taxable year in which the property was placed in service. However, the amount claimed in a single year would not be allowed to exceed 50 percent of the person’s total tax liability. The credit would expire and no further credit could be claimed if the renewable energy property was disposed of, taken out of service, or moved out of the Commonwealth during any of the installment years.

The Department of Taxation would issue the tax credits. The Department would be authorized to issue $5 million in tax credits each fiscal year. Any unused credit could be carried forward for five taxable years. The credit would sunset in 2023.

Sam Rasoul

Electric utility regulation; suspension of reviews of earnings; transitional rate period. Provides that the transitional rate period for Virginia Electric and Power Company (Dominion) will conclude on December 31, 2018, and its next biennial review will be conducted in 2019. The transitional rate period for Dominion currently is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2019, and its next biennial review is scheduled to occur in 2022. The measure does not change the date Appalachian Power’s transitional rate period is scheduled to conclude (December 31, 2017), but does advance the year of its next biennial review from 2020 to 2018. During the first biennial reviews after the conclusion of the transitional rate period, the State Corporation Commission shall review the earnings of the utilities during the Transitional Rate Period and order adjustments to rates or credits to customers, if warranted. Pursuant to the 2015 legislation, the State Corporation Commission is barred from conducting a biennial review of the rates, terms, and conditions for any service of an electric utility during its transitional rate period.

Rip C. Sullivan, Jr.

Energy benchmarking; access to data on energy usage in covered buildings. Authorizes a locality to adopt an ordinance requiring utilities, upon request by the owner of a building with a gross floor area of not less than 50,000 square feet (covered building), to provide its owner with combined measured energy usage data for multiple utility accounts of customers receiving service in the covered building. Such benchmarking is mandatory for a covered building with three or more active utility accounts in which no single utility account is greater than or equal to 85 percent of the aggregated energy usage, and it is optional for other covered buildings. The measure provides that the building owner shall only provide aggregated data that is provided to it to the Energy Star Portfolio Manager subject to guidelines established by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME). Violations of the ordinance are punishable by a fine of not more than $250. The measure requires DMME to develop uniform guidelines for benchmarking by December 1, 2018.

Mark L. Keam

Electric utility regulation; solar energy. Declares that it is in the public interest for the electrical supply of the Commonwealth to include at least 10 percent electricity derived from sunlight from facilities located in the Commonwealth, including distributed generation facilities owned or operated by or on behalf of customers. The measure also increases, from 500 megawatts to 15,000 megawatts, the aggregate rated capacity of solar energy generation facilities located in the Commonwealth as to which their construction or purchase by a utility is in the public interest.

Mark L. Keam

Electric utilities; net energy metering; program cap. Directs the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to track the amount of net metered generation as a proportion of each electric distribution company’s adjusted Virginia peak-load forecast for the previous year. The Department is required to make such information publicly available on its website. The measure requires the State Corporation Commission, when the generating capacity of net energy metering program participants reaches one percent of each electric distribution company’s adjusted Virginia peak-load forecast for the previous year, to undertake a study of the value of solar energy to the grid, utilities, and the public. Upon completing the study, the Commission is directed to make recommendations to the General Assembly as to what changes, if any, should be made to the net energy metering program. The measure also repeals the existing requirement that the net metering standard contract or tariff shall be available to eligible customer-generators or eligible agricultural customer-generators on a first-come, first-served basis in each electric distribution company’s Virginia service area until the one percent cap is met.

Richard C. Sullivan, Jr.

Electric utilities; mandatory renewable portfolio standard. Replaces the existing voluntary renewable portfolio standard program with a mandatory renewable portfolio standard program that requires each investor-owned electric utility to generate or purchase, from facilities in the Commonwealth, increasing percentages of electric power that is generated from qualifying renewable sources. The required percentages start at a minimum of 20 percent of the total electric energy sold in 2019. Thereafter the required percentages increase in steps until 2026 and thereafter, in which years at least 80 percent of the total electric energy sold is required to be generated from qualifying renewable sources. A utility that fails to comply with a RPS standard established for a year is required to pay a compliance fee of 10 cents for each kilowatt-hour by which it failed to meet the standard.

Lee J. Carter

Coal ash recycling or reuse. Prohibits disposal of coal combustion residuals except by recycling or beneficial reuse, unless it can be shown by clear and convincing evidence that such recycling or beneficial reuse is not cost-effective compared with another means of disposal. The bill authorizes the Virginia Waste Management Board to adopt regulations to carry out such prohibition.

M. Keith Hodges

Local regulation of solar facilities. Provides that a property owner may install a solar facility on the roof of a dwelling or other building to serve the electricity or thermal needs of that dwelling or building, provided that such installation is in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located as well as any provisions pertaining to any local historic district. Unless a local ordinance provides otherwise, a ground-mounted solar energy generation facility shall also be permitted, provided that such installation is in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located as well as any provision pertaining to any local historic district. Any other proposed solar facility, including any solar facility that is designed to serve, or serves, the electricity or thermal needs of any property other than the property where such facilities are located, shall be subject to any applicable zoning regulations of the locality.

M. Keith Hodges

Comprehensive plan; solar facilities. Provides that a solar facility subject to provisions requiring the facility to be substantially in accord with a locality’s comprehensive plan shall be deemed to be substantially in accord with the comprehensive plan if (i) such proposed solar facility is located in a zoning district that allows such solar facilities by right, (ii) such proposed solar facility is designed to serve the electricity or thermal needs of the property upon which such facility is located, or will be owned or operated by an eligible customer-generator or eligible agricultural customer-generator under § 56-594 or by a small agricultural generator under § 56-594.2, or (iii) such solar facility is advertised and approved concurrently in a public hearing process with a rezoning, special exception, or other approval process.

Wendy W. Gooditis

Community energy programs. Authorizes investor-owned electric utilities and electric cooperatives to establish a community energy program with a community subscriber organization. Under a community energy program, community subscribers and community subscriber organizations may participate in community net energy metering with mutually agreed-upon community subscriber payment rates and community subscriber credit rates. A community subscriber (i) acquires a subscription that entitles him to a proportional interest in a renewable energy generation facility and (ii) receives a credit on his electric utility bill based on the community subscriber credit rate multiplied by his share of the facility’s output.

Terry G. Kilgore

Coal tax credits. Reinstates the Virginia coal employment and production incentive tax credit. The credit, which expired on July 1, 2016, can be earned on and after January 1, 2018, but before January 1, 2023. The bill limits the aggregate amount of credits that may be allocated or claimed for the coal employment and production incentive tax credit in each fiscal year to $7.3 million. An electricity generator must file an application with the Department of Taxation each year to determine the amount of credits that it may claim or allocate, including credits earned in prior taxable years. If the total amount of credits earned in a taxable year exceeds $7.3 million, the Department of Taxation shall apportion the credits on a pro rata basis. The credits may be carried over for seven years. The bill also reestablishes the coalfield employment enhancement tax credit for metallurgical coal for taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2018, but before January 1, 2023.

Gregory D. Habeeb

Electric utilities; battery deployment pilot programs. Requires the State Corporation Commission to conduct pilot programs under which Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power are required to submit proposals to deploy batteries. A utility may recover reasonable and prudent costs through its base rates. The pilot programs will have a duration of five years.

Alfonso H. Lopez

Net energy metering multifamily customer-generators. Requires the State Corporation Commission, by January 1, 2019, to establish a program of multifamily net energy metering. The program will allow a customer or customers that operate a renewable energy generating facility in a condominium, apartment complex, neighborhood, or homeowners’ association served by a common distribution circuit to be an eligible multifamily net metering customer-generator. The generation facility for multifamily net metering shall use as its total source of fuel renewable energy; not have an aggregate generation capacity of more than 500 kilowatts; be located on land owned or controlled by the eligible condominium, apartment complex, or homeowners association or on customers’ property within the condominium, apartment complex, neighborhood, or homeowners association; be interconnected and operated in parallel with an electric utility’s transmission and distribution facilities; and be used primarily to provide energy to metered accounts of the eligible multifamily net metering customer-generator. Eligible multifamily net metering customer-generators are exempt from the monthly standby charge assessed on other eligible customer-generators.

Alfonso H. Lopez

Virginia Commission on Energy and Environment. Establishes the Virginia Commission on Energy and Environment as a legislative commission to review and recommend steps to implement the Virginia Energy Plan. The Commission is charged, among other things, with the power and duty to (i) undertake studies and gather information and data; (ii) make recommendations as may be necessary to accomplish its purposes as set forth in the legislation; (iii) make special studies of and reports on measures to secure Virginia’s energy future; (iv) establish advisory committees composed of persons with special expertise not represented by individuals serving on the Commission; (v) seek, accept, and expend gifts, grants, or donations to enable the Commission to carry out its objectives; (vi) review and make recommendations on legislation affecting energy policy to the General Assembly; and (vii) report annually on its activities during the preceding year to the Governor and the General Assembly.

Richard C. Sullivan, Jr.

Electric and natural gas utilities; energy efficiency goals. Requires investor-owned electric utilities, cooperative electric utilities, and investor-owned natural gas distribution utilities to meet incremental annual energy efficiency goals. Electric utilities are required to implement cost-effective energy efficiency measures to achieve the goal of two percent savings by 2033 and thereafter, with interim goals that start at 0.25 percent for 2019-2020 and increase in biennial increments of 0.25 percent until 2033. Gas utilities are required to achieve the goal of one percent savings by 2033 and thereafter, with interim goals that start at 0.125 percent for 2019-2020 and increase in biennial increments of 0.125 percent until 2033. The utilities are required to submit energy efficiency plans with the State Corporation Commission (SCC). The SCC (i) shall order changes to a plan submitted by a utility that does not demonstrate that the utility will achieve incremental annual energy efficiency goals; (ii) shall require utilities to commence compliance efforts with the incremental annual energy efficiency goals during calendar year 2019, though it may adjust the goal for 2019 if appropriate to address a partial year of implementation; (iii) may design performance incentives that reward utilities for exceeding efficiency goals; (iv) shall require utilities to report annually to the SCC on their efforts and progress in meeting the incremental annual energy efficiency goals; and (v) shall submit reports regarding compliance with the requirements of the incremental annual energy efficiency goals every five years.

Richard C. Sullivan, Jr.

Electric utilities; energy efficiency programs. Removes the Ratepayer Impact Measure Test from the list of tests that the State Corporation Commission (SCC) is required to consider when determining that an energy efficiency program proposed by an electric utility is in the public interest. The measure provides that the SCC shall consider if the net present value of a program’s benefits exceeds the net present value of its costs as determined under the Total Resource Cost Test, the Utility Cost Test, and the Participant Test.

Richard C. Sullivan, Jr.

Energy efficiency programs; Total Resource Cost Test. Defines the Total Resource Cost Test as a test to determine if the benefit-cost ratio of a proposed energy efficiency program or measure is greater than one. The measure defines “benefit-cost ratio” as the ratio of the net present value of the total benefits of a program or measure, including savings and non-energy benefits, to the net present value of the total incremental costs of implementing that program or measure as calculated over the lifetime of the measures implemented thereunder. An energy efficiency program or measure that meets the Total Resource Cost Test is declared to be in the public interest. The measure provides that an energy efficiency program or measure that fails the Total Resource Cost Test shall be reviewed by the State Corporation Commission (SCC) under other tests for approving energy efficiency. The Total Resource Cost Test is one of the four tests used by the SCC in assessing electricity and natural gas utility energy efficiency programs.

Elizabeth R. Guzman

Electric utilities; new generation sources. Prohibits the State Corporation Commission from issuing a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the construction on or after January 1, 2018, of an electric generating facility unless at least 20 percent of the rated capacity of all electric generation facilities approved in that calendar year, including the facility for which the certificate is requested, will be based on the capacity of the facility or facilities to generate electric power from a renewable energy source.

Elizabeth R. Guzman

Electric utilities; net energy metering; standby charges. Requires the State Corporation Commission, before approving a supplier’s proposed standby charge methodology, to find that a value of solar analysis demonstrates that the standby charges reflect the supplier’s net costs or benefits properly associated with serving the customers that have installed a net metered generation facility. The bill specifies that a value of solar analysis determines such net costs or benefits by subtracting the value of all benefits provided to the supplier or the electric grid as a result of the installation and operation of the solar generation facility from the portion of the supplier’s infrastructure costs that are properly associated with serving such customers.

David J. Toscano

Energy storage system tax credit. Establishes for taxable years 2018 through 2022 an income tax credit for a taxpayer’s expenditures on an energy storage system. The bill defines energy storage system and provides that the credit shall not exceed the lesser of (i) $5,000 for a system on residential property or $75,000 for a system on commercial property, (ii) 30 percent of the system’s total installed cost, or (iii) the taxpayer’s tax liability. The bill directs the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (the Department) to establish a process whereby taxpayers apply for certification that their expenditures are eligible for the credit. The bill limits the Department to issuing no more than $750,000 of tax credits, in aggregate, during a taxable year and directs the Department to approve credits in the order received. The bill prohibits taxpayers from carrying forward unused credit to later taxable years.

Kathy K. L. Tran

Electric utilities; net energy metering; program cap. Repeals the provision that caps the amount of the aggregate rated generating capacity of renewable generating facilities eligible for a net energy metering standard contract or tariff at one percent of each utility’s adjusted Virginia peak-load forecast for the previous year.

Sam Rasoul

Interstate natural gas pipeline; Virginia Water Protection Permit; regulations. Directs the State Water Control Board (the Board), regarding interstate natural gas pipeline projects, to (i) require both a Virginia Water Protection Permit and an Individual Water Quality Certification under § 401 of the federal Clean Water Act; (ii) review water body crossings, construction through karst terrain, and plans for control of erosion, sediment, and stormwater; (iii) prohibit any land-disturbing activity, including tree felling, prior to the issuance of a Water Quality Certification; and (iv) require horizontal directional drilling for certain crossings of large water bodies. The bill also provides that the Board shall not voluntarily waive its authority to require an Individual Water Quality Certification under § 401 of the Clean Water Act and directs the Board to expedite the adoption of regulations to carry out its provisions.

Marcus B. Simon

Distributed and renewable generation of electric energy; net energy metering and third party purchase agreements. Exempts generators that are not organized as a public service company and that provide electric energy from renewable energy to retail customers under certain power purchase agreements from being defined as a public utility or a supplier. The measure authorizes retail customers to purchase electric energy from such generators, provided that the renewable energy electricity generation source is located on property owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the retail customer or any affiliated person. The net energy metering programs are amended to remove the one percent cap relative to total utility sales for net metered facilities. The State Corporation Commission is directed to establish separate net energy metering programs for eligible multi-meter customer-generators, who are customers that own or operate, or contract with another person to own or operate, or both, a renewable energy generating facility that (i) uses as its sole energy source solar power, wind power, or aerobic or anaerobic digester gas; (ii) does not have an aggregate generation capacity of more than one megawatt; and (iii) is used primarily to provide energy to metered accounts of the customer. The measure amends the Commonwealth’s energy policy by adding the goals of encouraging private sector distributed renewable energy, increasing security of the electricity grid by supporting distributed renewable energy projects, and augmenting the exercise of private property rights by landowners desiring to generate their own energy from renewable energy sources on their lands.

Chris L. Hurst

Natural gas companies; right of entry upon property. Curtails the ability of a natural gas company to enter upon real property for the purpose of conducting surveys and other tests for its proposed line or the location of facilities. The measure prohibits a natural gas company from entering upon property for such purposes unless the State Corporation Commission (Commission) has issued to it a public use certification, which may be issued only if the Commission finds, among other things, that the company has demonstrated that the pipeline or facility is for a public use. The measure also (i) establishes an expedited procedure for a landowner to seek injunctive relief; (ii) authorizes a landowner to bring a civil action for damages, including liquidated damages of $500 per day per individual entering or attempting to enter property in violation of applicable requirements; (iii) requires a natural gas company to pay treble damages for any actual damages resulting from a lawful entry; (iv) authorizes the landowner or his agent to accompany surveyors and record or photograph survey activities; (v) requires any notice of intent to enter to set forth the time and location where the first entry will occur and the duration of the surveys; and (vi) requires any request for permission to inspect to be sent at least 21 days prior to any notice of intent to enter and include a description of each type of survey and each entity or agent proposed to make such survey.

Chris L. Hurst

Natural gas pipelines; contingency plan; operation; discharge; penalty. Requires the operator of any natural gas pipeline of a certain size, prior to operation, to commission an independent test of the quality of ground water for each property in the right-of-way and to file a gas discharge contingency plan that is approved by the State Water Control Board (the Board). The bill authorizes the Board to adopt regulations requiring testing and inspection of the pipeline and annual retesting of ground water at properties in the right-of-way and a demonstration of financial responsibility by the operator. The bill prohibits the discharge of gas, establishes penalties for those discharging or causing or permitting a discharge or a substantial threat of such discharge, and establishes legal liability and defenses. The bill requires any person discharging gas immediately to report it to the Board and to local authorities but allows a discharge of up to 25 standard cubic feet of gas to be reported to the Board through normal recordkeeping. The bill requires recordkeeping by the pipeline operator, authorizes the Board to collect administrative fees, and provides for enforcement and civil and criminal penalties.

Timothy D. Hugo

Electrical transmission lines; approval of underground construction; pilot program. Establishes a pilot program consisting of the approval of the underground construction of two electrical transmission lines. As a part of the pilot program, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) is directed to approve as a qualifying project a transmission line that appears to track the I-66 Hybrid Route that has been considered in the application of Dominion Energy for the Haymarket transmission line project in Prince William County. The measure establishes criteria to be used by the SCC in approving the second project. The approval of a transmission line satisfies local zoning requirements. The SCC is directed to approve a rate adjustment clause to allow the utility to recover from the utility’s Virginia jurisdictional customers the costs of the project that are not otherwise recoverable under existing provisions. The measure directs the SCC to submit annual reports on the pilot program.

Timothy D. Hugo

Electric utilities; solar generation capacity; public interest. Declares that the construction or purchase of certain solar generation facilities, or the purchase of the energy, capacity, and environmental attributes from the facilities, is in the public interest. An enactment clause states that the development of certain solar generation facilities is encouraged in order to enable ratepayers to obtain the benefit of this energy source during the remaining period of the existing federal investment tax credit.

Timothy D. Hugo

Utility rates; voluntary rate design schedules or riders. Requires the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to enter its final order on certain petitions filed by an investor-owned electric utility within three months after the date of the hearing of such petition. The measure applies to petitions seeking approval of a schedule or rider for a voluntary rate or rate design test or experiment. An existing exemption to the requirement that each public utility uniformly charge each of its customers using its service under like conditions allows a utility to implement special rates upon SCC approval of a petition for a voluntary rate or rate design test or experiment.

Terry G. Kilgore

Renewable energy power purchase agreements; pilot programs. Revamps the provisions of pilot programs, initially authorized in 2013, permitting third party power purchase agreements. The measure (i) opens up the pilot programs to eligible agricultural customer-generators; (ii) renames “third party power purchase agreements” as “net metering power purchase agreements”; (iii) broadens eligible participants to include any tax-exempt nonprofit organization, public school, or institution of higher education in the Commonwealth; (iv) eliminates caps on total pilot program participation; and (v) eliminates the requirement that eligible renewable energy facilities have a minimum capacity of 50 kilowatts. The measure has a sunset date of January 1, 2022.

Timothy D. Hugo

Energy efficiency programs. Provides that an energy efficiency program proposed by an electric utility is in the public interest if the net present value of the benefits exceeds the net present value of the costs as determined by any three of four benefit cost tests. The four tests to be considered are the Total Resource Cost Test, the Utility Cost Test, the Participant Test, and the Ratepayer Impact Measure Test. The measure also revises the existing standard for what constitutes a cost-effective conservation and energy efficiency program conducted by a natural gas utility to conform to the provisions for electric utilities.

Sam Rasoul

Interstate natural gas pipeline construction; water quality impact bond; statewide halt. Requires any company that plans to construct an interstate natural gas pipeline in Virginia to post a performance bond with the State Water Control Board (the Board) in an amount sufficient to ensure that the Board could address and remediate any adverse water quality impact that arises out of the construction. The bill provides that if the Board determines that construction activity has caused or threatens to cause an adverse water quality impact, the Board shall undertake conservation action to address and remediate the identified water quality impact and issue an order to halt any construction on each interstate natural gas pipeline under construction in Virginia. The bill requires the Board to certify that the identified water quality impact has been fully addressed and remediated before construction on any pipeline can resume. The bill directs the Board to promulgate regulations to implement these provisions to be effective within 280 days of the bill’s enactment.

J. Chapman Petersen

Electric utility regulation; suspension of reviews of earnings; transitional rate period. Provides that the transitional rate period for Virginia Electric and Power Company (Dominion) will conclude on December 31, 2018, and its next biennial review will be conducted in 2019. The transitional rate period for Dominion currently is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2019, and its next biennial review is scheduled to occur in 2022. The measure does not change the date Appalachian Power’s transitional rate period is scheduled to conclude (December 31, 2017), but does advance the year of its next biennial review from 2020 to 2018. During the first biennial reviews after the conclusion of the transitional rate period, the State Corporation Commission shall review the earnings of the utilities during the Transitional Rate Period and order adjustments to rates or credits to customers, if warranted. Pursuant to the 2015 legislation, the State Corporation Commission is barred from conducting a biennial review of the rates, terms, and conditions for any service of an electric utility during its transitional rate period.

John A. Cosgrove

Electric distribution lines; minimum height. Requires that electric distribution lines installed on or after July 1, 2018, upon or over agricultural land shall be placed at a height that is not less than the minimum height requirement that applies to the placement of such lines above road crossings.

John S. Edwards

Electric utility regulation; agricultural net energy metering. Allows an otherwise eligible agricultural customer-generator to participate in an electric utility’s net energy metering program if it is to be served by multiple meters located on one parcel or on multiple parcels. Currently, an agricultural customer-generator may be served by multiple meters that are located at separate but contiguous sites. The measure increases the generation capacity limit for agricultural net energy metering from 500 kilowatts to one megawatt and adds falling water as a type of generating facility that may be used in agricultural net energy metering. The measure also repeals a provision, added in 2017, that ends the ability of new eligible agricultural customer-generators served by electric cooperatives to commence net energy metering on and after July 1, 2019.

John S. Edwards

Renewable energy; third-party power purchase agreements. Replaces the pilot program initially enacted in 2013 that authorized certain third-party power purchase agreements providing financing of certain renewable generation facilities. The measure requires the State Corporation Commission to establish third-party power purchase agreement programs for each electric utility. The programs authorized by this measure apply to all electric utilities and do not set limits on the size of facilities. The measure also exempts sellers under third-party power purchase agreements from being defined as a public utility, public service corporation, public service company, or electric utility solely because of the sale of electricity or ownership or operation of a renewable generation facility.

William M. Stanley, Jr.

Comprehensive plan; solar facilities. Provides that a solar facility subject to provisions requiring the facility to be substantially in accord with a locality’s comprehensive plan shall be deemed to be substantially in accord with the comprehensive plan if (i) such proposed solar facility is located in a zoning district that allows such solar facilities by right, (ii) such proposed solar facility is designed to serve the electricity or thermal needs of the property upon which such facility is located, or will be owned or operated by an eligible customer-generator or eligible agricultural customer-generator under § 56-594 or by a small agricultural generator under § 56-594.2, or (iii) such solar facility is advertised and approved concurrently in a public hearing process with a rezoning, special exception, or other approval process.

Barbara A. Favola

Net energy metering; eligibility limits. Increases the cap on the amount of capacity a renewable electric generating facility may have and remain eligible to participate in the net energy metering program. The measure increases a facility’s capacity from the expected annual energy consumption to 125 percent of that consumption based on billing history. If the building to be served by the generating facility is newly constructed, the expected annual energy consumption is based on annual energy consumption at similar buildings. Currently, a facility is ineligible to participate in a net energy metering program if its capacity exceeds expected annual energy consumption.

Richard L. Saslaw

Electric utilities; solar generation capacity; public interest. Declares that the construction or purchase of certain solar generation facilities, or the purchase of the energy, capacity, and environmental attributes from the facilities, is in the public interest. An enactment clause states that the development of solar generation facilities is encouraged in order to enable ratepayers to obtain the benefit of this energy source during the remaining period of the existing federal investment tax credit.

Richard L. Saslaw

Utility rates; voluntary rate design schedules or riders. Requires the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to enter its final order on certain petitions filed by an investor-owned electric utility within eight months of the filing of the petition. The measure applies to petitions seeking approval of a schedule or rider for a voluntary rate or rate design test or experiment. An existing exemption to the requirement that each public utility uniformly charge each of its customers using its service under like conditions allows a utility to implement special rates upon SCC approval of a petition for a voluntary rate or rate design test or experiment.

John S. Edwards

Community solar gardens. Requires the State Corporation Commission to establish standards for the operation of community solar gardens. A community solar garden is defined in the bill as a solar energy system that (i) has a nameplate capacity of not more than 20 megawatts, (ii) is owned or operated by a subscriber organization, and (iii) generates electricity for subscribers of the community solar garden. The regulations are required, among other things, to (a) establish goals for the generation of electricity by community solar gardens; (b) establish eligibility requirements for subscriber organizations, including a requirement that a subscriber organization have at least 10 subscribers; (c) prohibit a subscriber organization from allowing a subscriber to have a subscription that exceeds 40 percent of a proportional interest in a community solar garden owned or operated by the subscriber organization; (d) prohibit a subscriber organization from allowing subscriptions to a community solar garden that are more than 25 kilowatts to account for more than 40 percent of the total generating capacity of the community solar garden; and (e) require that at least 10 percent of the total generating capacity of community solar gardens be available for use by low-income residential customers or by persons providing services that benefit low-income customers. A subscriber is entitled to a credit on the subscriber’s monthly utility bill for the proportional output of the community solar garden attributable to that subscriber for the preceding month; the credit is required to be provided for 25 years. The measure requires utilities to purchase unsubscribed electricity generated by a community solar garden within the service area of the utility.

John S. Edwards

Community solar generation facilities. Authorizes the establishment of community solar generation facilities, which are required to be owned by a subscriber organization that has at least 10 subscribers. Subscribers will receive credits on their utility bills from energy generated at the solar facility in proportion to the size of their subscription. The output from a community solar generation facility shall be purchased by the utility in the form of subscription credits allocated to the subscribers. To the extent that a subscriber’s subscription credit exceeds the subscriber’s electric bill in any billing period, the credit will be applied against future bills.

John S. Edwards

Natural gas companies; right of entry upon property. Curtails the ability of a natural gas company to enter upon real property for the purpose of conducting surveys and other tests for its proposed line or the location of facilities. The measure prohibits a natural gas company from entering upon property for such purposes unless the State Corporation Commission (Commission) has issued to it a public use certification, which may be issued only if the Commission finds, among other things, that the company has demonstrated that the pipeline or facility is for a public use. The measure also (i) establishes an expedited procedure for a landowner to seek injunctive relief; (ii) authorizes a landowner to bring a civil action for damages, including liquidated damages of $500 per day per individual entering or attempting to enter property in violation of applicable requirements; (iii) requires a natural gas company to pay treble damages for any actual damages resulting from a lawful entry; (iv) authorizes the landowner or his agent to accompany surveyors and record or photograph survey activities; (v) requires any notice of intent to enter to set forth the time and location where the first entry will occur and the duration of the surveys; and (vi) requires any request for permission to inspect to be sent at least 21 days prior to any notice of intent to enter and include a description of each type of survey and each entity or agent proposed to make such survey.

A. Benton Chafin

Coal tax credits. Reinstates the Virginia coal employment and production incentive tax credit. The credit, which expired on July 1, 2016, can be earned on and after January 1, 2018, but before January 1, 2023. The bill limits the aggregate amount of credits that may be allocated or claimed for the coal employment and production incentive tax credit in each fiscal year to $7.3 million. An electricity generator must file an application with the Department of Taxation each year to determine the amount of credits that it may claim or allocate, including credits earned in prior taxable years. If the total amount of credits earned in a taxable year exceeds $7.3 million, the Department of Taxation shall apportion the credits on a pro rata basis. The credits may be carried over for seven years. The bill also reestablishes the coalfield employment enhancement tax credit for metallurgical coal for taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2018, but before January 1, 2023.

Jeremy S. McPike

Electric utilities; fuel factor; gas pipeline capacity. Directs the State Corporation Commission to disallow an electric utility’s request to recover fuel costs resulting from the purchase by the public utility or its affiliate or subsidiary of a greater amount of firm pipeline capacity for natural gas than the Commission finds is appropriate to ensure a reliable supply of natural gas. The measure also directs the Commission to conduct a proceeding to establish the proper amount of natural gas pipeline capacity that an electric utility needs to purchase under firm contract.

Frank W. Wagner

Electric utilities; competition. Limits the scope of the provision that allows individual retail customers to aggregate or combine their demands in order to meet the five megawatt threshold above which they are permitted to purchase electric energy from any licensed supplier. The measure provides that the demands of individual retail customers may be aggregated or combined to meet this level only if they (i) are served by an electric cooperative with more than 150,000 customer accounts, (ii) have a combined noncoincident peak demand that exceeds 120 megawatts, and (iii) receive service at sites that are within 20 miles of each other.

John S. Edwards

Natural gas utilities; right of entry. Limits the circumstances under which the developer of a natural gas pipeline has the right to enter upon property for survey and study purposes. The measure provides that a public service company or public utility incorporated in the Commonwealth and authorized by the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to provide natural gas distribution service may enter upon property to make examinations if the SCC determines that the natural gas pipeline is for a fixed and definite public use. The measure provides that a natural gas pipeline is for a public use if it provides services or products to the public of the Commonwealth. The measure prescribes that a natural gas pipeline that distributes natural gas to persons within the Commonwealth is for a public use and that a pipeline is not for a public use if it (i) distributes natural gas to export facilities or (ii) transports natural gas within or through the Commonwealth and does not distribute natural gas to persons within the Commonwealth. The measure revamps the measure enacted in 2004 that provides to interstate natural gas companies the same limited right of entry for survey and study purposes that is currently granted to intrastate natural gas companies.

R. Creigh Deeds

Stormwater management; inspections; natural gas pipelines; stop work instructions; emergency. Authorizes the State Water Control Board (the Board) to conduct inspections of the land-disturbing activities of interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline companies that have approved annual standards and specifications to determine (i) compliance with such annual standards and specifications, (ii) compliance with any site-specific plans, and (iii) if there have been or are likely to be adverse impacts to water quality as a result of such land-disturbing activities. The bill authorizes the Board to issue a stop work instruction when the Board determines that there has been an adverse impact to water quality or that an adverse impact to water quality is likely to occur as a result of such land-disturbing activities. The bill requires that upon completion and approval by the Board in writing of the corrective measures specified in the stop work instruction, the instruction shall be immediately lifted. Such stop work instruction may be appealed to the circuit court of the jurisdiction where the violation was alleged to have occurred or other appropriate court. The bill contains an emergency clause.

Amanda F. Chase

Coal combustion residuals unit; closure. Directs the Department of Environmental Quality to require the closure of any coal combustion residuals (CCR) surface impoundment located in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The bill requires that such closure include the removal of all coal combustion residuals for disposal in a permitted landfill that meets federal criteria and that the impoundment site be reclaimed in a manner consistent with federal mine reclamation standards. The bill allows an investor-owned public electric utility to recover the costs of closure from customers. Finally, the bill suspends the issuance of any permit to close a CCR surface impoundment in the Chesapeake Bay watershed between May 1, 2018, and July 1, 2018.

Jennifer T. Wexton

Electric utilities; community renewable projects. Requires the State Corporation Commission to adopt rules under which community renewable projects are authorized to operate. A community renewable project is a solar-powered or wind-powered electric generation facility with a capacity of not more than 20 megawatts that is operated subject to the requirement that the electricity generated by the facility belongs to the project’s subscribers. The facility may be owned either by the investor-owned electric utility or distribution cooperative in whose service territory the facility is located or a for-profit or nonprofit entity, which may be an entity entirely owned by or consisting of subscribers, that contracts to sell the electricity generated by the facility to the retail utility. The measure provides that neither the owner of a project nor its subscribers are public utilities and that prices paid for subscriptions in projects shall not be subject to regulation by the Commission. The measure also requires the retail utility to purchase all of the electricity generated by the project and that the purchase of the electricity by the utility shall take the form of a credit against the utility’s electric bill to each of the project’s subscribers. Finally, the measure requires the Commission to formulate and implement policies that simultaneously encourage (i) the ownership by customers of subscriptions in projects and of other forms of distributed generation to the extent the Commission finds there to be demand for such ownership; (ii) the development of projects with attributes that the Commission finds result in lower overall total costs for the retail utility’s customers; and (iii) the successful financing and operation of subscriber-owned projects.

Scott A. Surovell

Coal ash ponds; mandatory testing of drinking water wells. Requires the owner or operator of any coal ash pond in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that is closed by capping in place to complete a survey of all drinking water wells within one mile of the pond by October 1, 2018. The bill requires the utility to commission an independent well water test on behalf of the owner of each such well by January 1, 2019, and requires such a test once per year during each of the five years following the approval of the closure of the coal ash pond, and once every five years thereafter. The bill provides that if any test exceeds groundwater quality standards for constituents associated with coal ash, the Board shall instruct the utility to provide alternate water supplies to the owner of the well. The bill requires the Department of Environmental Quality to consider the results of the tests in its permitting, monitoring, or enforcement proceedings.

Scott A. Surovell

Electric utilities; recovery of costs associated with closure in place of coal ash facilities. Directs that in a biennial review of an investor-owned electric utility by the State Corporation Commission, any costs incurred by an investor-owned electric utility that are associated with closure in place of a coal combustion residuals landfill or surface impoundment are unreasonable and not prudent. The measure prohibits the Commission in such a biennial review from considering any costs associated with the closure in place of such a landfill or impoundment to be period costs expensed on a Virginia jurisdictional basis. The measure also directs that, for purposes of any rate adjustment clause for recovery of environmental costs, costs associated with closure in place of such a landfill or impoundment are not necessary to comply with any environmental law or regulation.

Scott A. Surovell

Electric utilities; rate adjustment clause costs of coal ash beneficiation facility. Authorizes an investor-owned electric utility to petition the State Corporation Commission for approval of rate adjustment clauses for the timely and current recovery from customers of reasonable and prudently incurred costs of constructing coal ash beneficiation facilities capable of processing coal ash to specifications appropriate for cementitious products. The measure provides that a utility that constructs such a facility shall have the right to recover the costs of no more than three such facilities. Construction costs of not more than $60 million shall be presumed to be reasonable and prudently incurred. The measure bars recovery of such costs prior to the date the facility begins commercial operation. The construction of any such facility is declared to be in the public interest and the Commission is directed to liberally construe its provisions.

Scott A. Surovell

Electric utilities; Transitional Rate Period; coal combustion residuals landfills. Shortens the duration of the Transitional Rate Period (Period) for any Phase II Utility. The measure provides that the Period ends December 31, 2017, which is the date the Period is currently scheduled to end for a Phase I Utility. The measure provides that biennial reviews will commence in 2020 for both Phase I and Phase II Utilities, which advances the year of the first post-Period biennial review for a Phase II Utility by two years. The measure also provides that during the first biennial review after the Period, the State Corporation Commission shall determine whether the utility would have owed customers a refund during any test period in the Transitional Rate Period, and, if so, the utility may elect to expense up to 80 percent of costs associated with closure by removal of coal combustion residuals landfill or surface impoundments against its overearnings. The measure requires the owner or operator of any coal combustion residuals unit to submit reports on the costs associated with removal of coal combustion residuals landfill or surface impounds.

Thomas K. Norment, Jr.

Commission on Electric Utility Regulation. Postpones the scheduled expiration of the Commission on Electric Utility Regulation from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2020.

Environment

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Jennifer Carroll Foy

Coal combustion residuals unit; closure by 2022. Directs the Department of Environmental Quality to require the closure by July 1, 2022, of any coal combustion residuals (CCR) surface impoundment located in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The bill requires that such closure include the removal of all coal combustion residuals for disposal in a permitted landfill that meets federal criteria and that the impoundment site be reclaimed in a manner consistent with federal mine reclamation standards. The bill allows an investor-owned public electric utility to recover the costs of closure from customers. Finally, the bill suspends the issuance of any permit to close a CCR surface impoundment in the Chesapeake Bay watershed between May 1, 2018, and July 1, 2018.

David E. Yancey

Rainwater and gray water; regulations. Directs the State Department of Health (the Department) to adopt regulations regarding the use of gray water and rainwater. The regulations shall provide standards for the use of rainwater harvesting systems. The bill also directs the Department to consider recognizing rainwater as an independent source of fresh water.

Thomas C. Wright, Jr.

Ground water withdrawal permit term; lengthening to 15 years. Lengthens from 10 years to 15 years the maximum term of a ground water withdrawal permit issued by the State Water Control Board. The bill also lengthens the maximum term of a ground water withdrawal special exception from 10 years to 15 years. The bill contains technical amendments.

Jason S. Miyares

Hurricane and Flooding Risk Reduction and Bond Rating Protection Act of 2018; report. Establishes the Hurricane and Flooding Risk Reduction and Bond Rating Protection Act of 2018. Establishes the Commonwealth of Virginia as a nonfederal sponsor of hurricane and flooding risk reduction projects. There is also established the Virginia Hurricane and Flood Risk Reduction Authority (the Authority) and a board of directors (the Board) of the Authority. The Board shall exercise for the Governor executive authority over all phases of hurricane and flood risk reduction programs, including investigations, construction, operations, and maintenance. The Authority shall be established to fulfill the directives of the Board. The Authority shall be hosted by a department of the Commonwealth as designated by the Governor. That department shall provide support to the Authority, including budgeting, work facilities, administrative management, logistics, human resources, legal, contracts, and information resources. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) shall consult with Louisiana’s Legislative Fiscal Office to assess the increased state and local tax flows in Louisiana that resulted from post-Katrina federal spending, including spending for civil works storm and flooding risk reduction project. The bill requires JLARC to report to the General Assembly no later than November 1, 2018, on the results of its initial assessment.

Christopher P. Stolle

Secretary of Coastal Protection and Flooding Adaptation. Creates the executive branch position of Secretary of Coastal Protection and Flooding Adaptation (the Secretary). The Secretary shall be responsible for consolidating into a single office the resources for protection against coastal flooding threats and flooding adaptation. The Secretary also shall be the lead in developing and in providing direction and ensuring accountability for a statewide coastal flooding adaptation strategy. The bill requires the Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of Natural Resources, to identify sources of funding for implementation of strategies for coastal protection and flooding adaptation.

David L. Bulova

Ground water management; subdivisions; technical evaluation. Requires the developer of a subdivision located in a designated ground water management area for which the developer obtains plat approval on or after July 1, 2018, to apply for a technical evaluation, with certain criteria, from the Department of Environmental Quality prior to final subdivision plat approval if there will be 30 or more lots within the subdivision served by private wells.

Mark L. Keam

Replacement of trees during development process; Chesapeake Bay watershed. Authorizes any locality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to adopt an ordinance providing for the planting and replacement of trees during the land development process. Current law only allows a locality with a population density of at least 75 persons per square mile to adopt such an ordinance. The bill authorizes such an ordinance to exceed the requirements set out in the section.

Patrick A. Hope

Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas; mature trees. Adds the preservation of mature trees, both as a stormwater management tool and as a means of providing other benefits, to the list of activities that the State Water Resources Board is directed to encourage and promote as it adopts criteria for local governments to use as they consider development in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas.

M. Keith Hodges

Land development; replacement of trees; locality within Chesapeake Bay watershed. Authorizes any locality within the Chesapeake Bay watershed to adopt an ordinance providing for the planting and replacement of trees during the development process. Currently, only a locality with a population density of 75 persons per square mile may adopt such an ordinance.

S. Chris Jones

Potomac Aquifer recharge monitoring; advisory board; laboratory established; SWIFT Project. Creates an advisory board and a laboratory to monitor the effects of the Sustainable Water Infrastructure for Tomorrow (SWIFT) Project being undertaken by the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD).

The bill establishes an eight-member advisory board called the Potomac Aquifer Recharge Oversight Committee (the Committee), directing it to ensure that the SWIFT Project is monitored independently. The bill provides that the Committee shall consist of the State Health Commissioner, the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, the Executive Director of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, the two Co-Directors of the Laboratory, the Director of the Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory, and two Virginia citizens appointed by the Governor, and the bill also provides for two nonvoting members. The Committee is required by the bill to meet at least quarterly during the initial three years of its existence. The bill also authorizes the Committee to appoint a science and technical advisory council and directs the Committee to request funding from HRSD for the first three years of monitoring of the recharge of the aquifer.

The bill also creates the Potomac Aquifer Recharge Monitoring Laboratory (the Laboratory) at Old Dominion University (ODU), placing it under the direction of an ODU faculty member and the co-direction of a faculty member at Virginia Tech. The bill provides that the Laboratory shall monitor the impact of the SWIFT Project on the Potomac Aquifer, manage testing data, and conduct water sampling and analysis.

The bill authorizes both the Commissioner of the Department of Health and the State Water Control Board to issue emergency orders to halt injection or make any change to any facility of the SWIFT Project.

S. Chris Jones

Ground water withdrawal permit term; lengthening to 15 years. Lengthens from 10 years to 15 years the maximum term of a ground water withdrawal permit issued by the State Water Control Board and lengthens the maximum term of a ground water withdrawal special exception from 10 years to 15 years. The bill also directs the State Water Control Board to adopt a regulation effective January 1, 2019, raising from $6,000 to $9,000 the permit fee applicable to new or reissued individual ground water withdrawal permits. The bill contains technical amendments.

Israel D. O'Quinn

Stormwater management regulations; localities outside Chesapeake Bay watershed. Provides that in a locality that is located entirely outside of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the State Water Control Board and the Department of Environmental Quality shall apply the water quality and water quantity requirements that were in effect prior to July 1, 2014.

Barry D. Knight

Menhaden; total landings. Adjusts the annual total allowable landings for menhaden downward from 168,937.75 metric tons to 168,213.16 metric tons and provides that any portion of the coast-wide total allowable catch that is relinquished by a state that is a member of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission shall be redistributed to Virginia and other states according to the Commission’s allocation guidelines. The bill adjusts the annual harvest cap for the purse seine fishery for Atlantic menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay downward from 87,216 metric tons to 51,000 metric tons. The bill also removes a provision that applied the amount by which certain actual Chesapeake Bay harvests fall below the harvest cap as a credit to the following year.

David L. Bulova

Local enforcement of industrial waste permits. Authorizes any locality that owns or operates a permitted municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) to adopt and administer an industrial and high-risk runoff program. The bill limits the ability of the State Water Control Board (the Board), unless it is required to do so by federal law, to impose certain regulatory conditions on any locality that administers such a program, and it prohibits the Board from modifying existing MS4 permits to avoid such limitation. The bill authorizes the Board to require a locality to report an industrial or commercial facility if it becomes aware of a violation of an industrial stormwater management requirement.

Debra H. Rodman

Local disposable paper and plastic bag tax. Authorizes any locality to impose a five-cent per bag tax on disposable paper bags or disposable plastic bags provided to customers by certain retailers, with certain bags being exempt from the tax. Revenues from the local tax would be collected by the Tax Commissioner and distributed monthly to the county or city imposing the tax to be used by such locality for pollution and litter mitigation. The bill requires each county or city adopting an ordinance to impose the tax to provide a certified copy of the ordinance to the Tax Commissioner at least six months prior to the date the tax is to become effective. The bill also allows every retailer that collects the tax to retain one cent of the five-cent tax.

M. Keith Hodges

Eastern Virginia groundwater management; annual forum; trading work group. Directs the Department of Environmental Quality (the Department) to convene an annual public forum focused on the state of water resources in the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area. The bill also directs the Department to convene a work group to assist the Department in carrying out the 2017 recommendation of the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Advisory Committee that an aquifer storage and recovery banking system be developed. The work group shall report its recommendations no later than July 1, 2019.

David E. Yancey

Environmental regulations; no stricter than federal law. Prohibits the Department of Environmental Quality, the State Air Pollution Control Board, the State Water Control Board, and the Virginia Waste Management Board from adopting any environmental rule, regulation, or standard that is inconsistent with or exceeds the requirements of any relevant and duly adopted federal environmental statute, regulation, standard, criterion, or guidance document.

M. Keith Hodges

Virginia Resources Authority; dredging projects. Includes within the definition of the term “project” any dredging program or project undertaken to benefit the economic and community development goals of a local government.

M. Keith Hodges

Dredged material siting; fast-track permitting program. Directs the Department of Environmental Quality to develop, in cooperation with the Marine Resources Commission and with technical assistance from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, a fast-track regulatory permitting program for the selection and use of appropriate sites for the disposal of dredged material. The bill requires the State Water Control Board to enact regulations to be effective no later than July 1, 2019.

Betsy B. Carr

Ground water withdrawal permit; priority for human consumptive use; public supplier.

Directs the State Water Control Board (the Board) to instruct the Department of Environmental Quality (the Department) to modify the permitted withdrawal amounts for certain industrial holders of water withdrawal permits within the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area (EVGMA). The bill establishes several steps for modifying the permitted withdrawal amounts: (i) beginning in 2021, the Department shall accept requests for additional withdrawals from existing public water suppliers; (ii) beginning in 2022, the Department shall notify each large industrial permit holder that its permit will be modified; (iii) beginning in 2023, the Department shall reduce the permitted withdrawal amounts of the large industrial withdrawers and increase the permitted withdrawal amounts of public water suppliers as needed; and (iv) by July 1, 2017, the Board shall issue ground water permits for all public water suppliers in the EVGMA as their existing permits expire. The bill also states the findings of the General Assembly that the supply of ground water in the EVGMA is insufficient and that economic growth is hampered as a result, and it reaffirms the policy, found in state law, that preference be given to human consumptive use when proposed uses are in conflict.

Charles D. Poindexter

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; prohibition on participation by Commonwealth. Prohibits the Governor or any state agency from adopting any regulation establishing a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program or bringing about the participation by the Commonwealth in a regional market for the trading of carbon dioxide allowances. The bill provides that the Commonwealth shall be allowed to participate in such a cap-and-trade program if the House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia each adopt a resolution that specifically references and approves the regulatory text proposed for adoption by a state agency.

David L. Bulova

Virginia Alternative Energy and Coastal Protection Act. Directs the State Air Pollution Control Board to adopt regulations establishing a carbon dioxide cap and trade program to reduce emissions released by electric generation facilities. The regulations are required to comply with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative model rule. The measure authorizes the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality to establish, implement, and manage an auction program to sell allowances into a market-based trading program. The measure requires revenues from the sale of carbon allowances, to the extent permitted by Article X, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia, to be deposited in an interest-bearing account and to be distributed without further appropriation (i) to the Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund, (ii) to the VirginiaSAVES program, (iii) for certain programs in Southwest Virginia, and (iv) for administrative expenses.

M. Keith Hodges

Stormwater management; rural Tidewater; tiered approach to water quantity technical criteria; impervious cover percentage. Allows any rural Tidewater locality, as defined in the bill, to comply with water quantity technical criteria for certain land-disturbing activities based on the percentage of impervious cover in the watershed. The bill provides that any eligible locality electing to use certain control standards shall, by ordinance, adopt an official map that indicates the percentage of impervious cover in each watershed within the locality and shall update the map at least annually. The bill allows any such locality to apply one of the following three standards for managing water quantity to any new development project: (i) if the site, as indicated on the map, has less than 5.0 percent impervious cover, the standard shall be a particular State Water Control Board regulation; (ii) if the watershed has 5.0 percent or more but less than 7.5 percent impervious cover, the standard shall be the one-year, 24-hour release method; and (iii) if the watershed has 7.5 percent or more impervious cover, the standard shall be the energy balance method. The bill provides that any project whose construction would cause the watershed in which it is located to step up to the next higher tier shall be evaluated under the energy balance method or a more stringent alternative.

The bill also directs the Department of Environmental Quality to use an appropriate new or existing Regulatory Advisory Panel to assist in clarifying the interpretation and application of the MS-19 standard.

Cheryl B. Turpin

Virginia Alternative Energy and Coastal Protection Act. Authorizes the State Air Pollution Control Board to conduct an auction of allowances of CO2 emissions or authorize the Department of Environmental Quality to operate such auction. The bill establishes the Commonwealth Resilience Fund to receive funds from the auction and directs the funds to certain programs. Beginning in January 2021, the Department is required to file an annual report on the auction.

Dawn M. Adams

Virginia Alternative Energy and Coastal Protection Act. Authorizes the State Air Pollution Control Board to conduct an auction of allowances of CO2 emissions or authorize the Department of Environmental Quality to operate such auction. The bill establishes the Commonwealth Resilience Fund to receive funds from the auction and directs the funds to certain programs. Beginning in January 2021, the Department is required to file an annual report on the auction.

Mamie E. Locke

Disposable plastic shopping bags; local option. Allows any locality by ordinance to prohibit the distribution, sale, or offer for sale of disposable plastic shopping bags to consumers. The bill exempts from any such prohibition reusable bags of a certain thickness; bags that are used to carry certain products, such as ice cream or newspapers; and garbage bags that are sold in multiples.

Richard H. Stuart

Comprehensive plans; groundwater and surface water. Authorizes a locality to show in the locality’s comprehensive plan the locality’s long-range recommendations for groundwater and surface water availability, quality, and sustainability. The bill requires the local planning commission to survey and study groundwater and surface water availability, quality, and sustainability in the preparation of a comprehensive plan.

John A. Cosgrove, Jr.

Purse net fishing prohibited; civil penalty. Prohibits fishing for menhaden with purse nets (i) at certain times within three miles of the shoreline of Virginia Beach extending to the North Carolina border and (ii) at any time in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries within one mile of the mean low water mark. The bill authorizes the Marine Resources Commission to assess a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation, with penalties collected to be deposited into the Virginia Marine Products Fund.

Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr.

Secretary of Coastal Protection and Flooding Adaptation. Creates the executive branch position of Secretary of Coastal Protection and Flooding Adaptation (the Secretary). The Secretary shall be responsible for consolidating into a single office the resources for protection against coastal flooding threats and flooding adaptation. The Secretary also shall be the lead in developing and in providing direction and ensuring accountability for a statewide coastal flooding adaptation strategy. The bill requires the Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of Natural Resources, to identify sources of funding for implementation of strategies for coastal protection and flooding adaptation.

Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr.

Hampton Roads Coastal Resiliency Authority. Creates the Hampton Roads Coastal Resiliency Authority (Authority) as a body politic and corporate, a political subdivision of the Commonwealth. The Authority shall consist of all localities that make up the membership of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and is created for the purpose of serving as a regional leader, resource, and partner for all issues related to coastal flooding and resiliency.

Charles W. Carrico, Sr.

Stormwater management regulations; localities outside Chesapeake Bay watershed. Provides that in a locality that is located entirely outside of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the State Water Control Board and the Department of Environmental Quality shall apply the water quality and water quantity requirements that were in effect prior to July 1, 2014.

T. Montgomery Mason

Nonagricultural irrigation wells prohibited outside surficial aquifer. Prohibits any person from constructing a well in a ground water management area for nonagricultural irrigation purposes except in the surficial aquifer. The bill authorizes the State Water Control Board (the Board) to adopt regulations to develop a general permit for the regulation of irrigation withdrawals from the surficial aquifer greater than 300,000 gallons in any one month. The bill directs the Board to promulgate regulations establishing criteria for determining whether the quantity or quality of the ground water in a surficial aquifer is adequate to meet a proposed beneficial use.

Bill R. DeSteph, Jr.

Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund and Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee. Clarifies the purposes for which grants from the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund (the Fund) are to be used and clarifies that guidelines for the use of such grants shall be developed by the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee (the Committee) in accordance with such purposes. The bill shifts the date by which the Committee is required to present a plan for expenditure of any amounts in the Fund. The bill contains technical amendments.

Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr.

Virginia Waterway Maintenance Fund; Grant Program. Establishes the Virginia Waterway Maintenance Grant Program and Fund, administered by the Virginia Port Authority (the Authority), to provide grants, from funds transferred to the Fund from Commonwealth Port Fund, to local governing bodies that propose certain dredging projects and related activities. The bill directs the Authority to manage the Grant Program by developing guidelines and procedures for the application process and for the awarding of annual grants.

Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr.

Virginia Alternative Energy and Coastal Protection Act. Directs the State Air Pollution Control Board to adopt regulations establishing a carbon dioxide cap and trade program to reduce emissions released by electric generation facilities. The regulations are required to comply with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative model rule. The measure authorizes the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality to establish, implement, and manage an auction program to sell allowances into a market-based trading program. The measure requires revenues from the sale of carbon allowances, to the extent permitted by Article X, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia, to be deposited in an interest-bearing account and to be distributed without further appropriation (i) to the Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund, (ii) to the VirginiaSAVES program, (iii) for certain programs in Southwest Virginia, and (iv) for administrative expenses.

Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr.

Study; long-term and short-term economic impacts of a Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; report. Requests the Department of Environmental Quality to study the potential economic impacts from the establishment of a funding source to localities in coastal Virginia for flood resilience that could result from including the Commonwealth as a full participant in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

General Business

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Sam Rasoul

Security freezes; fees. Prohibits a credit reporting agency from requiring a consumer to pay a fee to place a security freeze on the consumer’s credit report. Currently, a consumer may be required to pay a fee of no more than $10 to place a security freeze on his credit report. Victims of identity theft are currently exempt from the fee.

David L. Bulova

Security freezes; fees. Prohibits a credit reporting agency from requiring a consumer to pay a fee to place a security freeze on the consumer’s credit report. Currently, a consumer may be required to pay a fee of no more than $10 to place a security freeze on his credit report. Victims of identity theft are currently exempt from the fee.

John J. Bell

Conditional zoning proffers; affordable dwelling units. Exempts onsite proffers related to affordable dwelling units from provisions that determine whether a proffer is unreasonable.

Delores L. McQuinn

Virginia Housing Development Authority Act; pilot program; home ownership; low income persons. Directs the Virginia Housing Development Authority to develop a pilot program providing support services, including counseling and financing assistance, to help low-income persons who are currently renters become home owners.

Roxann L. Robinson

Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); general exclusion for trade secrets submitted to a public body. Creates a general record exclusion for trade secrets submitted to a public body. The bill provides that a record is eligible for exclusion as a trade secret if the submitted information qualifies as a trade secret of the submitting entity as defined in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (§ 59.1-336 et seq.) and requires the submitting entity to make a written request to the public body (i) invoking such exclusion upon submission of the trade secret information for which protection from disclosure is sought, (ii) identifying with specificity the trade secret information for which protection is sought, and (iii) stating the reasons why protection is necessary. The bill permits a requester filing a FOIA petition challenging a record’s designation as an excluded trade secret to name the submitting entity or its successor in interest, in addition to the public body, as a defendant. The bill also permits the public body to request that the court add the submitting entity as an additional defendant in the action. The bill provides that the general exclusion for trade secrets shall not be construed to authorize the withholding of such information that no longer meets the definition of a trade secret under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. This bill is a recommendation of the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council.

Marcus B. Simon

Automatic renewal offers and continuous service offers; penalties. Prohibits a supplier making an automatic renewal or continuous service offer to a consumer in the Commonwealth from (i) failing to present the automatic renewal or continuous service offer terms in a clear and conspicuous manner, (ii) charging the consumer for an automatic renewal or continuous service without first obtaining the consumer’s affirmative consent, and (iii) failing to provide an acknowledgment that includes the automatic renewal or continuous service offer terms, cancellation policy, and information regarding how to cancel in a manner that is capable of being retained by the consumer. In the case of a material change in the terms of the automatic renewal or continuous service offer, the bill would require the supplier to provide the consumer with a clear and conspicuous notice of the material change and information regarding how to cancel. The measure provides that in any case in which a supplier sends any goods, wares, merchandise, or products to a consumer under a continuous service agreement or automatic renewal of a purchase without first obtaining the consumer’s affirmative consent, the goods, wares, merchandise, or products shall for all purposes be deemed an unconditional gift to the consumer. The bill exempts certain services and businesses from its provisions. A violation is a prohibited practice under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. The measure has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2019.

Les R. Adams

Security freezes; fees. Prohibits a credit reporting agency from requiring a consumer to pay a fee to place, remove, or lift a security freeze on the consumer’s credit report if the request therefor is received electronically. If the request is submitted to the consumer reporting agency by mail or by telephone, the consumer reporting agency may charge a fee not exceeding $3. Victims of identity theft are exempt from the fee. Currently, a consumer may be required to pay a fee of no more than $10 to place a security freeze on his credit report.

Kelly K. Convirs-Fowler

Nonstock corporations; instructed proxies. Requires that the writing or transmission by which a member purports to appoint a proxy to vote in an election for one or more members of the board of directors of a nonstock corporation identifies the person or persons for whom the proxy is instructed to vote.

Luke E. Torian

My Virginia Plan Program; retirement plans for employees of private employers. Establishes the My Virginia Plan Board (the Board) and directs the Board to create the My Virginia Plan Program (the Program) to enable private employers to connect with financial services firms that offer retirement plans. The bill directs the Board to contract with a private entity to implement and administer the Program.

The bill provides that participation in a plan offered through the Program is voluntary for employers and their employees. The bill requires the Board to review and approve financial services firms to offer retirement plans through the Program and create a website for employers to obtain information on how to participate. The bill requires the Board to ensure that the Program provides a range of investment options to meet the needs of investors with various levels of risk tolerance and various ages.

The bill requires that in order to participate in the Program a financial services firm must register with the State Corporation Commission, meet the requirements of all federal laws required to offer retirement plans, and offer at least two product options, including a target date fund and a balanced fund. The bill authorizes the Department to charge fees to participating financial services firms to recoup start-up and ongoing costs. The bill prohibits financial services firms from charging administrative fees to employers but such firms may charge annual fees to enrollees.

Benjamin L. Cline

Nonstock corporations; members’ meetings. Authorizes the board of directors of a nonstock corporation to determine that any meeting of members not be held at any place and instead be held by means of remote communication, if the articles of incorporation or bylaws do not require the meeting to be held at a place.

Steve E. Heretick

Relocation of call centers to a foreign country; notification requirements. Requires certain call centers that intend to relocate operations from the Commonwealth to a foreign country to give the Commissioner of Labor and Industry at least 120 days’ prior notice. The measure requires the Commissioner to compile a semiannual list of all employers that relocate a call center from the Commonwealth to a foreign country and to distribute the list to state agencies. Subject to exceptions, an employer that appears on the list is (i) ineligible for five years for any direct or indirect grants of state funds, any loans from or guaranteed by the state, or any tax credit or reduction in tax liability and (ii) required to repay any financial incentives the employer has previously received. The measure requires new state agency contracts for the performance of state business-related call center and customer service work to provide that such work shall be performed entirely within the Commonwealth.

C.E. Cliff Hayes, Jr.

Security freezes; fees. Prohibits a credit reporting agency from requiring a consumer to pay a fee to place a security freeze on the consumer’s credit report if the consumer has not previously requested the placement of a security freeze from the consumer reporting agency. Currently, a consumer may be required to pay a fee of no more than $10 to place a security freeze on his credit report. The measure does not prohibit a consumer reporting agency from charging a fee to temporarily lift or to remove a security freeze or to place a security freeze on the consumer’s credit report if it is the second or subsequent request for placement of a security freeze. Victims of identity theft are currently exempt from the fee.

J. Chapman Petersen

Security freezes; fees. Prohibits a credit reporting agency from requiring a consumer to pay a fee to place a security freeze on the consumer’s credit report. Currently, a consumer may be required to pay a fee of no more than $10 to place a security freeze on his credit report. Victims of identity theft are currently exempt from the fee.

Lionel Spruill, Sr.

Security freezes; fees. Prohibits a credit reporting agency from requiring a consumer to pay a fee to place a security freeze on the consumer’s credit report if the consumer has not previously requested the placement of a security freeze from the consumer reporting agency. Currently, a consumer may be required to pay a fee of no more than $10 to place a security freeze on his credit report. The measure does not prohibit a consumer reporting agency from charging a fee to temporarily lift or to remove a security freeze or to place a security freeze on the consumer’s credit report if it is the second or subsequent request for placement of a security freeze. Victims of identity theft are currently exempt from the fee.

Scott A. Surovell

Security freezes; fees. Prohibits a credit reporting agency from requiring a consumer to pay a fee to place a security freeze on the consumer’s credit report. Currently, a consumer may be required to pay a fee of no more than $10 to place a security freeze on his credit report. Victims of identity theft are currently exempt from the fee.

Jeremy S. McPike

Security freezes; fees. Prohibits a credit reporting agency from requiring a consumer to pay a fee to place a security freeze on the consumer’s credit report. Currently, a consumer may be required to pay a fee of no more than $10 to place a security freeze on his credit report. Victims of identity theft are currently exempt from the fee.

Barbara A. Favola

Security freezes; fees. Prohibits a credit reporting agency from requiring a consumer to pay a fee to place a security freeze on the consumer’s credit report. Currently, a consumer may be required to pay a fee of no more than $10 to place a security freeze on his credit report. Victims of identity theft are currently exempt from the fee.

A. Benton Chafin

Annual reports of corporations. Eliminates the requirement that a corporation authorized to issue one or more classes of shares list the number of shares of each class on its corporate annual report.

Frank W. Wagner

Security freezes; fees. Prohibits a credit reporting agency from requiring a consumer to pay a fee to place a security freeze on the consumer’s credit report. Currently, a consumer may be required to pay a fee of no more than $10 to place a security freeze on his credit report. Victims of identity theft are currently exempt from the fee.

Healthcare

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Michael J. Webert

Health benefit plans; sale by authorized foreign health insurers. Establishes a procedure by which the State Corporation Commission may authorize health insurers licensed to sell health benefit plans in any other state to sell health benefit plans in Virginia without obtaining a license to engage in the business of insurance in Virginia or complying with other requirements applicable to Virginia-licensed insurers. A health benefit plan sold by an authorized foreign health insurer is not be required to include state-mandated health benefits. The measure establishes criteria to be used by the Commission in determining whether to authorize a foreign health insurer to sell, offer, or provide a health benefit plan in the Commonwealth. The measure authorizes the Commission to conduct market conduct and financial condition examinations of any foreign health insurer that has applied for, or has received, authorization to sell health benefit plans in Virginia. The measure also specifies disclosures that an authorized foreign health insurer is required to include in applications and policies. The measure has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2019.

Delores L. McQuinn

Virginia Grocery Investment Program and Fund. Creates the Virginia Grocery Investment Program and Fund to provide funding for the construction, rehabilitation, equipment upgrades, or expansion of grocery stores, small food retailers, and innovative food retail projects, defined in the bill, in underserved communities.

Richard P. Bell

Virginia Grocery Investment Program and Fund. Creates the Virginia Grocery Investment Program and Fund to provide funding for the construction, rehabilitation, equipment upgrades, or expansion of grocery stores, small food retailers, and innovative food retail projects, defined in the bill, in underserved communities.

John J. Bell

Health insurance; coverage for alternative pain management prescription drugs. Requires health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and corporations providing health care coverage subscription contracts, whose policy, contract, or plan includes coverage for prescription drugs, to provide coverage for alternative pain management prescription drugs that are prescribed to a covered individual with an opioid dependence disorder. “Alternative pain management prescription drugs” are defined as either abuse-deterrent opioid analgesic drugs or non-opioid analgesic drugs. Alternative pain management prescription drugs are required to be on a tier that has cost-sharing requirements that do not exceed those of opioid analgesic drugs. The requirement applies to analgesics prescribed in connection with an acute medical condition but not for a chronic medical condition. The measure applies to policies, contracts, and plans delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed on or after January 1, 2019.

Jason S. Miyares

Medicaid; work requirement. Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to apply for a waiver to implement a work requirement for able-bodied adult recipients of medical assistance services.

Mark D. Sickles

State plan for medical assistance; eligibility. Requires the Board of Medical Assistance Services to include in the state plan for medical assistance provision for the payment of medical assistance on behalf of individuals described in 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(10)(A)(i)(VIII) who are under 65 years of age and not otherwise eligible for medical assistance and whose household income does not exceed 133 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of that size. The bill provides that such provision shall expire on December 31 of any year in which the federal medical assistance percentage for such individuals falls below the percentages set forth in 42 C.F.R. § 433.10(c)(6). This bill also repeals provisions of the Code of Virginia establishing the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission.

Nick Rush

Affordable Care Act; waiver request. Directs the Commissioner of Insurance to apply to the federal Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services for a waiver of the requirement that individual health benefit plans cover all of the essential health benefits required by § 1302(a) of the Affordable Care Act.

Glenn R. Davis

Health insurance; step therapy protocols. Requires carriers issuing health benefit plans to utilize certain clinical review criteria to establish step therapy protocols. The measure establishes clinical review criteria used to establish such protocols and requires carriers to establish a process by which a patient or provider may seek a step therapy override exception determination. The provisions of the measure shall apply to any health benefit plan delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed on or after January 1, 2019.

David E. Yancey

Health insurance; coverage for proton therapy. Requires any health insurer, corporation, or health maintenance organization issuing an insurance policy, subscription contract, or health care plan to provide coverage for physician-prescribed proton therapy for the treatment of breast, prostate cancer, or other indications under a hypofractionated protocol as part of a clinical trial or registry. The measure specifies the number of treatments for breast or prostate cancer under a hypofractionated proton therapy protocol. The measure specifies the amount payable for proton treatment deliveries at fixed percentages of the amount paid under CPT code 77523 as provided in the Commonwealth’s Medicaid fee schedule, in order to provide that the cost of treatment under the hypofractionated proton therapy protocol does not exceed the cost of treatment for the corresponding standard intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) protocol for the same indication. The measure provides that (i) if an insurer, corporation, or health maintenance organization is required to pay more for a course of hypofractionated proton therapy than their present, weighted average payment for a course of IMRT treatment, the insurer, corporation, or health maintenance organization is required to pay to the provider the amount of such average payment for the IMRT treatment and (ii) the provider is authorized to bill the patient for the difference.

Michael P. Mullin

Prescription Monitoring Program; disclosure of information; fitness to work and return to work evaluations. Adds the following individuals to the list of individuals to whom the Director of the Department of Health Professions (the Director) may disclose information about a specific recipient contained in the Prescription Monitoring Program: (i) a physician licensed in the Commonwealth or another state who is performing an evaluation of the recipient’s fitness for work or to return to work in a safety-sensitive position, as defined by the recipient’s employer, at the request of the recipient’s employer and (ii) a physician licensed in the Commonwealth or another state who is performing an evaluation of the recipient’s fitness for work at a place of employment with a written drug-free workplace policy following an offer of employment but prior to hiring the recipient, upon request of the employer and when the request is consistent with the employer’s written drug-free workplace policy. In both cases, the bill requires that the information be requested and released only for the purpose of establishing the recipient’s treatment history and that notice be made, in a manner specified by the Director in regulation, to the recipient that information from the Prescription Monitoring Program may be requested and received by the physician performing the fitness for work or return to work evaluation.

Robert S. Bloxom, Jr.

Premium Security Plan. Creates the Premium Security Plan (the Plan), a state-based reinsurance program to stabilize premiums for individual health benefit plans sold on the exchange. The measure provides that moneys provided from general fund appropriations and federal funding provided by a state innovation waiver under § 1332 of the Affordable Care Act would be used to partially reimburse insurers for high-cost claims by initially covering 80 percent of an enrolled individual’s annual claims costs between $50,000 and $250,000. The Plan will be overseen by the Virginia Health Reinsurance Association, created by this measure. An enactment clause provides that the measure, other than the requirement that the Commissioner of Insurance apply for the state innovation waiver, will become effective 30 days after notice of approval of the waiver request.

Kaye Kory

Employers; decisions to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage; notices; civil penalty. Requires any employer that has decided it will not provide contraceptive coverage to its employees pursuant to the employer’s lawful exercise of a right not to provide such coverage on grounds that doing so is contrary to the employer’s religious beliefs or moral convictions to provide employees and prospective employees with notice of such decision. An employer that has made such a decision is also required to notify the Bureau of Insurance, which is required to make information regarding these employers available to the public through its website. Employers that violate these requirements are subject to a civil penalty.

Charles D. Poindexter

Medicaid; work requirement. Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to apply for a waiver to implement a work requirement for able-bodied adult recipients of medical assistance services.

Roxann L. Robinson

Nurse practitioners; practice agreements. Eliminates the requirement for a practice agreement with a patient care team physician for nurse practitioners who are licensed by the Boards of Medicine and Nursing and have completed at least 1,040 hours of clinical experience as a licensed, certified nurse practitioner. The bill replaces the term “patient care team physician” with the term “collaborating provider” and allows a nurse practitioner who is exempt from the requirement for a practice agreement to enter into a practice agreement to provide collaboration and consultation to a nurse practitioner who is not exempt from the requirement for a practice agreement. The bill establishes title protection for advanced practice registered nurses, nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists. The bill contains technical amendments.

Robert D. Orrock, Sr.

Certificates of public need. Creates a three-phase process to sunset certificate of public need requirements for many categories of medical care facilities and projects, with the requirement for a certificate of public need eliminated (i) for the establishment of a new imaging service or addition of new equipment for imaging services beginning July 1, 2019; (ii) for ambulatory and outpatient surgery centers beginning July 1, 2020; and (iii) for hospitals and all other categories of projects other than nursing homes and facilities and equipment for open heart surgery and organ or tissue transplant services beginning July 1, 2021. The bill also creates a new permitting process for categories of facilities and projects exempted from the certificate of public need process that requires the Commissioner of Health to issue a permit but allows the Commissioner to condition a permit (a) on the agreement of the applicant to provide a specified level of care at a reduced rate to indigents, accept patients requiring specialized care, or facilitate the development and operation of primary medical care services in designated medically underserved areas of the applicant’s service area or (b) on compliance of the applicant with quality of care standards. The bill allows the Commissioner to refuse to issue a permit if he determines that the project for which the permit is sought would be detrimental to the provision of health services in underserved areas of the Commonwealth.

Dawn M. Adams

Commission for a Healthy Virginia; report. Establishes the Commission for a Healthy Virginia to (i) support the mission and vision of a healthy Virginia, (ii) define measurable outcomes that build community competence around health and well-being, and (iii) make policy recommendations for improving the health and well-being of the people of the Commonwealth.

Kathy J. Byron

Health care shared savings; incentive programs. Requires health carriers to establish a comparable health care service incentive program under which savings are shared with a covered person who elects to receive a covered health care service from a lower-cost provider. Incentive payments shall be at least 50 percent of the saved cost compared to the average cost. Incentive payments are not required for savings of $25 or less. Programs are required to be approved by the Commissioner of Insurance. The measure also requires health carriers to make available an interactive mechanism on their website that enables a covered person to compare costs between providers in-network, calculate estimated out-of-pocket costs, and obtain quality data for those providers, to the extent available. The measure authorizes covered persons to obtain health care services from out-of-network providers if their costs are below the average of in-network providers. The measure requires health care facilities and practitioners to provide a covered person an estimate of charges prior to an admission, procedure, or service. All health care providers are required to post in a visible area notification of the patient’s ability to obtain information in order to get an estimate of out-of-pocket costs from his health carrier and to compare providers.

Christopher P. Stolle

Certificate of public need. Makes changes to the Medical Care Facilities Certificate of Public Need Program. The bill (i) removes specialized centers or clinics or that portion of a physician’s office developed for the provision of lithotripsy, magnetic source imaging (MSI), or nuclear medicine imaging from the list of reviewable medical care facilities; (ii) provides that establishment of a medical care facility to replace an existing medical care facility with the same primary service area does not constitute a project; (iii) removes introduction into an existing medical care facility of any new lithotripsy, magnetic source imaging, or obstetrical service that the facility has never provided or has not provided in the previous 12 months and addition by an existing medical care facility of any medical equipment for the provision of lithotripsy and magnetic source imaging (MSI) from the definition of project; (iv) creates a new process for registration of projects exempted from the definition of project by the bill; (v) establishes an expedited 45-day review process for applicants for projects determined to be uncontested or to present limited health planning impacts; (vi) renames the State Medical Facilities Plan as the State Health Services Plan and establishes a State Health Services Plan Advisory Council to provide recommendations related to the content of the State Health Services Plan; (vii) clarifies the content of the application for a certificate; and (viii) reduces the timeline for a person to be made party to the case for good cause from 80 calendar days to four days following completion of the review and submission of recommendations related to an application.

The bill also (a) directs the Department to develop recommendations to reduce the duration of the average review cycle for applications for certificates of public need to not more than 120 days and to report on its recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly no later than December 1, 2018; (b) directs the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to review charity care services delivered throughout the Commonwealth and recommend changes to the definition of charity and to the types of charity care requirements imposed on various health care services and report to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 1, 2018; (c) directs the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to convene a group of stakeholders to study and make recommendations related to the appropriate authority of the State Health Commissioner to impose additional conditions on certificates; (d) directs the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to implement a system to ensure that data needed to evaluate whether an application for a certificate is consistent with the State Health Services Plan is timely and reliable, to make all public records pertaining to applications for certificates and the review process available in real-time in a searchable, digital format online, to make an inventory of capacity authorized by certificates of public need, both operational and not yet operational, available in a digital format online, and to make charity care conditions, charity care compliance reporting status, and details on the exact amount of charity care provided or contributed and to whom it was provided or contributed available in a digital format online; (e) directs the Commissioner of Health to develop an analytical framework to guide the work of the State Health Services Plan Advisory Council; and (f) directs the Joint Commission on Health Care to develop specific recommendations for eliminating differences in the certificate of public need review process from one region to another and report on the recommendations to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions and the Senate Committee on Education and Health by December 1, 2018.

David E. Yancey

Medicaid funds. Creates the Medicaid Legacy Fund (the Fund), to consist of all federal and state Medicaid funds, including any funds made available as enhanced match under 42 U.S.C. § 1396d(y). Moneys in the Fund shall be used for paying the cost of medical assistance services. Moneys remaining in the Fund at the end of the fiscal year shall be deposited in the Medicaid Legacy Investment Fund and invested, and proceeds shall be disbursed to and deposited in the Fund at the beginning of the next fiscal year to be used to pay a portion of the cost of medical assistance services. The amount of revenue appropriated by the General Assembly in any year in which funds are disbursed from the Medicaid Legacy Investment Fund to the Fund shall be reduced by the amount transferred from the Medicaid Legacy Investment Fund to the Fund. The bill directs the Board of the Virginia Retirement System to manage the Medicaid Legacy Investment Fund. The bill also provides that upon adoption of any measure expanding eligibility for medical assistance services to include individuals described in 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(10)(A)(i)(VIII), the Secretary of Health and Human Resources shall apply for a waiver to allow the Commonwealth to receive federal funds for medical assistance services as an annual payment at the beginning of each fiscal year.

David E. Yancey

Secretary of Health and Human Resources; Medicaid waiver. Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to apply for a waiver pursuant to § 1115 of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1315, to allow the Commonwealth to receive the federal medical assistance percentage for the provision of medical assistance pursuant to the state plan for medical assistance, any Medicaid waiver, or 42 U.S.C. § 1396d(y) as an annual payment at the beginning of each fiscal year upon adoption of any measure expanding eligibility for medical assistance services to individuals described in 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(10)(A)(i)(VIII).

Danica A. Roem

Health insurance; coverage for autism spectrum disorder.

David J. Toscano

Medicaid managed care plans; exchange participation. Conditions a health carrier’s eligibility to administer or sponsor any Medicaid managed care plan or to receive payments from the Commonwealth on account thereof on the health carrier’s offering health benefit plans on any health benefit exchange operating in the Commonwealth pursuant to the Affordable Care Act. To meet this condition, the health carrier is required to offer plans (i) at all times during 2018 and following years, (ii) in the individual market at the bronze and silver levels and at any other level at the health carrier’s discretion, and (iii) in every locality in the Commonwealth in which the health carrier conducts the business of insurance.

Benjamin L. Cline

Health benefit plans offered by foreign health insurers. Authorizes any foreign health insurer to sell individual or group health benefit plans in the Commonwealth if it is approved to sell such plans in the foreign health insurer’s domiciliary state. The measure establishes requirements applicable to such sales, including registration, disclosures, compliance with marketing standards, and financial condition. The measure has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2019.

David J. Toscano

Health benefits; employees of members of an association. Authorizes an association organized as a nonstock corporation whose members are employers conducting business in the Commonwealth to sponsor a trust that may offer or sell health plans to its members. To be eligible to sponsor a plan, the association is required to have been actively in existence for five years, have at least five members, have been formed for purposes other than obtaining or providing health benefits, and operate as a nonprofit entity. The health plans are to provide health benefits to the employees of members and the sponsoring association and their dependents. The health plan is a self-funded employee welfare benefit plan governed by and subject to the provisions of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The measure requires that health plans offered or sold under the program provide coverage for essential health benefits. The measure exempts such trust from state taxation and from insurance regulations.

Christopher E. Collins

Health insurance; coverage for autism spectrum disorder. Requires health insurers, health care subscription plans, and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder in individuals of any age. Currently, such coverage is required to be provided for individuals from age two through age 10. The provision applies with respect to insurance policies, subscription contracts, and health care plans delivered, issued for delivery, reissued, or extended on or after January 1, 2019.

Jerrauld C. Jones

Group accident and sickness insurance; eligibility for continuation of coverage. Disqualifies a discharged employee from continuation of health insurance coverage under his former employer’s group policy if the employee was discharged as a result of gross misconduct. The provision does not apply if the employer is required to provide for continuation of coverage under its group health plan pursuant to the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985.

Kenneth R. Plum

Health insurance; mandated coverage for autism spectrum disorder. Requires health insurers, health care subscription plans, and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder in individuals of any age. Currently, such coverage is required to be provided for individuals from age two through age 10. The provision applies with respect to insurance policies, subscription contracts, and health care plans delivered, issued for delivery, reissued, or extended on or after January 1, 2018.

James A. Leftwich

Health care provider panels; vertically integrated carriers; public hospitals. Requires any vertically integrated carrier, which is a health insurer or other carrier that owns an interest in an acute care hospital facility, to offer to every public hospital the ability to participate in the provider panels or networks established for each of the carrier’s policies, products, and plans. The measure also requires any contract by which a public hospital participates in a vertically integrated carrier’s provider panel or network to obligate the carrier to reimburse the public hospital for a covered health care service at a rate that is not less than the fair and nondiscriminatory rate. The measure establishes the methodology for determining a fair and nondiscriminatory rate, which is based on the same percentage in excess of the Medicare rate that the carrier pays to the acute care hospital facilities in which it owns an interest. The measure provides a procedure by which a public hospital may dispute a vertically integrated carrier’s calculation of a fair and nondiscriminatory rate and authorizes a public hospital to bring a civil action against such a carrier to recover any underpayment or for injunctive or declaratory relief.

Chris L. Hurst

Prescription drug price transparency. Requires every manufacturer of a prescription drug that is made available in the Commonwealth and has a wholesale acquisition price of $10,000 or more for a single course of treatment to report to the State Health Commissioner no later than July 1 of each year information related to the cost of developing, manufacturing, and marketing the prescription drug; any changes in the average wholesale price and average wholesale acquisition cost of the prescription drug; the amount of profits derived from sale of the prescription drug; and the total amount of financial assistance provided to consumers of the prescription drug. The bill adds this reported data to the list of reports that the Commissioner causes to be published on a website maintained by a nonprofit entity with which the Commissioner has entered into a contract for such purpose and requires the Commissioner to annually report on such information, in aggregate form, to the Chairmen of the House Committees on Appropriations and on Health, Welfare and Institutions and the Senate Committees on Finance and on Education and Health. The measure has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2019.

Delores L. McQuinn

Study; eliminate food deserts in Virginia; report. Requests the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to study use of community gardens as a method of eliminating food deserts in the Commonwealth. In conducting the study, the Secretary is requested to (i) examine options for increasing access to healthy and affordable food products for low-income and poor citizens and impoverished communities throughout the Commonwealth and (ii) evaluate the benefits of and barriers to use of community gardens as an option for increasing access to healthy and affordable food for products for low-income and poor citizens and impoverished communities throughout the Commonwealth and develop recommendations for overcoming such barriers. The Secretary of Health and Human Resources must submit his findings and recommendations to the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

Lee J. Carter

Study, JLARC; health care spending; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study health care spending in the Commonwealth.

Lee J. Carter

Study; JLARC; cost of implementing universal health care in the Commonwealth; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the cost of implementing universal health care in the Commonwealth.

William M. Stanley, Jr.

Virginia Grocery Investment Program and Fund. Creates the Virginia Grocery Investment Program and Fund to provide funding for the construction, rehabilitation, equipment upgrades, or expansion of grocery stores, small food retailers, and innovative food retail projects, defined in the bill, in underserved communities.

John S. Edwards

State plan for medical assistance; eligibility. Requires the Board of Medical Assistance Services to include in the state plan for medical assistance provision for the payment of medical assistance on behalf of individuals described in 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(10)(A)(i)(VIII) who are under 65 years of age and not otherwise eligible for medical assistance and whose household income does not exceed 133 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of that size. The bill provides that such provision shall expire on December 31 of any year in which the federal medical assistance percentage for such individuals falls below the percentages set forth in 42 C.F.R. § 433.10(c)(6).

John S. Edwards

Marketplace Virginia; health plans. Creates Marketplace Virginia, which will be established and operated by a new division within the State Corporation Commission (SCC). Marketplace Virginia shall facilitate the purchase and sale of qualified health plans and qualified dental plans to qualified individuals and qualified employers, making qualified plans available to qualified individuals and qualified employers. The bill authorizes the SCC to review and approve accident and sickness insurance premium rates applicable to health benefit plans in the individual and small group markets and health benefit plans providing health insurance coverage in the individual market through certain nonemployer group plans. Marketplace Virginia will be funded by assessments on health insurers offering plans in the Marketplace. A health plan will not be required to cover any state-mandated health benefit if federal law does not require it to be covered as part of the essential benefits package. The SCC may contract with other eligible entities and enter into memoranda of understanding with other agencies of the Commonwealth to carry out any of the functions of Marketplace Virginia, including agreements with other states or federal agencies to perform joint administrative functions. Such contracts are not subject to the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.).

John S. Edwards

Prescription drug price gouging prohibited. Prohibits unconscionable price increases in the price of essential off-patent or generic drugs, authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to designate drugs as essential drugs, and establishes an enforcement mechanism.

William M. Stanley, Jr.

Patient-Centered Medical Home Advisory Council; opioid addiction treatment pilot. Establishes the Patient-Centered Medical Home Advisory Council (Council) as an advisory council in the executive branch. The bill requires the Council to advise and make recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the agencies within his secretariat on health care reforms designed to increase access to and improve outcomes of treatment and recovery services for opioid addiction and opioid-related disorders through the use of a patient-centered medical home system.

The bill also requires the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, in partnership with community services boards, a hospital licensed in the Commonwealth, and telemedicine networks, to establish a two-year pilot program in Planning District 12 designed to provide comprehensive treatment and recovery services to uninsured or underinsured individuals suffering from opioid addiction or opioid-related disorders. The bill requires the Department and its partners to collaborate with the Patient-Centered Medical Home Advisory Council to develop the pilot program.

Stephen D. Newman

All-Payer Claims Database. Provides that participation in the All-Payer Claims Database by (i) issuers of individual or group accident and sickness insurance policies providing hospital, medical and surgical, or major medical coverage on an expense-incurred basis; corporations providing individual or group accident and sickness subscription contracts; and health maintenance organizations providing a health care plan for health care services; (ii) third-party administrators and any other entities that receive or collect charges, contributions, or premiums for, or adjust or settle health care claims for, Virginia residents; (iii) the Department of Medical Assistance Services with respect to services provided under programs administered pursuant to Titles XIX and XXI of the Social Security Act; and (iv) federal health insurance plans, if available, including but not limited to Medicare, TRICARE, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, shall be mandatory, to the extent permitted by federal law. Currently, participation is optional.

Jill Holtzman Vogel

Health insurance; coverage for autism spectrum disorder. Requires health insurers, health care subscription plans, and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder in individuals of any age. Currently, such coverage is required to be provided for individuals from age two through age 10. The provision applies with respect to insurance policies, subscription contracts, and health care plans delivered, issued for delivery, reissued, or extended on or after January 1, 2019.

Siobhan S. Dunnavant

All-Payer Claims Database. Provides that participation in the All-Payer Claims Database by (i) issuers of individual or group accident and sickness insurance policies providing hospital, medical and surgical, or major medical coverage on an expense-incurred basis; corporations providing individual or group accident and sickness subscription contracts; and health maintenance organizations providing a health care plan for health care services; (ii) third-party administrators and any other entities that receive or collect charges, contributions, or premiums for, or adjust or settle health care claims for, Virginia residents; (iii) the Department of Medical Assistance Services with respect to services provided under programs administered pursuant to Titles XIX and XXI of the Social Security Act; and (iv) federal health insurance plans, if available, including but not limited to Medicare, TRICARE, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, shall be mandatory, to the extent permitted by federal law. Currently, participation is optional.

Siobhan S. Dunnavant

Health care shared savings; incentive programs. Requires health carriers to establish a comparable health care service incentive program under which savings are shared with a covered person who elects to receive a covered health care service from a lower-cost provider. Incentive payments shall be at least 50 percent of the saved cost compared to the average cost. Incentive payments are not required for savings of $25 or less. Programs are required to be approved by the Commissioner of Insurance. The measure also requires health carriers to make available an interactive mechanism on their website that enables a covered person to compare costs between providers in-network, calculate estimated out-of-pocket costs, and obtain quality data for those providers, to the extent available. The measure authorizes covered persons to obtain health care services from out-of-network providers if their costs are below the average of in-network providers. The measure requires health care facilities and practitioners to provide a covered person an estimate of charges prior to an admission, procedure, or service. All health care providers are required to post in a visible area notification of the patient’s ability to obtain information in order to get an estimate of out-of-pocket costs from his health carrier and to compare providers.

R. Creigh Deeds

Health carriers; participation in health benefit exchange; requirement for conducting insurance activities. Prohibits a health carrier from engaging in the business of insurance in the Commonwealth or administering, sponsoring, selling, or providing a policy, coverage or services under a health plan or program for state or local employees or a Medicaid managed care program unless the health carrier is actively participating in any health benefit exchange established or operated in the Commonwealth. The measure defines “actively participating in the exchange” as offering health benefits plans on an exchange (i) in the individual market; (ii) at the bronze and silver levels, and at any other level at the health carrier’s discretion; and (iii) in every locality in the Commonwealth in which the health carrier conducts any of the foregoing activities.

R. Creigh Deeds

Health insurance; small employers; self-employed persons. Revises the definition of “small employer” for purposes of health insurance to provide that it includes a self-employed person. The measure also provides that an individual who is the sole shareholder of a corporation or sole member of a limited liability company, or an immediate family member of such sole shareholder or member, qualifies as an employee of the corporation or limited liability company if he performed any service for remuneration under a contract of hire for the corporation or limited liability company.

Siobhan S. Dunnavant

Secretary of Health and Human Resources and Secretary of Commerce and Trade; global reform waiver. Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to apply for a waiver to allow for transformation of the Commonwealth’s existing program of medical assistance services through the implementation of a person-centered model of medical assistance services that improves outcomes and reduces costs by (i) integrating medical and behavioral health care, (ii) implementing a value-based payment model, and (iii) promoting personal choice and responsibility, including cost-sharing and incentives that encourage healthy behaviors, prevention, and wellness. Such waiver may include provisions for an aggregate cap on federal funds for a specified period of time with adequate tools to manage state financing of the program. The Secretary of Health and Human Resources shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly on the status of the waiver by December 1, 2018.

The bill also directs the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, together with the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, to submit a request to the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (i) to receive all federal funds made available to the Commonwealth from the Department of Housing and Urban Development as a single annual grant and (ii) for flexibility in the administration of such funds to better align medical assistance and housing support services to better support low-income individuals receiving medical assistance. The Secretaries of Health and Human Resources and Commerce and Trade shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly on the status of such request by December 1, 2018.

R. Creigh Deeds

Study; Joint Commission on Health Care; rising health insurance premiums; report. Directs the Joint Commission on Health Care to identify options to address rising premiums for health benefit plans sold in the Commonwealth. 

Jeremy S. McPike

Study; school-based health care; report. Requests the Department of Medical Assistance Services and the Department of Education to study the integration of health care services into public schools in the Commonwealth.

Support for the Virginia Grocery Investment Fund

Labor and Employment

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Kaye Kory

Nonpayment of wages; private action. Affirms that an employee has cause of action against an employer who fails to pay wages to recover the wages and prejudgment interest at eight percent annually from the date the wages were due. The measure provides that if the court finds that the employer knowingly failed to pay the wages, it shall also award the employee reasonable attorney fees and court costs. If the court finds that the employer’s failure to pay wages was willful and with intent to defraud the employee, the court shall also award the employee reasonable attorney fees and court costs plus an additional sum equal to the amount of wages due.

Mark H. Levine

Local alternative minimum wage. Establishes a procedure by which a local alternative minimum wage may be imposed in any locality. If imposed by ordinance of the local governing body, the alternative minimum wage requirement shall become effective on the July 1 that follows delivery of a certified copy of the ordinance to the Commissioner of Labor and Industry. A local alternative minimum wage requires every employer to pay to each of his employees, for work performed by them within the locality, wages at a rate to be determined by local ordinance beginning July 1, 2019. In subsequent fiscal years, the maximum local alternative minimum wage shall be adjusted based on changes in the consumer price index. If the federal minimum wage exceeds the levels specified in an alternative local minimum wage requirement, the federal minimum wage will prevail.

Mark H. Levine

Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program. Entitles individuals to a family and medical leave insurance (FMLI) benefit payment for each month they are engaged in qualified caregiving, not to exceed 60 qualified caregiving days per year. Qualified caregiving means an activity, except regular employment, for a reason an individual is entitled to leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Benefits would amount to 66 percent of an individual’s monthly wages, based on highest annual earnings from the prior three years, up to a capped monthly amount, and would be indexed to the national average wage index. If a person takes the maximum number of days, the benefits would range from a minimum benefit of $580 to a maximum benefit of $4,000 per month in the program’s first year. To be eligible for benefits, an individual is required to (i) be insured for disability insurance benefits under the Social Security Act at the time his application is filed; (ii) have earned income from employment during the 12 months before filing the application; (iii) have filed an application for a FMLI benefit; and (iv) have been engaged in qualified caregiving, or anticipate being so engaged, during the 90-day period before the application is filed or within 30 days thereafter. The measure establishes the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund and requires FMLI benefit payments to be made only from this Fund. A tax of 0.2 percent is imposed on the wages received by every individual, and an excise tax of 0.2 percent of the wages paid in any calendar year by the employer with respect to their employment is imposed on employers. The measure has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2019.

Delores L. McQuinn

Virginia Human Rights Act; pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; causes of action. Provides that no employer may discharge any employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, including lactation. Currently, the protection against discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions applies only to an employer employing more than five but fewer than 15 persons.

Michael J. Webert

Immunity of employers; employees and independent contractors convicted of a nonviolent offense; negligent hiring. Provides that no cause of action for negligent hiring against an employer shall arise solely because such employer hired an employee or independent contractor convicted of a nonviolent offense.

Christopher T. Head

Employees; franchisees excluded. Provides that, notwithstanding any voluntary agreement between the U.S. Department of Labor and the franchisee or franchisor, neither a franchisee nor a franchisee’s employee shall be deemed to be an employee of the franchisee’s franchisor. The measure also provides that this exclusion does not apply with respect to a specific claim for relief made by a franchisee or a franchisee’s employee if the franchisor has been found by a court of competent jurisdiction to have exercised a type or degree of control over the franchisee or the franchisee’s employees not customarily exercised by a franchisor for the purpose of protecting the franchisor’s trademarks and brand.

Mark L. Cole

Employees; exclusions for home healthcare workers and home adult day care service providers. Provides that home healthcare workers and home adult day care service providers are not employees for purposes of labor and employment laws, unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation, and state income tax withholding.

Sam Rasoul

Wage or salary history inquiries prohibited; civil penalty. Prohibits a prospective employer from (i) requiring as a condition of employment that a prospective employee provide or disclose the prospective employee’s wage or salary history or (ii) attempting to obtain the wage or salary history of a prospective employee from the prospective employee’s current or former employers. Violations are subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $100 per violation.

Jerrauld C. Jones

Employees; jury duty. Requires employers, including the Commonwealth and localities, to provide to employees summoned to serve on jury duty the protections set forth in Title 18.2, Crimes and Offenses Generally. With certain exceptions, the employee is entitled to his usual compensation for periods he is excused, though the employer may deduct from such compensation any payments the employee receives for the jury service. The measure creates a private cause of action for an employee who is discharged, demoted, or suspended in violation of these provisions.

Gregory D. Habeeb

Payment of wages; remedies; penalties. Expands the information an employer is required to provide to its employees when wages are paid to include the name and address of the employer, the number of hours worked during the pay period, and the rate of pay. The measure prohibits an employer from taking retaliatory action against an employee, and an employee who has been discharged or discriminated against may file a complaint with the Department of Labor and Industry and seek appropriate remedies. The measure authorizes the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to institute proceedings on behalf of an employee to enforce compliance with the prohibition on retaliatory actions and collect on behalf of the employee three times the amount of unpaid wages and three times the amount of wages the employee would have earned absent the prohibited discrimination. The Commission is further authorized to assess and collect a civil penalty of no less than $2,500 and no more than $10,000 per employee subject to the prohibited discrimination. Finally, the measure authorizes the Department to conduct investigations on behalf of other employees if it learns that other employees of the same employer are not being paid wages.

Lee J. Carter

Meal breaks for employees; civil penalty. Requires employers to provide employees with unpaid break times for meals. Employers that violate this measure are subject to a civil penalty.

Marcus B. Simon

Minimum wage. Increases the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour effective July 1, 2018, to $10 per hour effective January 1, 2019, to $11 per hour effective January 1, 2020, to $13 per hour effective January 1, 2021, and to $15 per hour effective January 1, 2022, unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For 2023 and thereafter, the annual minimum wage shall be adjusted to reflect increases in the consumer price index. The measure also provides that the Virginia minimum wage applies to persons whose employment is covered by the FLSA.

Paul E. Krizek

Nonpayment of wages; private action. Provides that an employee has a private cause of action against an employer who fails to pay wages to recover the amount of wages due plus interest at eight percent annually from the date the wages were due. If the court finds that the employer knowingly failed to pay wages, the court shall award the employee reasonable attorney fees and other costs. If the court finds that the employer’s failure to pay wages was willful and with intent to defraud the employee, the court shall also award the employee three times the amount of wages due.

Hala S. Ayala

Limiting employees’ sharing of wage information prohibited; civil penalty. Prohibits an employer from requiring, as a condition of employment, that an employee refrain from inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing information about the employee’s own wages or about any other employee’s wages. The measure also prohibits an employer from taking retaliatory action against an employee for sharing such information. Violations are subject to a civil penalty of $100.

Kathleen Murphy

Employers; sexual harassment training; penalty. Requires every employer with 15 or more employees who are located at a workplace within the Commonwealth to conduct a sexual harassment education and training program for all new employees within one year of commencement of employment. The training shall encompass the illegality of sexual harassment; the definition of sexual harassment under state and federal laws and federal regulations; a description of sexual harassment, utilizing examples; the employer’s sexual harassment complaint process available to the employee; legal recourse and complaint processes; and protections against retaliation. Such employers are also required to conduct additional training for all supervisors and managers within one year of assuming their supervisory or managerial positions. The Department of Labor and Industry is required to develop a compliance checklist for employers to use to develop a sexual harassment training program; employers shall keep a record of the training. Any employer who violates these requirements is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $100 for each violation.

Paul E. Krizek

Prevailing wage; public works contracts; penalty. Requires contractors and subcontractors under any public contract with a state agency for public works to pay wages, salaries, benefits, and other remuneration to any mechanic, laborer, or worker employed, retained, or otherwise hired to perform services in connection with the public contract for public works at the prevailing wage rate. The Commissioner of Labor and Industry is required to determine the prevailing wage rate for such public contracts on the basis of applicable prevailing wage rate determinations made by the U.S. Secretary of Labor under the provisions of the federal Davis-Bacon Act. A contractor or subcontractor who knowingly or willfully employs any mechanic, laborer, or worker to perform work contracted to be done under the public contract at a rate that is less than the prevailing wage rate is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. In addition, such a contractor or subcontractor shall be liable to such individuals for the payment of all wages due plus interest and shall be disqualified from bidding on public contracts with any public body until full restitution has been paid to the individuals.

Karrie K. Delaney

Arbitration agreements; unconscionable and unenforceable provisions; sexual harassment and sexual assault. Provides that any provision of an arbitration agreement that has the purpose or effect of concealing the details regarding a claim of sexual harassment or sexual assault is unconscionable and unenforceable.

Kenneth R. Plum

Minimum wage. Increases the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour effective January 1, 2019, unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Effective January 1, 2021, the minimum wage shall be adjusted biennially to reflect annual increases in the consumer price index over the two most recent calendar years. The measure also provides that the Virginia minimum wage applies to persons whose employment is covered by the FLSA and to persons employed by the Commonwealth, its agencies or political subdivisions, or a public body.

Marcus B. Simon

Payment of wages and salaries; prepaid cards. Eliminates the ability of an employer to pay wages and salaries to an employee by credit to a prepaid debit card or card account without the employee’s consent. Under current law, an employer may pay wages and salaries to an employee by credit to a prepaid debit card or card account without the employee’s consent if the employee does not designate an account at a financial institution to which payment may be sent by automated fund transfer. This measure allows payment of wages to be made by credit to a prepaid debit card or card account if the employee affirmatively consents and the employer discloses any applicable fees. The measure applies to individuals newly hired on or after July 1, 2018.

Elizabeth R. Guzman

Paid medical and family leave for employees; civil penalties. Requires employers with 15 or more full-time employees to give to each such employee 40 hours of paid medical and family leave per year. The bill would require an employer to pay the employee for leave taken, up to the balance of the employee’s paid leave balance, for a purpose for which the employee would be entitled to unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. The measure does not require employers to compensate employees for unused medical and family leave upon termination of employment. The measure requires the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to administer and enforce these requirements and to investigate alleged violations of these requirements. The measure authorizes the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for a violation.

David E. Yancey

Employment; break to express breast milk. Requires employers, including the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions, to provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for the employee’s nursing child for one year after the child’s birth. An employer is also required to make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where such an employee can express breast milk in privacy. An employer shall not be held to have violated these requirements if it has made reasonable efforts to comply with them. The measure applies to employees who are exempt under § 7 of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires employers to provide such benefits for non-exempt employees.

Jennifer B. Boysko

Virginia Equal Pay Act. Creates the Virginia Equal Pay Act (the Act), which prohibits private employers from discriminating between employees on the basis of membership in a “protected class,” defined in the bill as a group of persons distinguished by race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability, or age, in the payment of wages or other compensation for substantially similar work. The bill also prohibits (i) discrimination between employees by providing less favorable employment opportunities; (ii) limitation of an employee’s right to discuss wages; (iii) infringement on an employee’s right to not disclose wage or salary history; and (iv) retaliation against an employee who opposes an act or practice made unlawful by the Act, makes or intends to file a complaint under the Act, or assists in an investigation or proceeding under the Act. The bill also establishes (a) criteria for when wage differentials between employees can occur, (b) remedies for individuals aggrieved by a violation of the Act, and (c) provisions for enforcement of the Act. The bill contains a technical amendment.

Jennifer B. Boysko

Office of the Attorney General; misclassification of employees as independent contractors. Authorizes the Attorney General, upon reasonable cause to believe that a person is wrongfully misclassifying employees within the Commonwealth as independent contractors, to conduct an investigation into such possible wrongful misclassification. Upon probable cause that a person has wrongfully misclassified employees within the Commonwealth as independent contractors, the Attorney General shall have the authority to file a complaint in the circuit court where such person is located, seeking recovery of all amounts owed to departments and commissions of Virginia, unpaid wages or overtime for employees, and any other losses of benefits, amounts due under the law, and damages employees suffered due to the wrongful misclassification. The circuit court may award judgment in the amount owed, including prejudgment and postjudgment interest, and assess all costs and reasonable attorney fees against a person who wrongfully misclassified employees as independent contractors.

Kathy K. L. Tran

Overtime compensation; penalties. Requires an employer to compensate its employees who are entitled to overtime compensation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act at a rate (i) not less than one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours in any one workweek and (ii) not less than twice the employee’s regular rate of pay for (a) any hours worked in excess of 12 hours in one workday and (b) any hours worked on the seventh day of work in any workweek to the extent that the hours worked on such day exceed 40 hours worked in such week. The sanctions for an employer’s failure to pay such overtime wages, including civil and criminal penalties, are the same as currently provided for failing to pay wages generally.

Dave A. LaRock

Disclosure of employment-related information to law-enforcement agency. Requires an employer, upon request of a law-enforcement agency regarding a prospective or current employee of the agency and if the agency provides a written release signed by the employee, to furnish information about such employee’s professional conduct, reasons for separation, and job performance, including information contained in any written performance evaluations, while in the employer’s employ. The bill also provides immunity to an employer who furnishes such information regarding an employee in good faith.

Paul E. Krizek

Construction contracts; liability for payment of wages. Provides that construction contracts shall be deemed to include a provision under which the general contractor and the subcontractor are jointly and severally liable to pay the wages due to the subcontractor’s employees. The measure provides that if the wages due to the subcontractor’s employees are not paid, the general contractor is subject to criminal and civil penalties for which an employer is liable for failing or refusing to pay wages. The measure requires the subcontractor to indemnify the general contractor for wages, damages, interest, penalties, or attorney fees owed as a result of the subcontractor’s failure to pay the wages unless the subcontractor’s failure to pay wages was due to the general contractor’s failure to pay moneys due to the subcontractor. The measure also provides that the lack of privity between the general contractor and the employees of the subcontractor is not a defense in an action against the general contractor arising from nonpayment of wages to the subcontractor’s employees.

Timothy D. Hugo

Apprentice agreements; ratio of apprentices to journeymen. Prohibits the Apprenticeship Council from adopting standards for apprenticeship agreements governing the numeric ratio of journeymen to apprentices that require more than one journeyman for two apprentices. This limit on the ratio of journeymen to registered apprentices does not apply to work performed under the federal Davis-Bacon Act.

Paul E. Krizek

Minimum wage; exclusions; tips. Excludes any tips received by an employee when determining the amount of wages paid by an employer to its employee under the Virginia Minimum Wage Act (the Act). The measure provides that the Act applies to the following employees who are currently excluded: (i) any person employed as a farm laborer or farm employee; (ii) newsboys, shoe-shine boys, caddies on golf courses, ushers, doormen, concession attendants, and cashiers in theaters; (iii) taxicab drivers and operators; (iv) any person whose employment is covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act; and (v) employees of state agencies and local governments. The measure also provides that the Act applies to a person whose earning capacity is impaired by physical deficiency, mental illness, or intellectual disability with respect to services provided on and after July 1, 2020.

Jeion A. Ward

Notaries; fee agreements with employer. Allows an employer to require a notary in his employment to surrender to such employer a fee, if charged, or any part of such fee. Current law prohibits an employer from requiring the surrender of any such fee.

Delores L. McQuinn

Employment; break to express breast milk. Requires employers, including the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions, to provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth. The bill requires an employer to make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a bathroom, where the employee can express breast milk in privacy. An employer shall not be held to have violated these requirements if it has made reasonable efforts to comply with them. The measure applies to employees who are exempt under § 7 of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires employers to provide such benefits for nonexempt employees.

Barbara A. Favola

Use sick leave for the care of immediate family members. Requires employers with a sick leave program to allow an employee to use his sick leave for the care of an immediate family member. The measure applies only to employers that have 25 or more employees and that provide paid sick leave that allows an employee to be absent from work in the event of the employee’s own incapacity, illness, or injury. The measure applies only to employees who work for at least 30 hours per week, and it caps the amount of sick leave that may be used for the care of immediate family members at five days per calendar year.

John S. Edwards

Minimum wage. Increases the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $8.00 per hour effective July 1, 2018, to $9.00 per hour effective July 1, 2019, and to $10.10 per hour effective July 1, 2020, unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The measure also provides that the Virginia minimum wage applies to persons whose employment is covered by the FLSA and to persons employed by the Commonwealth, its agencies or political subdivisions, or a public body.

David W. Marsden

Minimum wage. Increases the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to (i) $8.00 per hour effective July 1, 2018; (ii) $9.00 per hour effective July 1, 2019; (iii) $10.10 per hour effective July 1, 2020; and (iv) $11.25 per hour effective July 1, 2021, unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The measure also provides that the cash wage paid to a tipped employee shall not be less than 50 percent of the minimum wage and that the tip credit shall equal the difference between the cash wage required to be paid to a tipped employee and the minimum wage.

Rosalyn R. Dance

Minimum wage. Increases the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $10.00 per hour effective July 1, 2018, to $13 per hour effective July 1, 2019, and to $15 per hour effective July 1, 2020, unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The measure also provides that the Virginia minimum wage applies to persons whose employment is covered by the FLSA and to persons employed by the Commonwealth, its agencies or political subdivisions, or a public body.

Jennifer T. Wexton

Equal pay irrespective of sex. Amends the existing law requiring equal pay for equal work irrespective of sex to (i) prohibit unequal provision of benefits and privileges on the basis of sex; (ii) prohibit employers from punishing employees for sharing salary information with their coworkers; and (iii) authorize a court to award reasonable attorney fees and costs to an employee who substantially prevails on the merits in an action for wrongful withholding of wages or benefits and privileges. The measure also deletes the exemption for employers covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act from the Commonwealth’s prohibition on discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex.

Jennifer T. Wexton

Paid medical leave; civil penalties. Requires private employers with 50 or more employees to give to each full-time employee paid medical leave. Paid medical leave would accrue at a rate of no less than one hour for every 50 hours worked in 2019. In 2020 and subsequent years, paid medical leave would accrue at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked. Paid medical leave accrues at different rates for an employer that commences its business operations after January 1, 2019. An employee would be entitled to use accrued medical leave beginning on the ninetieth calendar day of employment. The bill would require an employer to provide paid medical leave, upon the request of the employee, for diagnosis, care, or treatment of health conditions of the employee or the employee’s family member. The bill would prohibit an employer from discriminating or retaliating against an employee who requests paid medical leave. The bill would require employers to satisfy specified posting and notice and recordkeeping requirements and would require the Commissioner of Labor and Industry (the Commissioner) to administer and enforce these requirements and to investigate alleged violations of these requirements. The bill would authorize the Commissioner to impose specified civil penalties for violations. The Commissioner would be authorized to bring an action to recover specified civil penalties against an offender. The Commissioner would also be able to recover attorney fees of one-third of the amount set forth in the final order or judgment. The measure would not apply to employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement that provides for paid medical leave, nor would it lessen any other obligations of the employer to employees.

Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.

Long-Term Employment Support Services and Extended Employment Services. Requires the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services to administer Long-Term Employment Support Services and Extended Employment Services to assist individuals with disabilities with maintaining employment.

Frank W. Wagner

Payment of wages. Removes the exemptions that exclude newsboys, shoe shine boys, ushers, doormen, concession attendants, and theater cashiers from the Virginia Minimum Wage Act (Act). The Act’s exclusion for babysitters is limited to those not employed more than 10 hours per week. The spouse, children, and parents of an individual employer are excluded from the definition of “employee” under the Act. The measure eliminates the Act’s exclusion for persons employed by an employer that does not have four or more employees. The measure requires a court to award attorney fees incurred by an employee who is awarded judgment in an action for a violation of the Act; currently, awarding such fees is permitted but not required. The measure expands the information an employer is required to provide to its employees when wages are paid. Finally, the bill authorizes the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to institute proceedings and take enforcement action against an employer if he has reason to believe that the employer has engaged in a pattern or practice of violations.

Barbara A. Favola

Paid family leave program. Establishes a program under which certain employees of employers with 50 or more employees will be eligible for paid family leave for days they take leave from work to provide qualified caregiving, which is defined in the bill as an activity for a reason for which an employee would be entitled to leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. The amount of qualified caregiving days for which an eligible employee may receive paid family leave benefits is capped at 30 days in any year. Applications for benefits will be administered by the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC). The VEC is directed to adopt regulations within 280 days to establish (i) rates of payroll taxes to be paid by employers and employees to fund the program and (ii) the wage replacement payments under the paid family leave program, which are directed to be comparable to basic wage replacement benefits under the unemployment compensation program.

Barbara A. Favola

Virginia Employment Commission; development of a plan for a paid family-medical leave program. Requires the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), in consultation with a work group composed of representatives of interested groups, to develop a plan for a program for private employers in the Commonwealth with 50 or more salaried employees to offer paid family-medical leave for their employees. The measure requires the VEC to submit its plan to the General Assembly by December 1, 2018.

Legal

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Patrick A. Hope

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $500 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny. The bill increases the threshold by the same amount for the classification of certain property crimes.

Jennifer Carroll Foy

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $1,000 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny. The bill increases the threshold by the same amount for the classification of certain property crimes.

Jason S. Miyares

Motion or petition for rule to show cause for violation of court order. Provides that, in any civil action, a party requesting a rule to show cause for a violation of a court order shall file a motion, petition, or form with the court, which shall include facts identifying with particularity the violation or which shall be accompanied by an affidavit setting forth such facts. This bill is a recommendation of the Boyd-Graves Conference.

Eileen Filler-Corn

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $500 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny.

Michael P. Mullin

Duty to take reasonable precautions; criminal conduct of a third party. Provides that any person owning, operating, or managing (i) a commercial property used primarily for business purposes or (ii) residential real property that is owned by a person who owns five or more dwelling units that are used primarily for rental as a dwelling unit shall have the duty to take reasonable precautions to protect the tenants, other authorized occupants, or guests or invitees of such property against injury caused by the criminal conduct of a third party, if the danger of injury by such conduct is known to such owner, operator, or manager or is reasonably foreseeable. The bill provides that the same duty applies to any private security services business contracted to provide services to such person owning, operating, or managing such property.

Paul E. Krizek

Virginia Human Rights Act; limitations on causes of action. Allows courts to award front pay in addition to back pay as damages for discharging an employee in violation of the Virginia Human Rights Act (§ 2.2-3900 et seq.). The bill also removes the time period limitation on the amount of back pay awarded, allows courts to increase or diminish the award if the court finds that either party engaged in delay tactics, and increases the cap on attorney fees awarded from 25 percent of the back pay awarded to 40 percent of the back pay and front pay awarded.

C.E. Cliff Hayes, Jr.

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $750 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny. The bill increases the threshold by the same amount for the classification of certain property crimes.

Christopher E. Collins

Grand larceny; first offender; sentence reduction. Provides that a person not previously convicted of larceny who is found guilty of grand larceny where the value of the property taken was at least $200 and less than $1,000 may be placed on probation. The bill provides that the court shall find the person guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor upon successful completion of probation; otherwise, the court shall find the person guilty of the felony associated with grand larceny.

Jeffrey L. Campbell

Personal injury; loss of consortium claims by certain relatives. Creates a cause of action for loss of consortium, the damages for which are specified in the bill, for (i) spouses of persons, (ii) parents of minor children, and (iii) adult children of persons who suffer personal injuries as a result of negligence.

Gregory D. Habeeb

Health care providers; meeting, trial, and deposition charges. Provides that, in any case, a health care provider may only charge a patient or the patient’s attorney, executor or administrator, or authorized insurer a reasonable fee on an hourly basis for such health care provider’s actual time spent at or preparing for (i) a meeting related to pending or probable litigation, (ii) a trial, or (iii) a deposition. The bill further specifies that such fee shall not be more than the amount of actual lost revenue incurred due to such time spent at or preparing for such meeting, trial, or deposition.

Robert B. Bell

Restitution; enforcement. Provides that the enforcement of an order of restitution docketed as a civil judgment is not subject to any statute of limitations.

Robert B. Bell

Restitution; collection; Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund. Adds to the duties of the Workers’ Compensation Commission in its role as administrator of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (Fund) the obligation to identify and locate victims for whom restitution owed to such victims has been deposited into the Fund. The bill provides that clerks shall deposit into the Fund on an annual basis restitution collected for victims who can no longer be identified or located. The bill requires that clerks record the receipt of restitution payments in the Virginia Supreme Court’s automated information system and that the restitution form used by the court include the victim’s contact information, including address, telephone number, and email address.

Nicholas J. Freitas

Grand larceny; first offender; sentence reduction. Provides that a person not previously convicted of larceny who is found guilty of grand larceny where the value of the property taken was at least $200 and less than $1,000 may have the proceedings against him deferred for a period of 60 days. The bill provides that if the person pays restitution in the amount of two times the value of the property taken, the court shall find the person guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor; otherwise, the court shall find the person guilty of the felony associated with grand larceny.

Jennifer Carroll Foy

Larceny; subsequent offenses. Eliminates the enhanced Class 6 felony applicable for a third or subsequent offense of petit larceny.

Eileen Filler-Corn

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $1,000 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny. The bill increases the threshold by the same amount for the classification of certain property crimes.

James A. Leftwich

Jurisdiction of claim; plaintiff’s motion to amend claim amount; transfer of matter. Provides that, where a matter is pending in either the general district court or the circuit court, upon motion of the plaintiff seeking to amend the amount of the claim, the court shall order transfer of the matter to the court having jurisdiction over the claim without requiring a dismissal of the claim or a nonsuit. The bill further provides that, where such an amended claim provides the general district court and the circuit court with concurrent jurisdiction over such a claim, the court shall transfer the matter to either the general district court or the circuit court, as directed by the plaintiff, provided that such court otherwise has jurisdiction over the matter.

Christopher K. Peace

Scope of discovery; deposing certain corporate officers. Provides that parties to a civil action may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter and proportional to the needs of the case. The bill states that a determination of whether discovery is unduly burdensome or expensive shall include consideration of whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefits.

The bill further provides that when an officer, as defined in the bill, who is called as a deposition witness files a motion for a protective order because the discovery sought by the deposition is obtainable from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive, the burden shall be on the party seeking the deposition to defeat such a motion by showing that (i) there is a reasonable indication that the officer’s deposition is calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, (ii) the officer has unique or superior personal knowledge of discoverable information that cannot be discovered through means other than a deposition, and (iii) deposition of a representative other than the officer or other methods of discovery are unsatisfactory, insufficient, or inadequate.

Gregory D. Habeeb

Statute of limitations; discovery rule. Provides that the period of limitations for filing a cause of action for injury resulting from toxic substance exposure or prescribed or over-the-counter medications accrues from the time the person knew or should have known of the injury and its causal connection to such exposure or medication, respectively.

Steve E. Heretick

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $1,000 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny. The bill increases the threshold by the same amount for the classification of certain property crimes

Christopher P. Stolle

Petit larceny; state of emergency; penalty. Provides that the penalty for committing petit larceny of goods or merchandise from a store or mercantile establishment shall include a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 days if such larceny occurs within three days after the occurrence of a disaster, emergency, or major disaster that resulted in the declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor or the President of the United States.

Benjamin L. Cline

Nonsuits; recommencement of action. Decreases the time period in which a plaintiff who takes a voluntary nonsuit may recommence this action from six months to 14 days from the date the nonsuit was entered. The bill does not change the provision allowing for recommencement of the action within the original period of limitation, if longer than 14 days from the date the nonsuit was entered. The bill further provides that a plaintiff who has taken a voluntary nonsuit shall serve the defendant within three months of the recommencement of the action. The bill contains a technical amendment.

Dave A. LaRock

Personal injury actions; situations of peril created by plaintiff’s negligence. Provides that a plaintiff shall not be able to recover against a defendant in a personal injury action solely due to the defendant’s failure to avoid a situation of peril created by the plaintiff’s negligence.

Gregory D. Habeeb

Recovery of punitive damages. Eliminates the limitation of the total amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in an action. Current law provides that the total amount awarded for punitive damages shall not exceed $350,000.

Joseph C. Lindsey

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $500 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny. The bill increases the threshold by the same amount for the classification of certain property crimes.

Roslyn C. Tyler

Initiation of a civil action; clerk of a general district court. Requires a general district court clerk to file, process, and issue for service of process any pleading initiating a civil action in the general district court within 14 days of receipt of such pleading.

Scott A. Surovell

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $500 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny.

Richard H. Black

Service of process on domestic limited liability company. Extends to domestic limited liability companies the rules for service of process on a domestic corporation

Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.

Landowner liability; educational activity. Provides that a landowner whose property is used for an educational activity shall owe no duty of care to a member of the public arising out of the educational use of the land. Current law provides such an exemption for recreational activities and certain other uses of land.

Jeremy S. McPike

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $1,500 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny.

David R. Suetterlein

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $500 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny. The bill increases the threshold by the same amount for the classification of certain property crimes.

J. Chapman Petersen

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $1,000 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny. The bill increases the threshold by the same amount for the classification of certain property crimes.

John S. Edwards

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $500 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny.

Bill R. DeSteph, Jr.

Rights of persons with disabilities; procedures for certain actions; notice and opportunity to cure. Provides that before bringing a civil action based on the failure to remove an architectural barrier, as defined in the bill, to access into an existing public accommodation, the aggrieved person shall provide to the owners or operators a written notice that (i) provides the name of the individual alleging a failure to remove the architectural barrier; (ii) provides the date, place, and manner in which the aggrieved person discovered the alleged violation; (iii) cites the law alleged to be violated; (iv) identifies each architectural barrier that is the subject of an alleged violation and specifies its location on the premises; and (v) provides a reasonable period for response, which shall not be less than 60 days after receipt of notice. The bill prohibits the aggrieved person from including in the notice a request or demand for money or an offer or agreement to accept money but provides that such notice may offer to engage in settlement negotiations before litigation. The owner or operator may submit to the aggrieved person within the time period either a notice of the correction describing each correction and the manner in which the correction addresses the alleged violation or a notice of explanation if the owner or operator concludes that an alleged violation has not occurred and that a correction is not necessary. The bill defines “aggrieved person” as a person with a disability who patronized or attempted to patronize a public accommodation, encountered a barrier to his access to the public accommodation, and experienced denial of access to the public accommodation based on his disability.

Richard L. Saslaw

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $500 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny. The bill increases the threshold by the same amount for the classification of certain property crimes.

Richard L. Saslaw

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $500 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny.

A. Benton Chafin

Personal injury; loss of consortium claims by certain relatives. Creates a cause of action for loss of consortium, the damages for which are specified in the bill, for (i) spouses of persons, (ii) parents of minor children, and (iii) adult children of persons who suffer personal injuries as a result of negligence.

Ryan T. McDougle

Jurisdiction of claim; plaintiff’s motion to amend claim amount; transfer of matter. Provides that, where a matter is pending in either the general district court or the circuit court, upon motion of the plaintiff seeking to amend the amount of the claim, the court shall order transfer of the matter to the court having jurisdiction over the claim without requiring a dismissal of the claim or a nonsuit. The bill further provides that, where such an amended claim provides the general district court and the circuit court with concurrent jurisdiction over such a claim, the court shall transfer the matter to either the general district court or the circuit court, as directed by the plaintiff, provided that such court otherwise has jurisdiction over the matter.

Bryce E. Reeves

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $500 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny. The bill increases the threshold by the same amount for the classification of certain property crimes

Bryce E. Reeves

Nonsuits; recommencement of action. Decreases the time period in which a plaintiff who takes a voluntary nonsuit may recommence this action from six months to 14 days from the date the nonsuit was entered. The bill does not change the provision allowing for recommencement of the action within the original period of limitation, if longer than 14 days from the date the nonsuit was entered. The bill further provides that a plaintiff who has taken a voluntary nonsuit shall serve the defendant within three months of the recommencement of the action. The bill contains a technical amendment.

Jill Holtzman Vogel

Scope of discovery; deposing certain corporate officers. Provides that parties to a civil action may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter and proportional to the needs of the case. The bill states that a determination of whether discovery is unduly burdensome or expensive shall include consideration of whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefits.

The bill further provides that when an officer, as defined in the bill, who is called as a deposition witness files a motion for a protective order because the discovery sought by the deposition is obtainable from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive, the burden shall be on the party seeking the deposition to defeat such a motion by showing that (i) there is a reasonable indication that the officer’s deposition is calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, (ii) the officer has unique or superior personal knowledge of discoverable information that cannot be discovered through means other than a deposition, and (iii) deposition of a representative other than the officer or other methods of discovery are unsatisfactory, insufficient, or inadequate.

Scott A. Surovell

Waiver of immunity; insurance coverage. Provides that no person who is sued in a civil cause of action and who is immune from liability under Virginia law may claim such immunity if his actions that gave rise to the civil cause of action would otherwise be covered by an insurance policy.

Scott A. Surovell

Statute of limitations; discovery rule. Provides that the period of limitations for filing a cause of action for injury resulting from toxic substance exposure or prescribed or over-the-counter medications accrues from the time the person knew or should have known of the injury and its causal connection to such exposure or medication, respectively.

R. Creigh Deeds

Bystander claims for intentional or negligent infliction of injury or death; emotional distress. Provides that a bystander who witnesses, live and in-person, an event during which the intentional or negligent infliction of injury to or death of a victim occurs may recover damages for resulting emotional distress, proven by a preponderance of the evidence, with or without a physical impact or physical injury to the bystander, if (i) the bystander is related to the victim or (ii) although not related to the victim, the bystander is in close proximity to the victim at the time the event occurs and is aware that such event is causing injury to or the death of the victim.

John S. Edwards

Immunity of employers and potential employers; reports of violent behavior. Provides civil immunity to an employer who makes a report to a potential employer or law-enforcement agency of violent or threatened violent behavior, as defined in the bill, by an employee or former employee, provided that such a report was made in good faith and with reasonable cause to make such report. The bill further provides immunity to a potential employer who receives such a report and takes reasonable action in good faith to respond to the violent or threatened violent behavior noted in such report. The bill further provides that the court shall award reasonable attorney fees and costs to any employer or potential employer who has a suit dismissed against him pursuant to the immunity provided to him.

J. Chapman Petersen

Eminent domain; calculation of lost profits. Amends, in the definitions of “lost profits” and “business profit” for the purposes of eminent domain, the period for which lost profits are calculated to a period not to exceed three years from the later of (i) the date of valuation or (ii) the date the state agency or its contractor prevents the owner from using the land or any of the owner’s other property rights are taken. Under current law, lost profits are calculated for a period not to exceed (a) three years from the date of valuation if less than the entire parcel of property is taken or (b) one year from the date of valuation if the entire parcel of property is taken. The bill specifies that the person claiming lost profits is entitled to compensation whether part of the property or the entire parcel of property is taken. The bill further specifies that if the owner is not named in the petition for condemnation, he may intervene in the proceeding and that proceedings to adjudicate lost profits may be bifurcated from the other proceedings to determine just compensation if the lost profits claim period will not expire until one year or later from the date of the filing of the petition for condemnation, but such bifurcation shall not prevent the entry of an order confirming indefeasible title to the land interests acquired by the condemning authority.

Military and Veterans Affairs

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Richard P. Bell

Teacher licensure; reciprocity; spouses of Armed Forces members. Requires the Board of Education to provide for teacher licensure by reciprocity for a period of one year for any spouse of an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the Commonwealth, provided that such spouse has obtained a valid out-of-state license, with full credentials and without deficiencies, that is in force at the time the application for such a one-year reciprocal license is received by the Department of Education. The bill provides that any such individual who receives a satisfactory evaluation at the conclusion of the year of employment under such one-year reciprocal license is eligible for a renewable license.

Mark L. Cole

National Guard; employment protections. Extends the rights regarding (i) leaves of absence from nongovernmental employment, (ii) reemployment, and (iii) employment nondiscrimination that are currently provided to members of the Virginia National Guard and the Virginia Defense Force and residents of Virginia who are members of the National Guard of another state to any person who is a member of the National Guard of another state who is employed or seeking employment in Virginia.

David A. Reid

Dependents of disabled veterans; waiver of tuition and mandatory fees. Declares eligible for a waiver of tuition and mandatory fees, excluding room and board, at public institutions of higher education an admitted dependent student if (i) such student’s parent is a veteran who (a) has made the Commonwealth his military home of record, (b) has resided in the Commonwealth for at least three years, and (c) is at least 90 percent permanently disabled due to such service and (ii) no sibling of such student has received such a waiver through the same veteran parent.

M. Keith Hodges

Virginia Small Business Financing Authority; Veteran Entrepreneur and Capital Resources Program and Fund. Establishes the Veteran Entrepreneur and Capital Resources Program and Fund to provide loans and support to veteran small business owners, as defined in the bill, and to veterans starting a business, purchasing a franchise, or pursuing other entrepreneurial endeavors. The Fund shall be managed and administered by the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority with guidance from the Director of Small Business and Supplier Diversity and assistance with verification of veteran status and promotion of the program from the Department of Veteran Services. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2019.

Kathy K. L. Tran

Public institutions of higher education; policies for the award of academic credit for military training. Requires the governing board of each public institution of higher education to adopt a policy for the award of academic credit to any student enrolled at the institution who has successfully completed a military training course or program as part of his military service that is applicable to the student’s certificate of degree requirements and is recommended for academic credit by a national higher education association that provides academic credit recommendations for military training courses or programs, noted on the student’s military transcript issued by any of the Armed Forces of the United States or otherwise documented in writing by any of the Armed Forces of the United States.

Procurement

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Paul E. Krizek

Public procurement; agreements with labor organizations. Repeals provisions requiring state agencies to ensure that neither the state agency nor any construction manager acting on behalf of the state agency, in its bid specifications, project agreements, or other controlling documents relating to the operation, erection, construction, alteration, improvement, maintenance, or repair of any public facility of public works, (i) requires or prohibits bidders, offerors, contractors, or subcontractors to enter into or adhere to agreements with one or more labor organizations, on the same or related projects, or (ii) discriminates against bidders, offerors, contractors, subcontractors, or operators for becoming or refusing to become or remain signatories or otherwise to adhere to agreements with one or more labor organizations, on the same or related public works projects.

Richard P. Bell

Virginia Public Procurement Act; bid match preference for Virginia businesses. Provides a bid match preference for Virginia businesses. Under the bill, for contracts of $5,000 or more, a Virginia business has an opportunity to match the lowest bid of an out-of-state bidder if the bid of a Virginia business is within five percent of the lowest bid of an out-of-state bidder.

Vivian E. Watts

Virginia Public Procurement Act; preference for businesses participating in Virginia Registered Apprenticeship program. Authorizes a public body to give preference to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder (i) who is a resident of Virginia, (ii) who participates in the Virginia Registered Apprenticeship program administered by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, and (iii) whose bid is within three percent of the lowest bid price.

Glenn R. Davis

Prohibit certain local government practices that would require contractors to provide certain compensation or benefits. Prohibits local governing bodies from establishing provisions related to procurement of goods, professional services, or construction that would require a wage floor or any other employee benefit or compensation above what is otherwise required by state or federal law to be provided by a contractor to one or more of the contractor’s employees as part of a contract with the locality. The prohibition shall not affect contracts between a locality and another party that were executed prior to January 1, 2019, or the renewal or future rebids of services thereof. The bill provides that localities shall not be prohibited from entering into contracts for economic development incentives in which the company receiving the incentives is required to maintain a certain stated wage level for its employees.

Glenn R. Davis

Virginia Public Procurement Act; bid, performance, and payment bonds; waiver by localities; sunset. Adds a sunset date of July 1, 2021 to the provisions (i) authorizing a locality, where the bid, performance, and payment bond requirements are waived, to waive the requirement for prequalification for a bidder or contractor with a current Class A contractor license for nontransportation-related construction contracts in excess of $100,000 but less than $300,000 upon a written determination made in advance by the local governing body that waiving the requirement is in the best interests of the locality and (ii) prohibiting localities from entering into more than 10 such contracts per year.

Paul E. Krizek

Virginia Public Procurement Act; public works contract requirements; apprenticeship utilization. Creates minimum requirements for the use of apprentices in public works projects paid for in whole or in part by state funds. The bill provides that the failure of a contractor to comply with the apprentice utilization requirement shall be (i) deemed a breach of contract entitling the contracting agency to all remedies allowed by law and under the contract and (ii) considered as evidence bearing upon a contractor’s qualification for the award of future contracts.

Betsy B. Carr

Virginia Public Procurement Act; high-risk contracts; report. Requires the Department of General Services (DGS), the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA), and the Office of the Attorney General, as appropriate, to review contract solicitations and contracts for any public contract for goods, services, insurance, or construction that meets the definition of high-risk contract provided in the bill. Employees designated as primary administrators of high-risk contracts are required to complete a training program on effective contract administration created by DGS and VITA pursuant to requirements of the bill prior to commencing high-risk contract administration duties. Some provisions of the bill have delayed effective dates for implementation of the high-risk contract training and review processes.

Glenn R. Davis

Virginia Public Procurement Act; competitive sealed bidding. Requires bidders to submit two bids for any procurement that will receive less than 25 percent of its funding from the federal government. One bid shall include costs that account for wages required under the Davis-Bacon Act, 40 U.S.C. §§ 276a-276a-5, as amended, and the other bid shall include costs that account for wages as customarily paid by the bidder.

Roxann L. Robinson

Virginia Public Procurement Act; designation of trade secrets and proprietary information. Provides that a bidder, offeror, or contractor shall not improperly designate as trade secrets or proprietary information (i) an entire bid, proposal, or prequalification application; (ii) any portion of a bid, proposal, or prequalification application that does not contain trade secrets or proprietary information; or (iii) line item prices or total bid, proposal, or prequalification application prices. This bill is a recommendation of the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council.

Benjamin L. Cline

Procurement of nonprofessional services by certain state agencies; commercial activities. Requires the Director of the Division of Purchases and Supply of the Department of General Services to require each state agency, except law-enforcement agencies, to procure nonprofessional services from the private sector if such services are listed in the Department of Planning and Budget’s commercial activities list. The bill also provides that, upon a written determination made in advance by a state agency that the procurement of nonprofessional services from a commercial source is neither practicable nor fiscally advantageous, such service may continue to be performed by the state agency.

Jeion A. Ward

Virginia Public Procurement Act; small business and microbusiness procurement enhancement program. Codifies the Governor’s Executive Order 20 (2014) establishing a statewide small business and microbusiness procurement enhancement program. The bill establishes a statewide goal of 42 percent of small and microbusiness utilization in all discretionary spending by state agencies in procurement orders, prime contracts, and subcontracts. In addition, the bill provides for (i) a set-aside for competition among all small businesses for state agency purchases up to $100,000 for goods and nonprofessional services and up to $50,000 for professional services and (ii) a set-aside for competition among microbusinesses for purchases under $10,000.

David W. Marsden

Virginia Public Procurement Act; local labor use requirement for certain construction contracts; civil penalty. Adds to the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) the requirement that every public body, when engaged in procuring contracts for construction with a projected cost in excess of $500,000 paid for in whole by state or local funds, include in its specifications a requirement that at least 75 percent of the employees employed by contractors and subcontractors for the construction project be from the local labor market. The bill defines “local labor market” to mean every locality in Virginia and any county outside of Virginia if any portion of that county is within fifty miles of the border of Virginia. The bill provides that any contractor or subcontractor that cannot meet this requirement and has taken certain necessary steps may obtain a waiver of the requirement from the Virginia Employment Commission. The bill provides for a civil penalty in the amount of $100 per violation for any violation by a contractor or subcontractor of any provision of the measure.

John S. Edwards

Cooperative procurement of professional services; construction; solar power purchase agreements. Provides that construction performed in creating a good or service pursuant to a solar services agreement, solar power purchase agreement, or solar self-generation agreement shall not be defined as construction, notwithstanding any reference to “construction” in a request for proposal for a solar services agreement, solar power purchase agreement, or solar self-generation agreement. The measure also provides that professional services, such as engineering, performed in creating a good or service pursuant to a solar services agreement, solar power purchase agreement, or solar self-generation agreement shall not be defined as a professional service, notwithstanding any reference to “professional services” in a request for proposal for a solar services agreement, solar power purchase agreement, or solar self-generation agreement. The measure authorizes any contracting entity to purchase services under a solar services agreement, solar power purchase agreement, or solar self-generation agreement entered into by another contracting entity, even if it did not participate in the request for proposals, if the request for proposals specified that the procurement was being conducted on behalf of other contracting entities. The measure specifies that project agreements for power purchase agreements that reference a master solar power purchase agreement, whether or not the master power purchase agreement is still in effect, shall be binding and effective stand-alone agreements for as long as the life of the project agreements, and may be used by a contracting entity to purchase services under a cooperative procurement agreement. The measure has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2019.

Jeremy S. McPike

Virginia Public Procurement Act; local preference for businesses participating in Virginia Registered Apprenticeship program. Authorizes a locality to develop and implement a bidding system that gives preference to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder who (i) is a resident of Virginia and (ii) participates in the Virginia Registered Apprenticeship program administered by the Department of Labor and Industry.

Jeremy S. McPike

Virginia Public Procurement Act; state agency’s goals for participation by small businesses; requirements. Expands the requirement under the Virginia Public Procurement Act that any state agency’s goals for participation by small businesses include a minimum of three percent participation by service disabled veteran businesses from when such agencies are contracting only for information technology goods and services to when such agencies are contracting for any goods and services.

Redistricting

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Rip Sullivan

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); apportionment; criteria for electoral districts. Provides the criteria for electoral districts drawn by the General Assembly. The amendment directs that electoral districts are (i) to be composed of contiguous and compact territory, (ii) to be drawn utilizing existing political boundaries, and (iii) to be as nearly equal in population as is practicable but with variations in the size of districts permitted in order to comply with other reapportionment criteria. The amendment prohibits electoral districts being drawn for the purpose of favoring or disfavoring any political party, incumbent legislator or member of Congress, or other individual or entity. The amendment authorizes the General Assembly to provide additional standards, definitions, or guidance in order to facilitate the objective interpretation and application of such criteria.

L. Louise Lucas

Virginia Interim Redistricting Commission; criteria for remedial redistricting plans. Provides for the establishment of the Virginia Interim Redistricting Commission (the Commission) when any congressional or state legislative district drawn as required by Article II, Section 6 of the Constitution of Virginia is declared unlawful or unconstitutional, in whole or in part, by order of any state or federal court. The Commission is tasked with determining and submitting to the General Assembly and the Governor a redistricting plan remedying such unlawful or unconstitutional district. The bill also provides criteria by which the Commission is to draw remedial districts.

Regulation

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Michael J. Webert

Red Tape Reduction Commission; review of regulatory requirements; report. Creates the Red Tape Reduction Commission (the Commission) to develop and maintain a state regulatory baseline of all current state regulatory requirements, with the initial baseline to be completed by January 1, 2020. The bill defines a regulatory requirement as any action required to be taken or information required to be provided in accordance with a statute or regulation in order to access government services or operate and conduct business and excludes requirements that are necessary to conform to changes in Virginia statutory law or the appropriation act where no agency discretion is involved or to meet requirements of federal law or regulations. The bill also provides that after the regulatory baseline has been established, any subsequent regulatory requirement proposed by an agency that is not included in the initial state regulatory baseline is considered a new regulatory requirement and requires the approval of the Commission before it may be enacted. The bill prohibits the Commission from approving a new regulation unless it replaces or repeals at least two existing regulations, until the total baseline has been reduced by 35 percent. Thereafter, approvals and corresponding replacement or repeal by the Commission shall be on a one-for-one basis. In addition, the bill provides for the Commission to review current state regulatory requirements and provide recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly on measures to reduce the baseline regulatory requirements. The bill requires the Commission to submit a report to the Governor and General Assembly by November 1, 2018, on (i) the organizational structure of the Commission, (ii) duties of staff, and (iii) guidelines for determining what constitutes a regulatory requirement.

David E. Yancey

Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation; waiver of first-time licensing fees for low-income applicants. Requires any regulatory board within the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation to waive the initial application fee for any low-income individual applying for any license, certificate, or registration issued by the regulatory board or the Department. The bill defines “low-income individual” as any individual whose gross annual income is less than $25,000 per year.

Gregory D. Habeeb

Transacting business under an assumed name; central filing of assumed or fictitious name certificates. Postpones, from May 1, 2019, to January 1, 2020, the effective date of the measure enacted in 2017 that requires a person conducting or transacting business under an assumed or fictitious name to file a certificate of assumed or fictitious name in the office of the clerk of the State Corporation Commission.

Terry G. Kilgore

One-stop small business permitting program. Extends the date by which the State Corporation Commission and the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity are required to complete aspects of the one-stop small business permitting program from June 30, 2018, to January 1, 2020. The measure also (i) deletes a provision regarding the implementation of a hyperlink in 2014, (ii) amends the description of the processes to be established for the electronic collection and exchange of data or information, and (iii) deletes requirements for biannual progress reports.

Terry G. Kilgore

State Corporation Commission; electronic registration system. Extends the date, from July 1, 2018, to January 1, 2020, after which the State Corporation Commission is required to limit the users who will be able to submit data and documents on behalf of a business entity. The users who will be eligible to use the system after that date are those (i) who have been designated to make the submission on behalf of the business entity and (ii) whose identity has been established satisfactorily through a verification process. The measure also deletes a reference to the Commission’s registration system as “eFile.”

Terry L. Austin

Public utilities; cell phones; bill notice. Requires any public utility providing commercial mobile radio service to persons whose billing address is within the Commonwealth to include with each bill a notice stating: “It is unlawful for any person to text or use a handheld personal communications device while operating a motor vehicle in a highway work zone when workers are present.” The measure also provides that, for purposes of the provision imposing such requirement, a provider of commercial mobile radio service is a public utility.

David L. Bulova

Administrative Process Act; guidance documents. Exempts guidance documents, defined in the bill, from the requirements of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), provided that the agency that developed the guidance document certifies that it does not exceed the provisions of state law and regulation and states whether or not the guidance document has a significant economic impact to the citizens of the Commonwealth. If the economic impact is certified as insignificant, the guidance document is subject to a 30-day public comment period through publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations prior to final adoption. If the economic impact is certified as significant, the public participation guidelines under Article 2 (§ 2.2-4006 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act shall apply prior to adoption of the guidance document. If a comment received during the public comment period asserts that the guidance document is contrary to state law or regulation or that it should not be exempt, the adoption of the guidance document shall be delayed an additional 30 days, during which time the agency shall address the comments and provide a response in writing.

Nicholas J. Freitas

Professions and occupations; qualifications for licensure; acceptance of substantially equivalent military training, education, and experience. Requires the Board of Medicine and the Board of Dentistry to accept the military training, education, or experience of a service member honorably discharged from active military service in the Armed Forces of the United States, to the extent that such training, education, or experience is substantially equivalent to the requirements established by law and regulations of the respective board for the issuance of any license, permit, certificate, or other document, however styled or denominated, required for the practice of any business, profession, or occupation in the Commonwealth. Current law exempts the Board of Medicine and the Board of Dentistry from this requirement and provides that they may accept the military training, education, or experience of a service member under certain circumstances. The bill also directs the Department of Veterans Services to take steps to promote awareness among veterans of the acceptance of such substantially equivalent military training, education, or experience by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, the Department of Health Professions, or any other board named in Title 54.1 (Professions and Occupations).

NIcholas J. Freitas

State agency regulations; legislation requiring a state agency to adopt regulations that are likely to have a significant adverse economic impact. Provides that no bill that directly or indirectly requires a state agency to adopt new or to amend existing regulations that are likely to have a significant adverse economic impact shall be considered by the General Assembly unless the bill contains a second or final enactment clause (i) directing the state agency to develop proposed regulatory requirements by December 1 of the year in which the bill is introduced and (ii) providing that the first enactment of the bill that would directly or indirectly require the state agency to adopt new or to amend existing regulations shall not become effective unless reenacted by the following year’s session of the General Assembly. The bill requires the General Assembly to thereafter reconsider the bill during the following year’s session of the General Assembly along with and in light of the proposed regulatory requirements developed and put forth by the state agency. The bill defines “significant adverse economic impact” to mean that the estimated cost to citizens, professions, trades, or occupations to comply with the regulations is in excess of $500. The bill provides that determination of whether regulations are likely to have a significant adverse economic impact shall be made by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission.

Danica A. Roem

State Corporation Commission; intervenor compensation. Establishes a process under which a public interest organization or a retail customer, including an entity representing retail customers, of a public service company is compensated for its expenses when it intervenes in a State Corporation Commission proceeding that is related to the public service company’s provision of utility service. Such intervenor’s eligibility for compensation is subject to a finding by the Commission that the intervenor’s participation in the proceeding made a substantial contribution to the adoption of the Commission’s order or decision, the intervenor’s participation in the proceeding without an award of compensation imposes a significant financial hardship, and the intervenor represents an interest material to the proceeding which but for an award of compensation would not be adequately represented.

Danica A. Roem

State Corporation Commission; members. Increases the number of members of the State Corporation Commission from three to five. The measure requires that one of the new members be initially elected during the 2019 Session of the General Assembly and the other new member be initially elected during the 2021 Session. The measure also requires that persons elected to fill these two new positions be found, based on previous vocation, employment, or affiliation, to be qualified as a representative of the interests of the consumers of the Commonwealth.

Wendy W. Gooditis

Virginia Grown Label program; regulations. Directs the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt regulations creating a Virginia Grown Label program and authorizes it to design one or more labels or logos for use, by any business or individual doing business in the Commonwealth, on (i) any agricultural product that is grown and harvested in Virginia or (ii) any aquaculture or fish product that is raised in Virginia.

Richard P. Bell

Uniform Statewide Building Code; Board of Housing and Community Development; provisions for buildings and structures in rural areas in which commercial enterprises are located. Directs the Board of Housing and Community Development to make amendments to the Uniform Statewide Building Code applicable to buildings and structures in rural areas in which commercial enterprises are located. The bill provides that the amendments shall not apply to any building or structure for which (i) a building permit has been issued or on which construction has commenced or (ii) working drawings have been prepared in the year prior to the effective date of the amendments. The bill also requires the Board to establish guidelines for the adequate training of building officials, enforcement personnel, contractors, and design professionals regarding Building Code provisions applicable to farm buildings and structures.

M. Keith Hodges

Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation; contractors; prohibited acts. Provides that a contract entered into by a person undertaking work without a valid Virginia contractor’s license is unenforceable by such person. However, the bill also prohibits assertion of lack of licensure or certification as a defense to any action or suit if the unlicensed contractor gives substantial performance within the terms of the contract in good faith and without actual knowledge that a license or certificate was required.

Michael J. Webert

Professions and occupations; regulatory boards. Establishes the position of professional and occupational regulatory analyst within the Division of Legislative Services to assist the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules in (i) exerting its best efforts to evaluate at least three professions or occupations in each year and (ii) to the extent feasible, reviewing legislation establishing or modifying an occupational regulation to determine whether the legislation uses the least restrictive regulation necessary to protect or preserve the public health, safety, and welfare. The evaluation shall include recommendations for changes to occupational regulations to encourage use of the least restrictive regulation necessary.

Christopher K. Peace

Professions and occupations; prior criminal history. Removes the authority given to regulatory boards of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation to refuse to issue a license, certificate, or registration if the board finds, based upon all of the information available, including the applicant’s record of prior convictions, that the applicant is unfit or unsuited to engage in the occupation or profession. The bill does not change current law that provides that such regulatory board may refuse to issue a license, certificate, or registration if an applicant’s criminal conviction directly relates to the occupation or profession for which the license, certificate, or registration is sought. If a regulatory board or department denies an applicant a license, certificate, or registration solely or in part because of the applicant’s prior conviction of a crime, the regulatory board or department (i) has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the prior criminal conviction directly relates to the occupation or profession for which the license, certificate, or registration is sought and (ii) must provide written notice to the applicant. The bill also allows any person who has a criminal record to petition a regulatory board or department for a determination of whether the person’s criminal record will disqualify the person from obtaining a license, certificate, or registration.

Benjamin L. Cline

Administrative Process Act; development and periodic review of regulations; report. Requires all executive branch agencies to develop regulations in the least burdensome and intrusive manner possible and provides guiding principles for the development, adoption, and repeal of regulations. The bill also requires each agency to establish a schedule for the review of all regulations for which the agency is the primary responsible agency. The schedule shall encompass a 10-year period and provide for the annual review of at least 10 percent of an agency’s regulations by July 1 of each year. Under the bill, the Governor will submit an annual report containing the findings of the regulation reviews by August 1 of each year to the Chairmen of the standing committees of the House of Delegates and the Senate.

Benjamin L. Cline

Joint Commission to Evaluate Professional and Occupational Licensing Requirements; report. Creates the Joint Commission to Evaluate Professional and Occupational Licensing Requirements of the various regulatory boards within the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. The bill provides that to assist the Joint Commission in carrying out its powers and duties, the General Assembly shall adopt a schedule for its timely review of the statutory and regulatory professional and occupational licensing requirements of the regulatory boards within the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. The schedule adopted shall require that no less than 20 percent of such licensing requirements be reviewed annually, and the bill states that the General Assembly may delegate the process of adopting such schedule to the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules.

Christopher T. Head

Constitutional amendment (ballot bill); powers of General Assembly; suspension or nullification of administrative rule or regulation. Provides for a referendum at the November 6, 2018, election to approve or reject an amendment that would permit the General Assembly to suspend or nullify any or all portions of any administrative rule or regulation by a joint resolution agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each house. The amendment would also grant the General Assembly the authority to authorize a legislative committee or legislative committees acting jointly or a legislative commission to suspend any or all portions of any administrative rule or regulation while the General Assembly is not in a regular session. Such suspension would continue until the end of the next regular session.

Christopher E. Collins

Statewide Fire Prevention Code; powers and duties of the Virginia Fire Services Board. Transfers primary authority for the adoption of the Statewide Fire Prevention Code from the Board of Housing and Community Development to the Virginia Fire Services Board (the Board). The bill allows the Board to convene an ad hoc committee whenever it proposes a change to the Statewide Fire Prevention Code for the purpose of advising the Board. The bill also requires the Board to develop the means to publicize the policies and programs of the Department of Fire Programs to educate the public and elicit public support. The bill contains technical amendments.

David E. Yancey

Encouraging localities to develop a more uniform and streamlined permitting process. Expresses the sense of the General Assembly that localities be encouraged to develop a more uniform and streamlined permitting process. Such an effort would benefit from having the Virginia Association of Counties and the Virginia Municipal League take the lead in developing a model application and permitting process while utilizing the best practices from localities throughout the Commonwealth.

Christopher T. Head

Constitutional amendment (second resolution); powers of General Assembly; suspension or nullification of administrative rule or regulation. Provides that the General Assembly may suspend or nullify any or all portions of any administrative rule or regulation by a joint resolution agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each house. The amendment also grants to the General Assembly the authority to authorize a legislative committee or legislative committees acting jointly or a legislative commission to suspend any or all portions of any administrative rule or regulation while the General Assembly is not in a regular session. Such suspension would continue until the end of the next regular session.

J. Chapman Petersen

State Corporation Commission; members. Increases the number of members of the State Corporation Commission from three to five. The measure requires that one of the new members be initially elected during the 2019 Session of the General Assembly and the other new member be initially elected during the 2021 Session. The measure also requires that persons elected to fill these two new positions be found, based on previous vocation, employment, or affiliation, to be qualified as a representative of the interests of the consumers of the Commonwealth.

J. Chapman Petersen

State Corporation Commission; intervenor compensation. Establishes a process under which a public interest organization or a retail customer, including an entity representing retail customers, of a public service company that intervenes in a utility proceeding is compensated for its expenses. To be eligible for compensation, the Commission is required to find that the intervenor’s participation in the proceeding made a substantial contribution to the adoption of the Commission’s order or decision, the intervenor’s participation in the proceeding without an award of compensation imposes a significant financial hardship, and the intervenor represents an interest material to the proceeding which but for an award of compensation would not be adequately represented.

Amanda F. Chase

Red Tape Reduction Commission; review of regulatory requirements; report. Creates the Red Tape Reduction Commission (the Commission) to develop and maintain a state regulatory baseline of all current state regulatory requirements, with the initial baseline to be completed by January 1, 2020. The bill defines a regulatory requirement as any action required to be taken or information required to be provided in accordance with a statute or regulation in order to access government services or operate and conduct business and excludes requirements that are necessary to conform to changes in Virginia statutory law or the appropriation act where no agency discretion is involved or to meet requirements of federal law or regulations. The bill also provides that after the regulatory baseline has been established, any subsequent regulatory requirement proposed by an agency that is not included in the initial state regulatory baseline is considered a new regulatory requirement and requires the approval of the Commission before it may be enacted. The bill prohibits the Commission from approving a new regulation unless it replaces or repeals at least two existing regulations, until the total baseline has been reduced by 35 percent. Thereafter, approvals and corresponding replacement or repeal by the Commission shall be on a one-for-one basis. In addition, the bill provides for the Commission to review current state regulatory requirements and provide recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly on measures to reduce the baseline regulatory requirements. The bill requires the Commission to submit a report to the Governor and General Assembly by November 1, 2018, on (i) the organizational structure of the Commission, (ii) duties of staff, and (iii) guidelines for determining what constitutes a regulatory requirement.

John S. Edwards

Income withholding orders. Repeals the requirement, enacted in 1993, that an employer request that each new employee disclose whether the employee has an income withholding order. This requirement has been superseded in practice by requirements that an employer submit information about new hires to the Virginia New Hire Reporting Center within 20 days of the employee’s hire date. Under the current system, relevant data in the State Directory of New Hires and the National Directory of New Hires is used by the Division of Child Support Enforcement to issue orders enforcing child support obligations. This bill is a recommendation of the Virginia Code Commission.

Bill R. DeSteph, Jr.

Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation; subpoena duces tecum; costs. Provides that, if a licensee or regulant of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation or one of its regulatory boards is successful in a motion to quash a subpoena duces tecum issued in furtherance of an investigation, the court shall award reasonable costs and attorney fees or $500, whichever is greater.

Bill R. DeSteph, Jr.

Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation; disciplinary actions by regulatory boards. Requires a regulatory board under the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation to determine the factual basis for its decisions through an informal fact-finding conference under the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) unless the regulant and the regulatory board agree to resolve the matter through a consent order or the regulant consents to waive the conference to go directly to a formal hearing. If the conference is waived, or if it fails to dispose of the case by consent, the bill requires the regulatory board to conduct a formal hearing. The bill also provides that, if a regulant is successful in a motion to quash a subpoena duces tecum issued in furtherance of an investigation, the court shall award reasonable costs and attorney fees or $500, whichever is greater.

Jill Holtzman Vogel

Constitutional amendment (voter referendum); legislative review of administrative rules. Provides for a referendum at the November 6, 2018, election to approve or reject an amendment that would grant to the General Assembly the authority to review any administrative rule to ensure it is consistent with the legislative intent of the statute that the rule was written to interpret, prescribe, implement, or enforce. The amendment provides that after such review, the General Assembly may approve or reject, in whole or in part, any rule as provided by law and that the approval or rejection of a rule by the General Assembly shall not be subject to veto by the Governor.

Jill Holtzman Vogel

Constitutional amendment (second resolution); legislative review of administrative rules. Grants to the General Assembly the authority to review any administrative rule to ensure it is consistent with the legislative intent of the statute that the rule was written to interpret, prescribe, implement, or enforce. The amendment provides that after such review, the General Assembly may approve or reject, in whole or in part, any rule as provided by law and that the approval or rejection of a rule by the General Assembly shall not be subject to veto by the Governor.

Small Business

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Tony O. Wilt

Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity; implementation of certification programs for small businesses; definition of small business; report. Changes the definition of small business, beginning July 1, 2019, to meet the small business size standards established by the regulations of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The bill provides that any business entity that the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (the Department) has certified as a small business prior to July 1, 2019, shall have such certification extended for a three-year period. The bill also provides that the Director of the Department adopt regulations that will, beginning July 1, 2019, establish a three-year certification period for small businesses to be based on the dominant business activity of each small business entity. The bill (i) includes a definition of “dominant business activity”; (ii) provides for the Department to enter into a memorandum of understanding with appropriate agencies establishing provisions for the sharing of information consistent with the requirements of state and federal law; (iii) authorizes the Director to terminate a contract with any independent certifying entities to assist in the certification of small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses based on performance or a written determination by the Director that continuing the contract is not practicable, and (iv) requires the Secretary of Commerce and Trade to evaluate the effect of the implementation of the new definition at three-year intervals, reporting to the Governor and General Assembly by December 1, 2022, and December 1, 2025.

Kenneth R. Plum

Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity; Virginia Public Procurement Act; definition of small business. Changes the requirements of the definition of small business for the purposes of programs of the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity and the Virginia Public Procurement Act to require the business, together with affiliates, to have 250 or fewer employees and average annual gross receipts of $10 million or less averaged over the previous three years. Currently for these programs, a business is required to meet one or the other of these conditions to be considered a small business.

Kenneth R. Plum

Virginia Public Procurement Act; small business and microbusiness procurement enhancement program. Codifies the Governor’s Executive Order 20 (2014) establishing a statewide small business and microbusiness procurement enhancement program. The bill establishes a statewide goal of 42 percent of small and microbusiness utilization in all discretionary spending by state agencies in procurement orders, prime contracts, and subcontracts. In addition, the bill provides for (i) a set-aside for competition among all small businesses for state agency purchases up to $100,000 for goods and nonprofessional services and up to $50,000 for professional services and (ii) a set-aside for competition among microbusinesses for purchases under $10,000.

Luke E. Torian

Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans Grant Fund. Directs the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (the Department) to administer a grant program to incentivize small businesses to provide retirement plans for their employees. The bill defines small business as a business with 50 or fewer employees. The bill (i) establishes the Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans Grant Fund, funded by the general appropriation act, from which such grants shall be disbursed and (ii) directs the Department to establish criteria for determining the amount of the grant to be awarded.

Alfonso H. Lopez

Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity; implementation of certification programs for small businesses; definition of small business; report.

Robert S. Bloxom, Jr.

Emergency services and disaster law; expedited inspections required for small businesses. Provides that in the event that a small business has been impacted by a disaster for which the Governor has declared a state of emergency, any agency of state or local government responsible for conducting inspections for compliance with minimum established standards for health and safety shall conduct any such inspections as are required for the small business to resume normal business operations within 15 days of receipt of a request for an inspection made by such small business. The bill defines “small business” as an independently owned and operated business that, together with affiliates, has 250 or fewer employees or average annual gross receipts of $10 million or less averaged over the previous three years.

Robert S. Bloxom, Jr.

Small Business Financing Authority (Authority); Virginia Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Fund created. Creates the Virginia Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Fund (the Fund) to provide short-term direct loans to eligible small businesses impacted by a disaster for which a state of emergency has been declared. The bill provides that the Fund shall be managed and administered by the Authority with guidance from the Director of the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity and that loans provided from the Fund shall be (i) for a minimum amount of $1,000 up to a maximum amount of $5,000, (ii) provided interest-free, and (iii) repaid by the end of the loan term, which term shall be set by the Authority for a minimum of 90 days but not to exceed 180 days

Frank M. Ruff, Jr.

Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity; implementation of certification programs for small businesses; definition of small business; report. Changes the definition of small business, beginning July 1, 2019, to meet the small business size standards established by the regulations of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The bill provides that any business entity that the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (the Department) has certified as a small business prior to July 1, 2019, shall have such certification extended for a three-year period. The bill also provides that the Director of the Department adopt regulations that will, beginning July 1, 2019, establish a three-year certification period for small businesses to be based on the dominant business activity of each small business entity. The bill (i) includes a definition of “dominant business activity”; (ii) provides for the Department to enter into a memorandum of understanding with appropriate agencies establishing provisions for the sharing of information consistent with the requirements of state and federal law; (iii) authorizes the Director to terminate a contract with any independent certifying entities to assist in the certification of small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses based on performance or a written determination by the Director that continuing the contract is not practicable, and (iv) requires the Secretary of Commerce and Trade to evaluate the effect of the implementation of the new definition at three-year intervals, reporting to the Governor and General Assembly by December 1, 2022, and December 1, 2025.

Tax and Grants

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Delores L. McQuinn

Tax credits for employing individuals released from incarceration for conviction of a felony. Establishes, for taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2018, but before January 1, 2023, an individual and corporate income tax credit for taxpayers hiring individuals released from incarceration into new jobs paying an annual salary of at least $50,000. The bill defines “individual released from incarceration” as a person who was released from incarceration for conviction of a felony within the five years immediately preceding the date on which the person was hired into the new job. The tax credit would equal $500 each year for five years for each such employee holding the new job continuously throughout the year. No credit would be allowed for any year in which the number of full-time employees of the taxpayer is less than the average annual number of full-time employees of the taxpayer in the immediately preceding three years.

Bob M. Thomas Jr.

Merchants’ capital tax; classification. Creates a separate class for merchants’ capital of any wholesaler reported as inventory that is located, and is normally located, in a structure that contains at least 100,000 square feet, with at least 100,000 square feet used solely to store such inventory. Any locality may impose a tax rate on such inventory that is lower than that applicable generally to merchants’ capital.

R. Lee Ware

Commonwealth’s tax code; conformity with federal law; emergency. Advances conformity of the Commonwealth’s tax code with the federal tax code to December 1, 2017. The bill contains an emergency clause.

Hala S. Ayala

Individual income tax; subtraction for employer payment of qualified education loans. Establishes an individual income tax subtraction, beginning in taxable year 2018, for an unincorporated employer’s contribution to the repayment of an employee’s education loan. The bill provides that the maximum deduction per year shall be $5,250.

Michael J. Webert

Prohibition of public funding of professional sports teams. Prohibits the Commonwealth and any of its political subdivisions from spending public funds to provide incentives for professional sports teams, beginning January 1, 2019. The bill prohibits expenditures including appropriations, grants, loans, or tax incentives used to fund facilities or infrastructure improvements for professional sports teams.

Elizabeth R. Guzman

Individual income tax credit and property tax exemption for substantial-capacity solar equipment. Provides an individual income tax credit and a mandatory property tax exemption for substantial-capacity solar equipment. The bill defines “substantial-capacity solar equipment” and requires a taxpayer to obtain certification from his local building department that such equipment is eligible for exemption. Current law provides an exemption for a broader category of solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices; however, such exemption is permissive for localities and may be partial or full.

The bill provides that a person may claim an income tax credit for his costs associated with substantial-capacity solar equipment if he includes his certification with his tax return. The amount of the credit is the least of $10,000, 10 percent of the equipment’s installed cost, or the person’s tax liability. The bill provides that the Department of Taxation shall issue no more than $500,000 in credits per taxable year, and it does not allow taxpayers to carry unused credit forward. The credit sunsets after taxable year 2022.

Jason S. Miyares

Recordation tax exemption; certain limited liability companies and limited or general partnerships. Provides a recordation tax exemption for deeds transferring property (i) to a subsidiary limited liability company or partnership from its parent limited liability company or partnership, (ii) from a subsidiary limited liability company or partnership to a parent limited liability company or partnership, (iii) to a limited liability company or partnership from a commonly owned limited liability company or partnership, or (iv) to a limited liability company or limited or general partnership from a commonly owned limited liability company or limited or general partnership, if the transaction qualifies for nonrecognition of gain or loss under the Internal Revenue Code and if the transfer is not a precursor or subsequent to a transfer of control of the assets of the company to avoid recordation taxes.

Nick Rush

Income tax subtraction; Virginia real estate investment trust income. Establishes an individual and corporate income tax subtraction for income attributable to an investment in a Virginia real estate investment trust, defined in the bill as an investment fund that is certified by the Department of Taxation as investing at least 90 percent of trust funds in Virginia and at least 40 percent of trust funds in localities that are either distressed or double distressed. The bill defines a distressed locality as one where the unemployment rate is greater than the statewide average or the poverty rate exceeds the statewide average. The bill defines a double distressed locality as one that satisfies both of the preceding criteria. An income tax subtraction would be available only for an investment made on or after January 1, 2019, but before December 31, 2024.

Glenn R. Davis

Membership in Multistate Tax Commission. Requires the Tax Commissioner to take such steps as are necessary for Virginia to become an associate member of the Multistate Tax Commission and to participate in Multistate Tax Commission discussions and meetings concerning model tax legislation and uniform tax policies. The Commission was formed in 1967 and charged under the Multistate Tax Compact with, among other things, facilitating the proper determination of state and local tax liability of multistate taxpayers, promoting uniformity or compatibility in significant components of tax systems, facilitating taxpayer convenience and compliance in the filing of tax returns, and avoiding duplicative taxation.

David A. Reid

State and local tax and regulatory exemptions for new small businesses. Exempts new small businesses from (i) payment of unemployment, sales and use, and local license taxes and (ii) certain registration and reporting requirements with the State Corporation Commission. The bill defines an eligible business as any business that has its principal place of business in the Commonwealth, has not been in existence for more than five years, and has fewer than six employees or has paid less than $5,000 for the purchase or lease of business personal property, including machinery and tools and merchants’ capital, since its inception.

Tony O. Wilt

Accelerated sales and use tax payments. Prohibits the accelerated collection of sales and use tax payments from retail merchants and other dealers who collect and return sales and use tax payments.

Matthew James

Sales and use tax revenue; distribution to certain localities. Adds the City of Chesapeake to those localities authorized to receive the state sales and use tax revenue attributable to certain public facilities. The revenue must be used to pay the cost of bonds issued by the locality for construction of the facility.

Robert S. Bloxom, Jr.

Neighborhood Assistance Act tax credits; phase down credit value. Reduces the amount of the tax credit from 65 percent of the value of donations to neighborhood organizations for taxable years 2012 through 2017 to (i) 60 percent of such donations for taxable year 2018, (ii) 55 percent of such donations for taxable year 2019, and (iii) 50 percent of such donations for taxable years 2020 and thereafter.

Robert S. Bloxom, Jr.

Transient occupancy tax; state parks. Permits localities to impose transient occupancy taxes on transient room rentals and travel campgrounds in state parks.

Mark L. Keam

Local taxes; appeal to court. Provides that on an appeal to court for relief from local taxes, the taxpayer shall not be required to show that the assessment is a result of manifest error or disregard of controlling evidence, and on an appeal of the assessment of real or personal property that concerns an increase of more than 20 percent over the assessment for the same property for the prior tax year, except in cases of buildings constructed in the previous five years, the assessor shall have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the assessment is correct. The bill also provides that an assessment constitutes manifest error if any one of three mistakes under current law was made. The bill contains technical amendments.

Mark L. Keam

Real property taxes; appeals to boards of equalization. Provides that (i) on appeal of a real property assessment to a board of equalization, the taxpayer shall not be required to show that the assessment is a result of manifest error or disregard of controlling evidence, and (ii) when the appeal involves an assessment of real property with an increase of more than 20 percent over the assessment for the same property for the prior tax year, except in cases of buildings constructed in the previous five years, the assessor shall have the burden of proving that the assessment is correct by a preponderance of the evidence.

Glenn R. Davis

Income tax; apportionment of sales for debt buyers. Requires debt buyers, defined in the bill, to apportion their income from the collection of debt to Virginia based on a single sales factor starting with taxable year 2019. Generally, under current law, a taxpayer apportions its income to Virginia based on the ratio of its property, payroll, and sales in Virginia to the same factors in all other states.

Current law requires multistate businesses to apportion income from sales, other than sales of tangible personal property, to Virginia if the income-producing activity is performed only in Virginia or a greater proportion of the income-producing activity is performed in Virginia than in any other state.

The bill provides that all income recovered on debt from a person or entity residing in the Commonwealth shall be apportioned to the Commonwealth for income tax purposes.

Lamont Bagby

Personal property tax; computer equipment and peripherals used in data centers. Creates a separate classification of tangible personal property, for valuation purposes, for computer equipment and peripherals used in a data center. The classification specifies that the computer equipment and peripherals shall be valued by means of a percentage or percentages of original cost.

Glenn R. Davis

Taxation in the Commonwealth; income tax, sales tax, and credit for certain local taxes. Provides, for taxable years 2018 through 2022, a refundable credit against individual and corporate income taxes for a business’s aggregate tax liability under the machinery and tools tax, the merchants’ capital tax, and the business, professional, and occupational license (BPOL) tax.

The bill imposes a sales tax on all services except business-to-business, educational, health care, and real estate services. The bill requires the Department of Taxation (the Department) to assert the Commonwealth’s jurisdictional nexus to tax services to the maximum extent allowed by Virginia and federal law and requires any person that furnishes services valued at $5,000 or more during a calendar year to register with the Department as a dealer.

The bill provides that food purchased for human consumption shall be exempt from state sales tax. Under current law, food purchased for human consumption is taxed at a reduced state rate of 1.5 percent and a local rate of 1 percent.

The bill eliminates the lowest two income tax brackets by providing that, starting with taxable year 2019, there shall be no income tax imposed on income of $5,000 or less.

Vivian E. Watts

Communications sales and use tax; services subject to taxation. Applies the communications sales and use tax to services related to the streaming of audio and visual data, and prepaid calling. The bill also clarifies that the tax applies to communications services regardless of whether customers are charged a subscription fee, a periodic fee, or an actual usage fee.

M. Keith Hodges

Tax increment financing; dredging projects. Specifies that dredging projects are development projects eligible for tax increment financing.

Christopher P. Stolle

Sales and use tax refund; property to replace or repair business property damaged in a disaster. Permits any business to apply for a refund of sales and use taxes paid for any property purchased to replace or repair property that was damaged as a result of a disaster for which the Governor makes a declaration of a state of emergency on or after July 1, 2018. The refund applies only to property purchased no later than 180 days after the declaration of a state of emergency. The bill has an expiration date of July 1, 2022.

Jeffrey L. Campbell

Cigarette tax; counties authorized to hold referendum. Authorizes the board of supervisors of any county to levy a tax on the sale or use of cigarettes if approved in a referendum. If approved, the tax shall not exceed five cents ($0.05) or the amount levied under state law, whichever is greater.

Christopher T. Head

Accelerated sales and use tax payments. Prohibits any requirement that a dealer remit accelerated sales and use tax payments, except as provided in a general appropriation act under the following circumstances: (i) if payments are required for dealers with sales of $15 million or less, such threshold may only be reduced by 10 percent the next year; (ii) if the Department of Taxation fails to notify dealers that accelerated payments are due at least nine months in advance, no penalty or interest may be assessed for late payments; and (iii) no penalty or interest may be assessed on a dealer subject to an accelerated payment due to a lowered threshold in the calendar year. If such accelerated payment is required in an appropriation act, a dealer may only be required to pay 90 percent of the dealer’s sales and use tax liability for the previous June. The Department shall provide an online application for a dealer to apply for a hardship waiver. The bill prohibits requiring accelerated payments after June 30, 2020.

Alfonso H. Lopez

Green job creation tax credit; extends sunset provision. Extends through taxable year 2019 the sunset date for the green job creation tax credit. Under current law, the credit expires for taxable years beginning on January 1, 2018.

Kathy J. Byron

Agricultural best management practices tax credit; refundability for corporations. Allows taxpayers to apply for a refund of corporate income tax credits received for expenditures for agricultural best management practices. Under current law, corporate income tax credits that exceed the taxpayer’s tax liability are not refundable but may be carried forward for up to five years. Furthermore, under current law, individual income tax credits for expenditures related to agricultural best management practices are refundable.

Lashrecse D. Aird

Bond referenda; authorizing counties to make bond issuance contingent on enactment of a food and beverage tax. Authorizes counties to enact ordinances providing that bonds shall be repaid from food and beverage tax revenues. The bill provides that if a county enacts such an ordinance, the referendum submitted to the voters shall include as a single question the issuance of bonds and the enactment of a food and beverage tax. Under current law, the questions of bond issuance and tax enactment are submitted as separate ballot questions.

Kathy J. Byron

Study; Department of Taxation; appeals concerning valuation of business property; report. Requests the Department of Taxation to study and make recommendations on the appeals process for valuation of real and personal property of businesses.

Mamie E. Locke

County food and beverage tax. Increases from four percent to eight percent the maximum tax that any county is authorized to impose on food and beverages sold by a restaurant, commonly referred to as the meals tax. The bill also removes the requirement that a county hold a referendum before imposing a meals tax.

J. Chapman Petersen

Plastic bag tax in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Imposes a five-cent per bag tax on plastic bags provided to customers by certain retailers in localities located wholly within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and directs revenues to be used to support the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan. The bill also allows every retailer that collects the tax to retain one cent of the five-cent tax.

Barbara A. Favola

Local government taxing authority. Equalizes municipal taxing authority and county taxing authority by granting a county the same authority available to a municipality through the uniform charter powers. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2019, prior which to the Division of Legislative Services is directed to convene a working group to develop recommendations as to what additional legislative changes are needed to effectuate the provisions of the bill.

Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.

Commonwealth’s tax code; conformity with federal law; emergency. Advances conformity of the Commonwealth’s tax code with the federal tax code to December 1, 2017. The bill contains an emergency clause.

Rosalyn R. Dance

License taxes; interest rate for certain refunds. Authorizes a locality to establish the interest rate for a tax refund due to a taxpayer’s overstatement of gross receipts for purposes of determining the amount due for a business license tax at a rate lower than that required for interest on delinquent taxes. Current law requires that the interest rate for a refund of any local tax be at the same rate as set for interest on delinquent taxes.

Siobhan S. Dunnavant

Personal property tax; computer equipment and peripherals used in data centers. Creates a separate classification of tangible personal property, for valuation purposes, for computer equipment and peripherals used in a data center. The classification specifies that the computer equipment and peripherals shall be valued by means of a percentage or percentages of original cost.

Janet D. Howell

Notification of tax return data breach. Requires paid income tax return preparers to notify the Department of Taxation within a reasonable time period if they discover that an unauthorized person has accessed a taxpayer’s return information. The bill defines return information and provides that it does not include publicly available information.

Thomas K. Norment, Jr.

Department of Taxation; reports on sales and use tax exemptions. Requires the Department of Taxation (the Department) to report annually to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the House and Senate Committees on Finance regarding the fiscal, economic, and policy impact of each sales and use tax exemption. The review of each exemption shall be performed on a rotation basis. No exemption shall be reviewed more than once every five years, but the exemption for computer purchases for use in data centers shall be reviewed every three years. Taxpayers that purchase tax-exempt computer equipment or enabling software for use in a data center shall submit to the Department every three years a list of its exempt purchases, including purchase prices, made during the previous three taxable years.

David W. Marsden

Taxation in the Commonwealth. Makes numerous changes to the Commonwealth’s tax structure. The bill creates two new income brackets for the calculation of individual income taxes and lowers the corporate income tax rate. The tax credit for low-income taxpayers would become refundable, and taxpayers would be prohibited from using the same donation to both receive certain tax credits and take a charitable deduction. The bill reinstates the estate tax. The state sales tax on food would be eliminated, and sales tax would be imposed on certain services and digital products. The transient occupancy tax would be imposed on the entire cost of the use or possession of the room. The tobacco tax would be raised.

Charles W. Carrico, Sr.

Cigarette tax; counties authorized to hold referendum. Authorizes the board of supervisors of any county to levy a tax on the sale or use of cigarettes if approved in a referendum. If approved, the tax shall not exceed five cents ($0.05) or the amount levied under state law, whichever is greater.

T. Montgomery Mason

County food and beverage tax. Increases from four percent to eight percent the maximum tax that any county is authorized to impose on food and beverages sold by a restaurant, commonly referred to as the meals tax. The bill also removes the requirement that a county hold a referendum before imposing a meals tax.

Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.

Green job creation tax credit; extends sunset provision. Extends through taxable year 2020 the sunset date for the green job creation tax credit. Under current law, the credit expires for taxable years beginning on January 1, 2018.

Glen H. Sturtevant

Accelerated sales and use tax payments. Prohibits any requirement that a dealer remit accelerated sales and use tax payments, except as provided in a general appropriation act under the following circumstances: (i) if payments are required for dealers with sales of $15 million or less, such threshold may only be reduced by 10 percent the next year; (ii) if the Department of Taxation fails to notify dealers that accelerated payments are due at least nine months in advance, no penalty or interest may be assessed for late payments; and (iii) no penalty or interest may be assessed on a dealer subject to an accelerated payment due to a lowered threshold in the calendar year. If such accelerated payment is required in an appropriation act, a dealer may only be required to pay 90 percent of the dealer’s sales and use tax liability for the previous June. The Department shall provide an online application for a dealer to apply for a hardship waiver. The bill prohibits requiring accelerated payments after June 30, 2020.

John A. Cosgrove, Jr.

Aircraft sales and use tax; cap. Limits the maximum amount of sales tax and use tax due on an aircraft to $25,000.

Technology

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Jennifer B. Boysko

Comprehensive plan; broadband infrastructure. Provides that a locality’s comprehensive plan shall include strategies to provide broadband infrastructure that is sufficient to meet the current and future needs of residents and businesses in the locality. In the preparation of a comprehensive plan, broadband infrastructure shall be included among the matters that the local planning commission shall survey and study.

Brenda L. Pogge

Breach of personal information notification; unreasonable delay. Defines the term “unreasonable delay” as a period not to exceed 30 days for purposes of the disclosure requirements imposed upon a person or entity that owns or licenses computerized data that includes personal information when there is a security breach involving such information. Currently, the term is undefined.

Kathy J. Byron

Office of Telework Promotion and Broadband Assistance; Broadband Advisory Council; expiration. Extends the expiration of the Office of Telework Promotion and Broadband Assistance and the Broadband Advisory Council from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2028.

Wendy W. Gooditis

Zoning for wireless communications infrastructure. Repeals provisions creating a uniform procedure for the way in which small cell facilities on existing structures are approved by localities and approved and installed in public rights-of-way.

Terry G. Kilgore

Zoning for wireless communications infrastructure. Establishes parameters regarding applications for zoning approvals for certain wireless support structures. Applications for certain new wireless support structures that are 50 feet or less above ground level and for the co-location on an existing structure of a wireless facility that is not a small cell facility are exempt from requirements that they obtain a special exception, special use permit, or variance, though a locality may require administrative review for the issuance of any zoning permits or an acknowledgement that zoning approval is not required for such projects. Aspects of the zoning approval process addressed in this measure include periods for approval or disapproval of applications, a requirement that applications are deemed approved if not approved or disapproved within the applicable period; application fees; a prohibition against unreasonably discriminating between applicants and other wireless services providers, providers of telecommunications services, and nonpublic providers of cable television and electric services; and limits on the number of new wireless support structures that can be installed in a specific location. The measure also prohibits a locality, in its receiving, consideration, and processing of an application for zoning approval, from engaging in certain activities.

Terry G. Kilgore

Wireless support structures; public rights-of-way use fees. Establishes an annual wireless support structure public rights-of-way use fee to be charged to wireless services providers and wireless infrastructure providers in connection with a permit for occupation and use of the public rights-of-way under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation (VDOT) or a locality for the construction of new wireless support structures. The amount of the use fee is (i) $1,000 for any wireless support structure at or below 50 feet in height; (ii) $3,000 for any wireless support structure above 50 feet and at or below 120 feet in height; (iii) $5,000 for any wireless support structure above 120 feet in height; and (iv) $1 per square foot for any other equipment, shelter, or associated facilities constructed on the ground. The measure provides that the use fee amounts shall be adjusted every five years on the basis of inflation. The measure also provides that an existing agreement, contract, license, easement, or permit allowing the use of the public rights-of-way by a wireless services provider or wireless infrastructure provider may be enforced by VDOT or the locality only until the current term of the agreement, contract, license, easement, or permit expires.

David A. Reid

Study; Department of Labor and Industry; effect of the switch to electric vehicles on automotive mechanics; report. Requests that the Department of Labor and Industry (i) identify the ways in which the market shift from vehicles using internal combustion engines to electric vehicles will affect automotive mechanics and businesses in the Commonwealth’s automotive maintenance and repair industry; (ii) determine the amount by which the demand for automotive repair and maintenance will be reduced as a result of the switch to electric vehicles; (iii) identify and analyze the need and opportunities for automotive mechanics to develop their mechanical knowledge of electric vehicles and the experience necessary to service and repair such vehicles; (iv) assess the manners in which businesses will need to adapt their business models to accommodate the consumer shift to electric vehicles; and (v) make recommendations for measures that may be taken to assist automotive mechanics and businesses in the Commonwealth’s automotive maintenance and repair industry to adapt to and succeed in the marketplace of electric vehicles.

Wendy W. Gooditis

Study; Broadband Advisory Council; broadband availability and the most cost-effective means to provide broadband coverage to the greatest number of people; report. Requests the Broadband Advisory Council to develop a system for rating communities that indicates where the most people can be served by increased broadband coverage for the least cost.

John S. Edwards

Incentives for communications companies; provision of wireless broadband services. Directs the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission to award at least $10 million per year in grants to cover a portion of expenditures for the purchase and installation of wireless and broadband equipment to rural areas in the Southwest and Southside regions of the Commonwealth. The bill also establishes a sales tax exemption, which would be phased in over four years, for property sold or leased to a telecommunications company and used directly in the rendition of its public service.

John A. Cosgrove, Jr.

Department of Aviation; unmanned aircraft systems. Authorizes the Virginia Aviation Board to promulgate rules and regulations in reference to unmanned aircraft systems, defined in the bill, and for the Department of Aviation to enforce such rules and regulations.

Ryan T. McDougle

Wireless support structures; public rights-of-way use fees. Establishes an annual wireless support structure public rights-of-way use fee to be charged to wireless services providers and wireless infrastructure providers in connection with a permit for occupation and use of the public rights-of-way under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation (VDOT) or a locality for the construction of new wireless support structures. The amount of the use fee is (i) $1,000 for any wireless support structure at or below 50 feet in height; (ii) $3,000 for any wireless support structure above 50 feet and at or below 120 feet in height; (iii) $5,000 for any wireless support structure above 120 feet in height; and (iv) $1 per square foot for any other equipment, shelter, or associated facilities constructed on the ground. The measure provides that the use fee amounts shall be adjusted every five years on the basis of inflation. The measure also provides that an existing agreement, contract, license, easement, or permit allowing the use of the public rights-of-way by a wireless services provider or wireless infrastructure provider may be enforced by VDOT or the locality only until the current term of the agreement, contract, license, easement, or permit expires.

Lee J. Carter

Broadband services; prohibited features. Prohibits a provider of broadband services from offering or renewing services to consumers within any locality in the Commonwealth in which certain media is throttled, blocked, or prioritized on the basis of its content, format, host address, or source.

Term Limits

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Mark L. Keam

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); Governor’s term of office. Permits a Governor elected in 2021 and thereafter to succeed himself in office. The amendment allows two four-year terms (either in succession or not in succession) but prohibits election to a third term. Service for more than two years of a partial term counts as service for one term.

Mark D. Sickles

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); Governor’s term of office. Permits a Governor elected in 2021 and thereafter to succeed himself in office. The amendment allows two four-year terms (either in succession or not in succession) but prohibits election to a third term. Service for more than two years of a partial term counts as service for one term.

Amanda F. Chase

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); General Assembly; term limits. Limits members of the Senate to three full terms (12 years) and members of the House of Delegates to six full terms (12 years). The limitations apply to service for both consecutive and nonconsecutive terms. Service for a partial term does not preclude serving the allowed number of full terms. The limits apply to terms of service beginning on and after the start of the 2022 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

Adam P. Ebbin

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); Governor’s term of office. Permits a Governor elected in 2021 and thereafter to succeed himself in office. The amendment allows two four-year terms (either in succession or not in succession) but prohibits election to a third term. Service for more than two years of a partial term counts as service for one term.

Tourism

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Terry G. Kilgore

Tourism Development Authority; LENOWISCO and Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commissions. Reorganizes the Tourism Development Authority by increasing board membership and creating tourism advisory committees.

A. Benton Chafin

Tourism Development Authority; LENOWISCO and Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commissions. Reorganizes the Tourism Development Authority by increasing board membership and creating tourism advisory committees.

Transportation

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Bob M. Thomas, Jr.

Statewide prioritization process project selection. Requires the total cost of a transportation project to be considered in evaluating projects under the statewide prioritization process. The bill requires the Commonwealth Transportation Board to evaluate congestion mitigation on the basis of total traffic volumes, not just traffic volumes during weekdays. The bill imposes restrictions on projects receiving funding from the High Priority Projects Program that are evaluated under the statewide prioritization process.

Mark L. Cole

Additional lanes of Interstate 95. Directs the Department of Transportation to immediately commence a transportation project to add an additional lane of travel to that portion of Interstate 95 between Exit 126 in Spotsylvania County and Interstate 495 in both the north-bound and south-bound directions.

Richard P. Bell

Distracted driving; handheld personal communications devices; driving with an animal. Prohibits a vehicle operator from using his hands to use a handheld personal communications device while driving. Current law only prohibits the use of a handheld personal communications device for certain purposes while operating a moving vehicle. The bill exempts any person who is using a radio-based communications device during an emergency or disaster relief operation or who is using a handheld personal communications device to initiate or terminate a telephone call; the bill maintains the current exemptions for any person who is stopped or parked, emergency personnel, and reporting an emergency. The bill also prohibits any person, while operating a moving motor vehicle, to (i) have an animal on his lap, (ii) permit an animal to impede his free access to and use of vehicle controls, or (iii) obstruct his vision.

Christopher E. Collins

Improper driving; handheld communication device. Provides that any person who drives a vehicle on any highway (i) in a negligent manner but does not endanger the life, limb, or property of another or (ii) while using a handheld personal communications device where such use substantially diverts the driver’s attention from the operation of the vehicle is guilty of improper driving. Current law authorizes a court to find a person charged with reckless driving not guilty of reckless driving but guilty of improper driving, which under current law is punishable as a traffic infraction with a fine of not more than $500.

David A. Reid

Toll rate approval by the State Corporation Commission under the Virginia Highway Corporation Act of 1988. Requires the State Corporation Commission to ensure that the cost of operating tolled roadways under the Virginia Highway Corporation Act of 1988 is reasonably apportioned across all users on the basis of the relative distance the user travels on the roadway.

Mark L. Keam

Secretary of Transportation; review of Washington Metrorail Safety Commission Interstate Compact Board membership; report. Directs the Secretary of Transportation to conduct a review of the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission Interstate Compact Board membership provisions.

David E. Yancey

Airport boards and authorities; member qualifications; funding transparency. Requires that any person appointed to an airport board or authority created by a locality or group of localities (i) have a degree from an accredited university or at least five years of related experience in aerospace engineering, air transportation, business administration and management, aviation management, construction management, or facilities management or similar related degree; (ii) have at least five years of relevant experience as a pilot; (iii) be an attorney in good standing with the Virginia Bar Association; or (iv) have a master of business administration degree. The bill requires such airport boards or authorities who receive funding from the Department of Aviation or Virginia Aviation Board to keep records and submit a public report regarding the receipt and disbursement of such funds.

Michael P. Mullin

Improper driving; handheld communication device. Provides that any person who drives a vehicle on any highway (i) in a negligent manner but does not endanger the life, limb, or property of another or (ii) while using a handheld personal communications device where such use substantially diverts the driver’s attention from the operation of the vehicle is guilty of improper driving. Current law authorizes a court to find a person charged with reckless driving not guilty of reckless driving but guilty of improper driving, which under current law is punishable as a traffic infraction with a fine of not more than $500.

Michael P. Mullin

Driving while using handheld personal communications device; penalty. Provides that a person who, as a result of driving while in violation of the prohibition on using handheld personal communications devices in certain vehicles, unintentionally causes the death of another person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter, or aggravated involuntary manslaughter if the defendant’s conduct was so gross, wanton, and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life. The bill establishes the penalty for aggravated involuntary manslaughter as one to 20 years’ imprisonment with a mandatory minimum term of incarceration of one year. The bill creates a Class 6 felony if the driving while in violation of the prohibition on using handheld personal communications devices is so gross, wanton, and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life and results in the unintentional serious bodily injury of another resulting in permanent and significant physical impairment.

Robert S. Bloxom, Jr.

Virginia Waterway Maintenance Fund; Grant Program. Establishes the Virginia Waterway Maintenance Grant Program and Fund, administered by the Virginia Port Authority (the Authority), to provide grants, from funds transferred to the Fund from Commonwealth Port Fund, to local governing bodies that propose certain dredging projects and related activities. The bill directs the Authority to manage the Grant Program by developing guidelines and procedures for the application process and for the awarding of annual grants.

Robert S. Bloxom, Jr.

Driver privilege cards. Authorizes the issuance of new driver privilege cards by the Department of Motor Vehicles to an individual who has (i) reported income from Virginia sources on an individual tax return filed with the Commonwealth in the preceding 12 months and (ii) is not in violation of the insurance requirements of Article 8 (§ 46.2-705 et seq.) (Registration of Uninsured Motor Vehicles) of Chapter 6 of Title 46.2. The bill provides that driver privilege cards shall confer the same privileges and shall be subject to the same provisions as driver’s licenses and permits; however, driver privilege cards shall not (a) confer voting privileges, (b) permit an individual to waive any part of the driver examination, or (c) have their issuance be contingent upon the applicant’s ability to produce proof of legal presence in the United States. The bill provides for the term “driver’s license” to consistently refer to all driver’s licenses, permits, driver privilege cards, and special identification cards issued by the Commonwealth or the comparable law of another jurisdiction. The bill allows the issuance of a limited-duration driver’s license and special identification card to an applicant presenting valid documentary evidence that a federal court or federal agency having jurisdiction over immigration has authorized the applicant to be in the United States for a period of at least 30 days from the date of application. The bill authorizes the Tax Commissioner to provide to the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles information sufficient to verify that an applicant for a driver privilege card or permit has reported income from Virginia sources on an individual tax return filed with the Commonwealth in the preceding 12 months. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2019.

Kathleen Murphy

Department of Transportation to submit a plan for the remediation of the American Legion Bridge. Directs the Department of Transportation to complete the initial design and related assessments for remediating the American Legion Bridge and to submit the design and assessments in a report to the General Assembly in advance of the 2019 Regular Session.

Terry G. Kilgore

Transportation funding in certain areas of the Commonwealth; price floor. Establishes a floor on the 2.1 percent sales tax imposed on motor vehicle fuels sold in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. The average wholesale price of gasoline, as determined by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, on July 1, 2018, shall be the initial floor. If the average wholesale price rises in future determinations, the new higher average will become the floor, until such time as the average wholesale price of gasoline is determined to be equal to or greater than the average wholesale price of gasoline in the Commonwealth on February 20, 2013, which is the date of the floor used for the calculation of the state gasoline tax. After this threshold is met, the average wholesale price used for the calculation of the regional tax will be the same as the average price used to calculate the state tax. The also allocates $40 million annually from the Priority Transportation Fund, after making any required debt service payments, to each of the Salem highway construction district and the Bristol highway construction district. Of the $40 million allocated to the Bristol highway construction district, $30 million each year shall be designated for the construction and completion of U.S. Route 121, the Coalfields Expressway.

Mark H. Levine

Motor vehicle fuels sales tax in certain transportation districts. Provides that the tax that is imposed on the sales price of motor fuel in Northern Virginia shall be imposed on the regional price of gas, defined and computed as a six-month average price of fuel. The tax shall not be imposed on a regional price that is less that a gallon of gasoline on February 20, 2013, nor shall it be imposed a price that is more than $4 per gallon. The bill also raises the rate of taxation of motor fuel in Northern Virginia from 2.1% to 3%.

The bill also changes the regional gas tax in Hampton Roads from a percentage to a cents-per-gallon tax that decreases as the price of gas increases. The regional gas tax in Hampton Roads would have a floor of $0.05 per gallon and a ceiling of $0.14 per gallon and would be determined on the basis of the average wholesale price of unleaded regular gasoline.

Dave A. LaRock

Constitutional amendment (ballot bill); special funds for transportation purposes. Provides for a referendum at the November 6, 2018, general election to approve or reject an amendment to the Constitution that would require the General Assembly to maintain permanent and separate Transportation Funds. The amendment directs that revenues dedicated to Transportation Funds on January 1, 2018, by general law, other than a general appropriation law, shall be deposited to the Transportation Funds, unless the General Assembly by general law, other than a general appropriation law, alters the revenues dedicated to the Funds. The amendment limits the use of Funds moneys to transportation and related purposes. The amendment specifies that the General Assembly may borrow from the Funds for other purposes only by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house and that the loan must be repaid with reasonable interest within four years.

S. Chris Jones

Transportation processes in the Commonwealth; responsibilities of transportation entities; funding. Expands the responsibilities of the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment of the Secretary of Transportation (Office). The bill clarifies the residency requirements for the urban and rural at-large members of the Commonwealth Transportation Board (Board) and provides that no member of a governing body of a locality is eligible to be appointed to the Board during his term of office. The bill provides that the Board’s Six-Year Improvement Program shall only commit funds from the State of Good Repair Program, the High Priority Projects Program, or the Construction District Grant Programs to a project or program if such commitment is sufficient to complete the project or program. The bill expands the requirements of the annual report provided by the Commissioner of Highways and requires the Office to submit an annual report as described in the bill. The bill decreases the maximum matching allocation that the Board may make to a locality from $10 million to $5 million and provides that such funds can be used for the maintenance of highway systems. The bill changes the amount of Commonwealth funds allocated to the Board for revenue-sharing from no less than $15 million and no more than $200 million to not in excess of $100 million or seven percent of funds available for distribution by the Board from all funds made available for highway purposes, whichever is greater.

S. Chris Jones

Motor vehicle fuels sales tax in certain areas of the Commonwealth; price floor. Establishes a floor on the 2.1 percent sales tax imposed on motor vehicle fuels sold in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. The average wholesale price of gasoline, as determined by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, on July 1, 2018, shall be the initial floor. If the average wholesale price rises in future determinations, the new higher average will become the floor, until such time as the average wholesale price of gasoline is determined to be equal to or greater than the average wholesale price of gasoline in the Commonwealth on February 20, 2013, which is the date of the floor used for the calculation of the state gasoline tax. After this threshold is met, the average wholesale price used for the calculation of the regional tax will be the same as the average price used to calculate the state tax.

Nicholas J. Freitas

Evaluation of Department of Transportation projects; impact on real property owners. Creates a method whereby certain real property owners can request an evaluation of a completed Department of Transportation (the Department) project to determine whether the project has created a significant financial burden on such landowners. The bill requires the Department to take certain corrective steps if a project has created such a burden. The bill creates a method by which the requesting landowner can rebut the Department’s findings and bring a civil action against the Department.

Christopher P. Stolle

Motor vehicle fuels sales tax in certain areas of the Commonwealth; price floor. Establishes a floor on the 2.1 percent sales tax imposed on motor vehicle fuels sold in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads by requiring that the average wholesale price upon which the tax is based be no less than the statewide average wholesale price on February 20, 2013.

Elizabeth R. Guzman

Motor vehicle fuels sales tax in certain areas of the Commonwealth; price floor. Establishes a floor on the 2.1 percent sales tax imposed on motor vehicle fuels sold in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads by requiring that the average wholesale price upon which the tax is based be no less than the statewide average wholesale price on February 20, 2013.

Kathy J. Byron

Sales tax revenue allocation; increase amount allocated to discretionary spending for airports. Requires the Aviation Board to, during the second six months of each fiscal year, allocate certain funds from the Commonwealth Airport Fund to all eligible airports on a discretionary basis, except airports owned or leased by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Current law provides a structure whereby such funds are split between air carrier and reliever airports and general aviation airports. The bill retains this existing structure for the first six months of each fiscal year.

Steve E. Heretick

Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995; Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002; affected local jurisdictions and public entities; consideration of economic impact. Requires a private entity requesting approval to develop and operate a qualifying transportation facility under the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 or a qualifying project under the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 to include an economic impact analysis identifying any potentially adverse economic or revenue impacts that a potential comprehensive agreement may have on all affected local jurisdictions. The bill further requires that affected local jurisdictions be given reasonable opportunity to consult with the parties concerning the nature and scope of the impacts and regarding measures that may be taken to avoid or mitigate the impacts or make the agreement revenue-neutral. The bill directs each responsible public entity to certify compliance with the review of the economic impact analysis provisions.

Eileen Filler-Corn

Motor vehicle fuels sales tax; price floor. Provides that the 2.1% tax that is imposed on the sales price of motor fuel in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads shall be imposed on the regional price of gas, defined and computed as the six-month average price of fuel, for each region. The regional price used to calculate the tax shall not be less than the average statewide price of a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline on February 20, 2013.

M. Keith Hodges

Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority; purpose. Authorizes the Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority (the Authority) to receive and expend public funds and private donations and apply for permits in order to perform dredging projects on waterways and construct facilities and infrastructure within the region for which the Authority exists. The bill requires such projects to enhance recreational or commercial public access.

M. Keith Hodges

Chesapeake Bay public water access authorities; regional dredging. Authorizes the Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority and the Northern Neck Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority to undertake dredging projects and authorizes those public access authorities and the Eastern Shore Water Access Authority, which currently is empowered to undertake dredging projects, to work together in any combination to undertake dredging projects in any of their jurisdictions.

Mark D. Sickles

Commuter Rail Operating and Capital Fund. Establishes the Commuter Rail Operating and Capital Fund to be used by the Director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, with the approval of the Commonwealth Transportation Board, on projects that expand and improve commuter rail service.

Todd E. Pillion

Virginia Coalfields Expressway Authority; powers and duties; grants. Authorizes the Virginia Coalfields Expressway Authority to apply for and accept grants and gifts to carry out its powers and duties.

Terry G. Kilgore

Commonwealth Transportation Board prioritization process; factors considered in Bristol and Salem Highway Construction Districts. Provides that for the purposes of prioritizing projects in the Bristol Highway Construction District or the Salem Highway Construction District, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (Board) shall consider (i) the relative importance of secondary highways in such districts and (ii) only the following other factors: economic development, accessibility, and safety. Current law requires the Board to consider congestion mitigation, economic development, accessibility, safety, and environmental quality when prioritizing projects in all districts.

Jennifer B. Boysko

Driver privilege cards. Authorizes the issuance of new driver privilege cards by the Department of Motor Vehicles to an individual who has (i) reported income from Virginia sources on an individual tax return filed with the Commonwealth in the preceding 12 months and (ii) is not in violation of the insurance requirements of Article 8 (§ 46.2-705 et seq.) (Registration of Uninsured Motor Vehicles) of Chapter 6 of Title 46.2. The bill provides that driver privilege cards shall confer the same privileges and shall be subject to the same provisions as driver’s licenses and permits; however, driver privilege cards shall not (a) confer voting privileges, (b) permit an individual to waive any part of the driver examination, or (c) have their issuance be contingent upon the applicant’s ability to produce proof of legal presence in the United States. The bill provides for the term “driver’s license” to consistently refer to all driver’s licenses, permits, driver privilege cards, and special identification cards issued by the Commonwealth or the comparable law of another jurisdiction. The bill allows the issuance of a limited-duration driver’s license and special identification card to an applicant presenting valid documentary evidence that a federal court or federal agency having jurisdiction over immigration has authorized the applicant to be in the United States for a period of at least 30 days from the date of application. The bill authorizes the Tax Commissioner to provide to the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles information sufficient to verify that an applicant for a driver privilege card or permit reported income from Virginia sources on an individual tax return filed with the Commonwealth in the preceding 12 months. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2019.

Richard C. Sullivan, Jr.

Mass transit in the Commonwealth. Makes numerous changes to the administration of and revenues for mass transit in the Commonwealth, specifically as it relates to the membership and funding of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the disbursement of funds in the Commonwealth Mass Transit Fund, and the authority of the Commonwealth Transportation Board to issue bonds for transit capital. The bill sets a floor on the average price of fuel used to calculate the regional motor sales tax as the price of gas on February 20, 2013, the same floor that is used to calculate the state fuels tax. The bill also raises the regional congestion relief fee and the regional transient occupancy tax in the Northern Virginia region to raise additional revenues for mass transit.

Robert M. Thomas, Jr.

Motor vehicle fuels sales tax in certain areas of the Commonwealth; price floor. Establishes a floor on the 2.1 percent sales tax imposed on motor vehicle fuels sold in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. The average wholesale price of gasoline, as determined by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, on July 1, 2018, shall be the initial floor. If the average wholesale price rises in future determinations, the new higher average will become the floor, until such time as the average wholesale price of gasoline is determined to be equal to or greater than the average wholesale price of gasoline in the Commonwealth on February 20, 2013, which is the date of the floor used for the calculation of the state gasoline tax. After this threshold is met, the average wholesale price used for the calculation of the regional tax will be the same as the average price used to calculate the state tax.

Hala S. Ayala

Hands-free operation of handheld personal communications devices in motor vehicles; exceptions. Expands the prohibition on using a handheld personal communications device while operating a motor vehicle to all communications unless the device is specifically designed to allow voice and hands-free operation and the device is being used in that manner. The bill provides that if such device is mounted to the dashboard of the vehicle it shall not obscure the driver’s view of any portion of the windshield other than specifically allowed. Current law prohibits only the reading of an email or text message and manually entering letters or text in the device as a means of communicating. The bill expands the exemptions to include handheld personal communications devices that are used (i) for navigation or generating audio transmissions when the device is physically mounted to the vehicle or (ii) by an operator who activates, deactivates, or initiates a factory-installed feature or function on the vehicle and removes the exemption for an operator who is lawfully parked or stopped.

John J. Bell

Study; Department of Transportation; purchase of the Dulles Greenway; report. Requests the Department of Transportation to study the feasibility of purchasing all or part of the Dulles Greenway.

Steve E. Heretick

Study; JLARC to study reduction or elimination of tolls on Midtown and Downtown Tunnels in Hampton Roads; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the feasibility of reducing or eliminating tolls on the Midtown and Downtown Tunnels in Hampton Roads.

Dave A. LaRock

Constitutional amendment (second resolution); Transportation Funds. Requires the General Assembly to maintain permanent and separate Transportation Funds to include the Commonwealth Transportation Fund, Transportation Trust Fund, Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund, and other funds established by general law for transportation. The amendment directs that revenues dedicated to Transportation Funds on January 1, 2018, by general law, other than a general appropriation law, shall be deposited to the Transportation Funds, unless the General Assembly by general law, other than a general appropriation law, alters the revenues dedicated to the Funds. The amendment limits the use of Funds moneys to transportation and related purposes. The amendment specifies that the General Assembly may borrow from the Funds for other purposes only by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house and that the loan must be repaid with reasonable interest within four years.

Jennifer Carroll Foy

Study; Department of Rail and Public Transportation; improved transportation services; report. Requests that the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (the Department) identify and recommend potential public transportation services from the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station to Marine Corps Base Quantico in Prince William and Stafford Counties and study the feasibility of extending the Blue Line and other multimodal options such as bus rapid transit along Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1. The Department shall report on its findings and recommendations on the first day of the 2019 and 2020 Regular Sessions of the General Assembly.

Matthew James

Study; JLARC; impact of state-owned ports on local governments; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to review and update its 1999 study entitled “Review of the Impact of State-Owned Ports on Local Governments.”

Danica A. Roem

Study; Department of Transportation; commuter rail system in the Commonwealth; report. Requests the Department of Transportation to study and develop best practices for constructing, operating, and maintaining a commuter rail system in the Commonwealth.

Danica A. Roem

Study; Department of Transportation to study State Route 28; report. Requests that the Department of Transportation study the feasibility of implementing improvements to State Route 28 in Prince William County between the City of Manassas Park and Fairfax County.

Jennifer B. Boysko

Study; Department of Transportation; feasibility of a statewide dig once policy; report. Requests the Department of Transportation to study the feasibility of a statewide dig once policy, including the installation of conduits with bridge construction projects. In conducting its study, the Department shall examine the feasibility of a blanket policy for all nine of its districts and shall consult various stakeholders, such as the Virginia Broadband Advisory Council, the Center for Innovative Technology, telecommunication and cable providers, and utility providers.

Israel D. O'Quinn

Study; joint subcommittee to study adding additional lanes on Interstate 81 between Wytheville and Bristol; report. Establishes a joint subcommittee to study the feasibility of adding additional lanes on Interstate 81 between Wytheville and Bristol.

J. Chapman Petersen

Motor vehicle fuels sales tax in certain transportation districts; price floor. Establishes a floor on the 2.1 percent tax imposed on motor vehicle fuels sold in Northern Virginia by requiring that the average wholesale price upon which the tax is based be no less than the statewide average sales price on February 20, 2013

Steve E. Heretick

Study; JLARC; impact of state-owned ports on local governments; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to review and update its 1999 study entitled “Review of the Impact of State-Owned Ports on Local Governments.”

William M. Stanley, Jr.

Interstate 73 Corridor Development Fund and Program. Establishes the Interstate 73 Corridor Development Fund and Program and reallocates to the I-73 Fund the $40 million from state recordation taxes that is currently allocated annually to the U.S. Route 58 Corridor Development Fund and Program. All provisions of the bill are contingent upon construction of and payments for Route 58 being completed.

John A. Cosgrove, Jr.

Overweight permits for hauling Virginia-grown farm produce; bridges and culverts. Provides that no vehicle issued an overweight permit for hauling Virginia-grown farm produce, regardless of the vehicle’s axle weights or axle spacing, shall cross any bridge or culvert in the Commonwealth if the gross weight of such vehicle is greater than the amount posted for the bridge or culvert as its carrying capacity. Current law requires specific weight limitations based upon axle weights or axle spacing.

Scott A. Surovell

Use of handheld personal communications devices while driving. Expands the prohibition on using a handheld personal communications device while operating a motor vehicle to all communications unless the device is specifically designed to allow voice and hands-free operation and the device is being used in that manner. Current law prohibits only the reading of an email or text message and manually entering letters or text in the device as a means of communicating. The bill expands the exemptions to include handheld personal communications devices that are used (i) for navigation or generating audio transmissions when the device is physically mounted to the vehicle, (ii) as a citizens band radio, (iii) by federally licensed amateur radio operators under certain circumstances, or (iv) by an operator who activates, deactivates, or initiates a factory-installed feature or function on the vehicle.

L. Louise Lucas

Virginia Casino Gaming Commission; regulation of casino gaming; penalties. Creates the Virginia Casino Gaming Commission (the Commission) as the licensing body for casino gaming. The bill specifies the licensing requirements for casino gaming and imposes penalties for violations of the casino gaming law. Casino gaming shall be limited to localities that have passed a referendum on the question of allowing casino gaming in the locality. The bill also requires the Commission to establish a voluntary exclusion program allowing persons to voluntarily exclude themselves from the gaming areas of facilities under the jurisdiction of the Commission. In addition, the bill establishes the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund administered by the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to provide counseling and other support services for compulsive and problem gamblers, develop problem gambling treatment and prevention programs, and provide grants to supporting organizations that provide assistance to compulsive gamblers. The bill requires proceeds of the gross receipts tax and admission tax imposed on casino gaming operators to be paid as follows: (i) one percent into the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, (ii) 10 percent to the locality in which the casino gaming operation is located, and (iii) 89 percent into the Toll Mitigation Fund, which shall be used to mitigate the tolls established to support construction and maintenance of the Dominion Boulevard Bridge and Roadway Improvement Project and the Downtown Tunnel/Midtown Tunnel/Martin Luther King Freeway Extension Project.

L. Louise Lucas

Lottery Board; regulation of casino gaming; penalties. Authorizes casino gaming in the Commonwealth to be regulated by the Virginia Lottery Board (the Board). The bill specifies the licensing requirements for casino gaming and imposes penalties for violations of the casino gaming law. Casino gaming shall be limited to localities that have passed a referendum on the question of allowing a casino gaming establishment in the locality. The bill requires the Board to establish and implement a voluntary exclusion program allowing individuals to voluntarily list themselves as being barred from entering a casino gaming establishment or other facility under the jurisdiction of the Board. In addition, the bill establishes the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund administered by the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to provide counseling and other support services for compulsive and problem gamblers, develop problem gambling treatment and prevention programs, and provide grants to supporting organizations that provide assistance to compulsive gamblers. The bill requires proceeds of the gross receipts tax and admission tax imposed on casino gaming operators to be paid as follows: (i) one percent into the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, (ii) 10 percent to the locality in which the casino gaming operation is located, and (iii) 89 percent into the Toll Mitigation Fund, which shall be used to mitigate the tolls established to support construction and maintenance of the Dominion Boulevard Bridge and Roadway Improvement Project and the Downtown Tunnel/Midtown Tunnel/Martin Luther King Freeway Extension Project.

J. Chapman Petersen

Use of certain revenues by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. Allows revenues of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority distributed to localities to be used, as determined solely by the applicable locality, to fund new sidewalk projects that reduce congestion.

John S. Edwards

Commonwealth Transportation Board; factors for project selection. Requires travel time reliability to be one of the factors used by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in its statewide prioritization process for project selection.

Richard H. Stuart

Statewide prioritization process project selection. Requires the total cost of a transportation project to be considered in evaluating projects under the statewide prioritization process. The bill requires the Commonwealth Transportation Board to evaluate congestion mitigation on the basis of total traffic volumes, not just traffic volumes during weekdays. The bill imposes restrictions on projects receiving funding from the High Priority Projects Program that are evaluated under the statewide prioritization process.

George L. Barker

Motor vehicle fuels sales tax in certain areas of the Commonwealth; price floor. Establishes a floor on the 2.1 percent sales tax imposed on motor vehicle fuels sold in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads by requiring that the average wholesale price upon which the tax is based be no less than the statewide average wholesale price on February 20, 2013.

Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr.

Constitutional amendment (ballot bill); special funds for transportation purposes. Provides for a referendum at the November 6, 2018, general election to approve or reject an amendment to the Constitution that would require the General Assembly to maintain permanent and separate Transportation Funds. The amendment directs that revenues dedicated to Transportation Funds on January 1, 2018, by general law, other than a general appropriation law, shall be deposited to the Transportation Funds, unless the General Assembly by general law, other than a general appropriation law, alters the revenues dedicated to the Funds. The amendment limits the use of Funds moneys to transportation and related purposes. The amendment specifies that the General Assembly may borrow from the Funds for other purposes only by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house and that the loan must be repaid with reasonable interest within four years.

Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.

Western Virginia Transportation Fund; revenues. Creates the Western Virginia Transportation Fund (Fund), to be used by the Commonwealth Transportation Board to fund priority transportation projects in Planning Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. The bill imposes an additional 2.1 percent tax on motor vehicle fuels in the counties and cities in such planning districts to generate revenue for the Fund.

Scott A. Surovell

Driver privilege cards. Authorizes the issuance of new driver privilege cards by the Department of Motor Vehicles to an individual who has (i) reported income from Virginia sources on an individual tax return filed with the Commonwealth in the preceding 12 months and (ii) is not in violation of the insurance requirements of Article 8 (§ 46.2-705 et seq.) (Registration of Uninsured Motor Vehicles) of Chapter 6 of Title 46.2. The bill provides that driver privilege cards shall confer the same privileges and shall be subject to the same provisions as driver’s licenses and permits; however, driver privilege cards shall not (a) confer voting privileges, (b) permit an individual to waive any part of the driver examination, or (c) have their issuance be contingent upon the applicant’s ability to produce proof of legal presence in the United States. The bill provides for the term “driver’s license” to consistently refer to all driver’s licenses, permits, driver privilege cards, and special identification cards issued by the Commonwealth or the comparable law of another jurisdiction. The bill allows the issuance of a limited-duration driver’s license and special identification card to an applicant presenting valid documentary evidence that a federal court or federal agency having jurisdiction over immigration has authorized the applicant to be in the United States for a period of at least 30 days from the date of application. The bill authorizes the Tax Commissioner to provide to the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles information sufficient to verify that an applicant for a driver privilege card or permit reported income from Virginia sources on an individual tax return filed with the Commonwealth in the preceding 12 months. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2019.

Scott A. Surovell

Local transportation plan; secondary system road construction program allocation; undergrounding utilities. Provides that if the adopted local transportation plan designates corridors planned to be served by mass transit, a portion of its allocation from the secondary system road construction program may be used for the purpose of utility undergrounding in the planned corridor, if the locality matches 100 percent of the state allocation.

Richard H. Stuart

Commuter Rail Operating and Capital Fund. Establishes the Commuter Rail Operating and Capital Fund to be used by the Director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, with the approval of the Commonwealth Transportation Board, on projects that expand and improve commuter rail service.

L. Louise Lucas

Study; JLARC; impact of state-owned ports on local governments; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to review and update its 1999 study entitled “Review of the Impact of State-Owned Ports on Local Governments.”

Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr.

Constitutional amendment (second resolution); Transportation Funds. Requires the General Assembly to maintain permanent and separate Transportation Funds to include the Commonwealth Transportation Fund, Transportation Trust Fund, Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund, and other funds established by general law for transportation. The amendment directs that revenues dedicated to Transportation Funds on January 1, 2018, by general law, other than a general appropriation law, shall be deposited to the Transportation Funds, unless the General Assembly by general law, other than a general appropriation law, alters the revenues dedicated to the Funds. The amendment limits the use of Funds moneys to transportation and related purposes. The amendment specifies that the General Assembly may borrow from the Funds for other purposes only by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house and that the loan must be repaid with reasonable interest within four years.

Unemployment Insurance

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Sam Rasoul

Unemployment compensation; wage offset. Provides that the weekly unemployment benefit to which an eligible individual is entitled shall be reduced on a dollar-for-dollar basis by any wages in excess of $100 that the individual earns in that week. Currently such benefit is reduced dollar-for-dollar by wages in excess of $50 earned in a week.

Nicholas J. Freitas

Unemployment insurance tax reports and payments; filing. Requires the Department of Taxation to include on the its tax portal the ability for taxpayers to file unemployment insurance tax reports and pay unemployment insurance taxes through the same means used for other business tax filings.

Karrie K. Delaney

Unemployment compensation; penalty for failure to file reports. Increases the penalty, from $75 to $300, that the Virginia Employment Commission is required to assess an employer who fails to file a report required under Title 60.2 (Unemployment Compensation) with respect to wages or taxes.

Christopher T. Head

Unemployment compensation; overtime compensation. Excludes from the definition of wages any part of the individual’s remuneration paid as overtime compensation required by § 207 of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The exclusion applies only for purposes of computing the weekly benefit amount based on an individual’s earned wages for insured work subsequent to December 31, 2018.

Workers Compensation

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Gregory D. Habeeb

Workers’ compensation; Uninsured Employer’s Fund; financing tax. Repeals an enactment clause that provides that the maximum tax rate that may be assessed on uninsured or self-insured employers for the purpose of funding workers’ compensation benefits that are awarded against such employers from the Uninsured Employer’s Fund will revert from 0.5 percent to 0.25 percent on July 1, 2018. Repealing the enactment will maintain the maximum rate at its current level of 0.5 percent.

John J. Bell

Workers’ compensation; disease presumptions; correctional officers. Adds correctional officers to the list of public safety employees who are entitled to a presumption that hypertension and heart disease and certain infectious diseases are occupational diseases compensable under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act.

Terry G. Kilgore

Workers’ Compensation Commission; quorum. Provides that the commissioners of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, for purposes of constituting a quorum, shall include any deputy commissioner or retired commissioner who is appointed or recalled, respectively, to fill a vacancy on the Commission.

Elizabeth R. Guzman

Workers’ compensation; audits. Prohibits an insurer or its agent or employee from conducting an audit, inspection, or other review at the insured employer’s premises unless accompanied by and under the supervision of an employee of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, or unless the employer consents.

Lee J. Carter

Workers’ compensation; retaliatory discharge of employee. Prohibits an employer or other person from discharging an employee if the discharge is motivated to any extent by knowledge or belief that the employee has filed a claim or taken or intends to take certain other actions under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. Currently, retaliatory discharges are prohibited only if the employer or other person discharged an employee solely because the employee has taken or intends to take such an action.

Lee J. Carter

Workers’ compensation; employer to notify employee of intent. Requires an employer whose employee has filed a claim under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act to advise the employee whether the employer intends to accept or deny the claim. If the employer is unable to make such a determination because it lacks sufficient information from the employee, the employer shall so state and identify the needed additional information. If the employer intends to deny the claim, it shall provide the reasons.

Lee J. Carter

Workers’ compensation; foreign injuries. Provides that an injured employee is eligible for benefits under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act when a compensable accident happens while the employee is employed outside Virginia if (i) the employment contract was not expressly for services exclusively to be performed outside Virginia and (ii) either the employer’s place of business is in Virginia or the employee regularly performs work on the employer’s behalf in Virginia.

David A. Reid

Workers’ compensation; presumption of compensability for certain diseases. Adds cancers of the colon, brain, or testes to the list of cancers that are presumed to be an occupational disease covered by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act when firefighters and certain employees develop the cancer. The measure removes the compensability requirement that the employee who develops cancer had contact with a toxic substance encountered in the line of duty.

Gregory D. Habeeb

Workers’ compensation; proof of coverage information. Removes the provision that prevents the Workers’ Compensation Commission from aggregating proof of coverage information filed with the Commission by an insurance carrier or rate service organization on behalf of an employer with the proof of coverage information filed by or on behalf of other employers.

Gregory D. Habeeb

Workers’ Compensation; employer’s liability for medical services provided outside of the Commonwealth. Clarifies that the “medical community,” when referring to providers of medical services rendered under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act outside of the Commonwealth, shall be determined by the zip code of the principal place of business of the employer if located in the Commonwealth. If the employer’s principal place of business is not in the Commonwealth, then it shall be determined by the zip code of the location where the Workers’ Compensation Commission would conduct its hearing regarding a dispute concerning the medical services.

Glenn R. Davis

Workers’ compensation; statutory employers; exclusions. Provides that a person, including an owner, contractor, or subcontractor, who contracts with another person to perform work is not required to insure payment of workers’ compensation benefits to the subcontractor, and is not liable for any injury sustained by the other person, if the person is not an employer subject to the compensation provisions of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act or otherwise required to insure the payment of compensation to the subcontractor’s employees.

Timothy D. Hugo

Workers’ compensation; presumption of compensability for certain diseases. Adds cancers of the colon, brain, or testes to the list of cancers that are presumed to be an occupational disease covered by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act when firefighters and certain employees develop the cancer. The measure removes the compensability requirement that the employee who develops cancer had contact with a toxic substance encountered in the line of duty.

Mark J. Peake

Workers’ compensation; presumption of compensability for certain diseases. Adds lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and cancers of the colon, brain, and testes to the list of cancers that are presumed to be an occupational disease covered by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act when firefighters and certain employees develop them. The measure also reduces, from 12 years to five years, the minimum number of years of continuous service that such firefighters and other employees are required to have completed in order to qualify for the presumption that such a condition is an occupational disease suffered in the line of duty.

Jeremy S. McPike

Workers’ compensation; presumption of compensability for certain diseases. Adds colon cancer to the list of cancers that are presumed to be an occupational disease covered by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act when firefighters and certain employees develop the cancer. The measure removes the compensability requirement that the employee who develops cancer had contact with a toxic substance encountered in the line of duty.