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.

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 Ms. Ryan Fierst, Public Policy Director and Legislative Counsel at 804-237-1459 or r.fierst@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
Jones

Budget Bill. Amends Chapter 780, 2016 Acts of Assembly.

Jones

Budget amendment Item 475 #3h. Report on Pharmacy Claims.

Jones

Budget amendment Item 4-1.01 #1h. Reporting of Federal Grants.

Jones

Budget amendment Item 109 #6h. Restore funding to the regional economic development activities of the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board.

Jones

Budget amendment Item 116 #1c. Additional funding for the Virginia Occupational Safety & Health Voluntary Protection Program and the Office of Consultation Services.

Jones

Budget amendment Item 4-8.03 #1c. Establishes a system to monitor potential fiscal distress among local governments and provides a mechanism for potential state and private sector assistance.

Jones

Budget amendment Item 436 #1c. Prohibit state and local governments from mandating PLAs on PPTA Projects.

Norment

Budget Bill. Amends Chapter 780, 2016 Acts of Assembly.

Norment

Budget amendment Item 4-8.02 #1s. Reporting of Federal Grants.

Norment

Budget amendment Item 109 #1s. Restore funding to the regional economic development activities of the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board.

Economic Development

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
James

Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority; site and building assessment program; minimum size of industrial sites. Lowers the minimum size of industrial sites that may be included in the Authority’s site and building assessment program from 250 acres to 100 acres. The bill contains a technical amendment.

Landes

Creation of economic revitalization zones in counties. Grants counties authority to create economic revitalization zones. The zones shall be for the purpose of providing incentives to private entities to purchase real property and interests in real property to assemble parcels suitable for economic development. Each county establishing an economic revitalization zone may grant incentives and provide regulatory flexibility. This authority currently exists for cities.

Hanger

Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority; site and building assessment program; minimum size of industrial sites. Lowers the minimum size of industrial sites that may be included in the Authority’s site and building assessment program from 250 acres to 100 acres. The bill contains a technical amendment.

Education and Workforce

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

Virginia Virtual School established. Establishes the Board of the Virginia Virtual School (the Board) as a policy agency in the executive branch of state government for the purpose of governing the full-time virtual school programs offered to students enrolled in the Virginia Virtual School (the School). The Secretary of Education is responsible for such agency. The 14-member Board is given operational control of the School and assigned powers and duties. Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, the bill requires the School to be open to any school-age person in the Commonwealth and to provide an educational program meeting the Standards of Quality for grades kindergarten through 12, with a maximum enrollment of 5,000 students statewide. The bill requires the average state share of Standards of Quality per pupil funding for each enrolled student to be transferred to the School.

Bulova

Local school boards; student and parent notification; career and technical education programs. Requires each local school board to implement a plan to notify students and their parents of the availability of career and technical education programs.

Greason

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; collection and publication of wage data and the Virginia Longitudinal Data System. Authorizes the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (Council) to publish data on the proportion of graduates of each public institution of higher education and each nonprofit private institution of higher education eligible to participate in the Tuition Assistance Grant Program who are employed at 18 months and five years after the date of graduation. The bill directs that the data include the program and the program level, as recognized by the Council, for each degree awarded by each institution; the percentage of graduates known to be employed in the Commonwealth; the average salary and the average higher education-related debt for the graduates on which the data is based; rates of enrollment in remedial coursework for each institution; individual student credit accumulation for each institution; rates of postsecondary degree completion; and any other information that the Council determines is necessary to address adequate preparation for success in postsecondary education and alignment between secondary and postsecondary education. The bill requires each such institution of higher education to provide a link to such published postsecondary education and employment data.

The bill also requires the Council to administer the Virginia Longitudinal Data System as a multiagency partnership for the purposes of developing educational, health, social service, and employment outcome data; improving the efficacy of state services; and aiding decision making.

Filler-Corn

Board of Education; standards of accreditation; industry certification credentials obtained by high school students. Requires the Board of Education to include in the student outcome measures included in the standards of accreditation the number of industry certification credentials, as defined in relevant law, obtained by high school students.

Greason

School Divisions of Innovation. Requires the Board to promulgate regulations for the designation of School Divisions of Innovation in which the local school board in the local school division so designated shall, pursuant to a plan of innovation, be exempted from certain regulatory and statutory provisions and be permitted to adopt alternative policies for school administrators, teachers, and staff to meet the diverse needs of students and to improve student learning; educational performance; and college, career, and citizenship readiness skills in each school in the local school division.

Byron

Virginia Board of Workforce Development. Revises the composition of the Virginia Board of Workforce Development (Board) to conform to requirements of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The measure also (i) specifies that funding for a full-time Executive Director position shall be provided by Title I of the WIOA and (ii) replaces a requirement that industry credentials that align with high-demand occupations shall include the Career Readiness Certificate with the requirement that such industry credentials include a credential that determines career readiness.

Landes

Board of Education; membership. Requires at least two of the nine members of the Board of Education to represent business and industry in the private sector in the Commonwealth.

Landes
Obenshain

Public schools; regional charter school divisions. Authorizes the Board of Education (Board) to establish regional charter school divisions consisting of two or more existing school divisions in regions in which one or more of the underlying school divisions have an enrollment of more than 3,000 students and 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 the state share of Standards of Quality per pupil funding of the underlying school district in which the public charter school is physically located transferred to such school.

Dunnavant

Virginia Virtual School established. Establishes the Board of the Virginia Virtual School (the Board) as a policy agency in the executive branch of state government for the purpose of governing the full-time virtual school programs offered to students enrolled in the Virginia Virtual School (the School). The Secretary of Education is responsible for such agency. The 14-member Board is given operational control of the School and assigned powers and duties. Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, the bill requires the School to be open to any school-age person in the Commonwealth and to provide an educational program meeting the Standards of Quality for grades kindergarten through 12, with a maximum enrollment of 5,000 students statewide. The bill requires the average state share of Standards of Quality per pupil funding for each enrolled student to be transferred to the School.

Energy

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Kilgore
Chafin

Electric utilities; costs of pumped hydroelectricity generation and storage facilities. Authorizes an investor-owned electric utility to petition the State Corporation Commission for approval of a rate adjustment clause for recovery of the costs of one or more pumped hydroelectricity generation and storage facilities that utilize renewable energy as all or a portion of their power source and are located in the coalfield region of the Commonwealth. The measure provides that the requirement that a utility demonstrate that it has considered and weighed alternative options, including third-party market alternatives, in its selection process does not apply to these generation and storage facilities. The construction of these generation and storage facilities is declared to be in the public interest, and in determining whether to approve such facility, the Commission is directed to liberally construe the provisions of Title 56.

Habeeb
Stanley

Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line. Provides that the issuance by the State Corporation Commission of a certificate of public convenience and necessity for construction of an electrical transmission line of 138 kilovolts and any associated facilities shall be deemed to satisfy local comprehensive plan requirements and all local zoning ordinances with respect to the transmission line and associated facilities. The measure defines “associated facilities” as including any station, substation, transition station,and switchyard facilities to be constructed in association with the 138 kilovolt transmission line.

Petersen

Electric utility regulation; suspension of reviews of earnings; Transitional Rate Period. Provides that the Transitional Rate Period will conclude on the date the carbon emission guidelines for existing electric power generation facilities that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued pursuant to § 111(d) of the federal Clean Air Act are withdrawn, repealed, found to be invalid or unenforceable, or otherwise barred from being implemented, if that date precedes the date when the Transitional Rate Period is scheduled to conclude under existing law. Pursuant to legislation enacted in 2015, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) is barred from conducting a biennial review of the rates, terms, and conditions for any service of these electric utilities during the Transitional Rate Period. Under existing law, the Transitional Rate Period is scheduled to conclude on December 31, 2017, for Appalachian Power and on December 31, 2019, for Dominion Virginia Power.

Environment

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Knight

Management of menhaden. Requires the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to adopt regulations to implement the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden and authorizes the Commission to adopt regulations for managing the Commonwealth’s menhaden fishery. The bill also requires that any moratorium on the fishery be subject to legislative review. The bill repeals several Code sections relating to quotas, allocation of allowable landings, and administrative procedures that will be included in a regulatory framework for managing the fishery.

Villanueva
Locke

Virginia Alternative Energy and Coastal Protection Act. Requires the Governor to seek to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or other carbon trading program with an open auction of carbon allowances. The Department of Environmental Quality is directed to establish a carbon dioxide cap and trade program to reduce emissions released by electric generation stations. The revenues from the sale of carbon allowances are to be deposited in the Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund, a revolving fund established in 2016 for the purposes of mitigating future flood damage and creating a low-interest loan program to help residents and businesses that are subject to recurrent flooding.

Bulova

Study; Secretary of Natural Resources and Secretary of Education; environmental education; report. Requests that the Secretary of Natural Resources and the Secretary of Education convene and consult with a group of stakeholders to study the delivery of environmental education in the Commonwealth in light of the elimination of all staff positions within the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Office of Environmental Education and the elimination, transfer, and reduction of many of such office’s functions.

Cosgrove

Management of menhaden. Requires the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to adopt regulations to implement the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic menhaden and authorizes the Commission to adopt regulations for managing the Commonwealth’s menhaden fishery. The bill also requires that any moratorium on the fishery be subject to legislative review. Several existing codified provisions relating quotas, allocation of allowable landings, and administrative procedures are repealed and will be included in a regulatory framework for managing the fishery.

Lewis

Virginia Alternative Energy and Coastal Protection Act. Requires the Governor to seek to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or other carbon trading program with an open auction of carbon allowances. The Department of Environmental Quality is directed to establish a carbon dioxide cap and trade program to reduce emissions released by electric generation stations. The revenues from the sale of carbon allowances are to be deposited in the Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund, a revolving fund established in 2016 for the purposes of mitigating future flood damage and creating a low-interest loan program to help residents and businesses that are subject to recurrent flooding.

General Business

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Heretick

Relocation of call centers to a foreign country. 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. An employer that fails to do so is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed an amount of $10,000 for each day of the violation. 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 guaranteed by the state, or any tax credit or reduction in tax liability and (ii) required to remit the unamortized value of such grants, loans, or tax benefits, or any other governmental support the employer has previously received, to the Secretary. 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. Finally, the measure requires that, to the extent permitted, (a) state contractors who perform state business-related call center and customer service work outside the Commonwealth under an existing contract perform such work entirely within the Commonwealth by July 1, 2019, and (b) any new customer service employees hired to work under an existing contract be employed within the Commonwealth.

Petersen

Prohibited contributions to candidates. Prohibits any candidate to the General Assembly or statewide office from soliciting or accepting campaign contributions from a public service corporation.

Healthcare

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Leftwich

Health insurance; assignment of benefits. Prohibits insurers issuing 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, health maintenance organizations providing health care plans for health care services, and dental services plans offering or administering prepaid dental services from refusing to accept assignments of benefits executed by covered individuals in favor of health care providers and hospitals. The measure defines an assignment of benefits as the transfer of health care coverage reimbursement benefits or other rights under an insurance policy, subscription contract, or health care plan by an insured, subscriber, or plan enrollee to a health care provider or hospital.

Wagner

Health insurance; assignment of benefits. Prohibits insurers issuing 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, health maintenance organizations providing health care plans for health care services, and dental services plans offering or administering prepaid dental services from refusing to accept assignments of benefits executed by covered individuals in favor of health care providers and hospitals. The measure defines an assignment of benefits as the transfer of health care coverage reimbursement benefits or other rights under an insurance policy, subscription contract, or health care plan by an insured, subscriber, or plan enrollee to a health care provider or hospital.

Labor and Employment

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Head

Employees; franchisees excluded. Clarifies that neither a franchisee nor any employee of the franchisee shall be deemed to be an employee of the franchisee’s franchisor for any purpose to which the amended section of the Code of Virginia applies, notwithstanding any voluntary agreement between the U.S. Department of Labor and the franchisee.

Rasoul

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, 2017, to $12.50 per hour effective July 1, 2019, and to $15.00 per hour effective July 1, 2021, unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Ward

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.

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, 2018, unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Effective January 1, 2020, 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.

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 Insurance Leave 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, 2018.

Boysko

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) seeking 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.

Torian

Employment; abusive work environment. Prohibits an employer from (i) permitting an employee to be subjected to an abusive work environment, (ii) subjecting an employee to an abusive work environment, or (iii) retaliating against an employee because the employee brings or participates in an action, investigation, or proceeding related to the abusive work environment. The measure also prohibits the employer’s agent or a coworker from subjecting an employee to an abusive work environment. The bill defines “abusive work environment” as a workplace in which an employee is subjected to abusive conduct severe enough to cause physical or psychological harm. The bill provides that an aggrieved employee may bring a private cause of action. In such a proceeding, the court may order injunctive relief; reinstatement; removal of any offending party from the employee’s work environment; compensation for lost wages, benefits, and other remuneration; compensation for medical costs and emotional duress; punitive damages; and reasonable costs and attorney fees. Punitive damages are not allowed if the violation does not include an adverse employment action against the employee or result in lost work time, earnings, or other benefits.

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.

Krizek

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

Simon

Minimum wage. Increases the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $11 per hour effective July 1, 2017, and to $15 per hour effective July 1, 2019, unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Effective July 1. 2020, the minimum wage shall be adjusted annually to reflect the increase in the Consumer Price Index over the most recent calendar year. The measure also provides that the Virginia minimum wage applies to persons whose employment is covered by the FLSA.

Marsden

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, 2017, to $9.00 per hour effective July 1, 2018, to $10.10 per hour effective July 1, 2019, and to $11.25 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 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.

Wexton

Paid sick days for employees; civil penalties. Requires private employers to give to each full-time employee paid sick days. Paid sick days would accrue at a rate of no less than one hour for every 50 hours worked in 2018 or, if an employer commences operations in 2018 or thereafter, in the employer’s first year of operations. In subsequent years, paid sick days would accrue at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked. An employee would be entitled to use accrued sick days beginning on the ninetieth calendar day of employment. The bill would require an employer to provide paid sick days, 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 sick days. 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 may also 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 sick days, nor would it lessen any other obligations of the employer to employees.

Favola

Paid family leave. Directs the Commissioner of Labor and Industry (the Commissioner), in conjunction with the relevant stakeholders, to develop an implementation plan for a paid family leave program for employees of any employer in the Commonwealth. The bill requires the Commissioner to complete the plan by December 1, 2017.

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, 2017, to $13 per hour effective July 1, 2018, and to $15 per hour effective July 1, 2019, 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.

Wexton

Amends the existing law requiring equal pay for equal work irrespective of sex to (i) prohibit unequal provision of benefits and privileges; (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, benefits, or 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.

Legal

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Surovell

Services of summons for witness or subpoena duces tecum on foreign business entities. Allows the court to enforce compliance with a summons for witness or a subpoena duces tecum served on the registered agent of a foreign business entity registered with the State Corporation Commission to transact business in the Commonwealth, regardless of whether the foreign business entity is a party to the underlying case. This bill is in response to the Supreme Court of Virginia decision in Yelp, Inc. v. Hadeed Carpet Cleaning, Inc., Record No. 140242, 770 S.E.2d 440 (2015) and is a recommendation of the Boyd-Graves Conference.

Minchew
Obenshain

Secure remote access to nonconfidential court records; date of birth verification. Provides that nonconfidential court records shall be made available to any third party for the purposes of confirming a person’s complete date of birth by secure remote access.

Manufacturing

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Hugo
McDougle

Local license taxes; exemption for certain defense production businesses. Clarifies that the exemption for wholesale manufacturers from local license taxes includes a defense production business selling manufacturing, rebuilding, repair, and maintenance services to the United States or for which consent of the United States is required.

Procurement

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Webert

Virginia Public Procurement Act; public works contracts; prevailing wage provisions. Prohibits state agencies from requiring bidders, offerors, contractors, or subcontractors to pay, or require the payment of, wages, salaries, benefits, or other remuneration to persons employed to perform services in connection with a public works project at a rate that is based on the wages and benefits prevailing for the corresponding classes of laborers and mechanics employed. A corresponding prohibition is made applicable to state agencies providing grants or other financial assistance for public works projects, unless otherwise required under federal law. The measure further states that it is the policy of the Commonwealth not to implement, adopt, enforce, or require any program, policy, or provision that requires a public works contract that requires the payment of wages or other remuneration at a rate based on the prevailing wage, whether modeled on the federal Davis-Bacon Act or similar state law.

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, 2018, 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.

Ward
Locke

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 $50,000 for professional services and (ii) a set-aside for competition among microbusinesses for purchases under $10,000.

Regulation

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Ransone

Joint Commission on Administrative Rules; periodic review of exemptions from the Administrative Process Act. Requires the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules, beginning November 1, 2017, and every two years thereafter, to conduct a review of the exemptions authorized by the Administrative Process Act (APA). The bill also requires agencies having APA exemptions, beginning August 1, 2017, and every two years thereafter on or before August 1, to submit a written report to the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules, which report includes the date the exemption was enacted, a summary of the necessity for the exemption, and a summary of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to the exemption in the immediately preceding two fiscal years, if any. The bill provides that in the event that an agency having an exemption fails to submit the report required, the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules shall recommend to the Governor and the General Assembly that such agency’s exemption be discontinued. The bill also requires general notice of the provisions of this requirement to be posted on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall and published in the Virginia Register of Regulations by the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules to advise agencies of their obligations under the bill.

Peace

Administrative Process Act; economic impact analysis; opportunity for comment by affected businesses or other entities. Requires the Department of Planning and Budget (DPB), when conducting economic impact analyses, to provide an opportunity for business or other entities affected by the proposed regulation to comment on the anticipated economic impact of the proposed regulation. The bill also requires DPB to consider the comments and include them in the economic impact analysis. The bill contains an emergency clause.

Edwards

Virginia Register Act; guidance documents; duty to file with the Registrar. Consolidates provisions relating to the availability of guidance documents in a single section in the Virginia Register Act. In addition, the bill requires agencies that do not have regulatory authority to annually file with the Virginia Registrar of Regulations for publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations a list of any guidance documents upon which such agencies currently rely. Under current law, the requirement for filing guidance documents applies only to agencies with regulatory authority. The bill is a recommendation of the Administrative Law Advisory Committee.

Reeves

Administrative Process Act; economic impact analysis of proposed regulations; input from affected businesses. Provides that when the Department of Planning and Budget conducts an economic impact analysis of a proposed regulation it must provide an opportunity for input from affected businesses or other entities to which the proposed regulation would apply. The bill also entitles an adversely affected small business as defined in subsection A of § 2.2-4007.1 to judicial review of compliance with the regulation.

Small Business

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Peace

Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity; certification of small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses and employment services organizations; appeals. Removes the exemption from the Administrative Process Act (the Act) currently granted to regulations adopted by the Director of the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity to implement certification programs for small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses and employment services organizations. The bill requires that such regulations provide a right to appeal the denial of an initial certification or the revocation of an existing certification as provided in Article 3 (§ 2.2-4018 et seq.) of the Act.

Lopez

Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity; certification of small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses. Authorizes the Director of the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity to adopt regulations that provide a process for evaluating existing certification programs of other states, the District of Columbia, and territories of the United States, in addition to evaluating existing local, state, and private sector certification programs that meet the minimum requirements established by the Department for certification of small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses, and to mandate certification without any additional paperwork of any such business that has obtained certification under any of those certification programs and any business that has obtained certification under any federal certification program.

Tax and Grants

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Stolle
Wagner

Sales and use tax exemption; legal tender coins. Exempts legal tender coins whose total transaction sales price exceeds $1,000 from sales and use tax. The provisions of the bill expire on June 30, 2022.

Hugo

Local license tax; methodology for deducting certain gross receipts. Requires the Department of Taxation to promulgate regulations that clarify the appropriate methodology for determining deductible gross receipts attributable to business conducted in another state or a foreign country. The bill requires the regulations to be based on previous Rulings of the Tax Commissioner and the decision of the Supreme Court of Virginia in The Nielsen Company, LLC v. County Board of Arlington County, 289 Va. 79 (2015). In that decision, the Court endorsed the Tax Commissioner’s ruling to require manual accounting but to allow payroll apportionment in the event that manual accounting is impossible to use in order to calculate the deduction.

Rush

Income tax; subtraction for Virginia venture capital account investment. Establishes for taxable years beginning January 1, 2018, an individual and corporate income tax subtraction for income derived from an investment in a Virginia venture capital account, defined in the bill as an investment fund that makes at least 50 percent of its investments in qualified portfolio companies and employs at least one investor with at least four years’ experience in venture capital investment or substantially equivalent experience. The bill defines “qualified portfolio company” as a Virginia-headquartered company that has a primary purpose of production, sale, research, or development of a product or service and provides equity in exchange for the investment.

Byron

Machinery and tools tax; valuation; appeal of certain local taxes. Permits the commissioner of the revenue to utilize any method that may reasonably be expected to determine actual fair market value of machinery and tools, in addition to specific methods required under current law. The bill also requires the commissioner of the revenue, upon request, to take into account the condition of the machinery and tools, all forms of depreciation, including obsolescence, and any other factor that is not adequately taken into account by the valuation method otherwise used. The bill requires the commissioner of the revenue to provide to taxpayers upon request a description of his valuation methods, any adjustments that have been made to reflect the taxpayer’s appraisal or written concerns, and the factual and legal bases on which the commissioner relies for disagreeing with the taxpayer’s qualified appraisal. The bill also gives the Tax Commissioner authority to issue advisory written opinions in specific cases to interpret the law related to valuations involving independent appraisals of manufacturers’ machinery and tools that are presented by the taxpayer to the commissioner of the revenue. In appeals to the Tax Commissioner of the valuation of machinery and tools, the bill permits the taxpayer to value the property by allocating the total value of all machinery and tools at a facility among individual items of property according to the percentage of the original cost that each such item of property bears to the total original cost of all of the property. The bill also requires the Tax Commissioner to make certain determinations and findings related to the appeal.

In appeals of tangible personal property tax on airplanes, boats, campers, recreational vehicles, and trailers and on tangible business personal property, the bill requires the commissioner of the revenue to identify any statement of fact submitted by the taxpayer that the commissioner of the revenue believes to be incorrect.

Kilgore

Coal tax credits. Limits the aggregate amount of credits that may be allocated or claimed for the coal employment and production incentive tax credit to $7.3 million in each fiscal year. 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 approved applications for tax credits for the fiscal year exceeds $7.3 million, the Department of Taxation shall apportion the credits on a pro rata basis. The bill extends from July 1, 2016, to January 1, 2022, the date by which coal employment and production incentive tax credits must be earned in order to be allocated to persons with an economic interest in coal. The bill also extends from taxable year 2017 to taxable year 2022 the sunset date of the coalfield employment enhancement tax credit.

Lopez

Study; Department of Taxation to study unitary combined reporting of corporate income; report. Directs the Department of Taxation to research unitary combined reporting of corporate income and develop a recommendation regarding its implementation in the Commonwealth.

Chafin

Coal tax credits. Reinstates the Virginia coal employment and production incentive tax credit. The credit, which expired on July 1, 2016, could be earned on and after January 1, 2017, but before January 1, 2022. 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 bill also extends the sunset date of the coalfield employment enhancement tax credit through taxable years beginning before January 1, 2022.

Sturtevant

Certain tax credits; aggregate caps. Reduces the total aggregate caps of the historic rehabilitation tax credit, the research and development expenses tax credit, the major research and development expenses tax credit, and the land preservation tax credit over a period of 10 years, so that no credits are available for any of the credits beginning in 2027.

Hanger
Ware

Tax credits for worker retraining and telework expenses. Extends from taxable years prior to January 1, 2018, to taxable years prior to January 1, 2022, the sunset date for the worker retraining tax credit and from taxable years prior to January 1, 2017, to taxable years prior to January 1, 2022, the sunset date for the telework expenses tax credit.

Technology

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Albo
Stanley

Rights to resell tickets; civil penalty. Prohibits any person that issues tickets for admission to any sporting event, theatrical production, lecture, motion picture screening, or any other event open to the public for which tickets are ordinarily sold from issuing the ticket solely through a delivery method that substantially prevents the ticket purchaser from lawfully reselling the ticket on the Internet ticketing platform of the ticket purchaser’s choice. The measure also prohibits a person from being penalized, discriminated against, or denied admission to an event solely on the basis that the person resold a ticket, or purchased a resold ticket, on a specific Internet ticketing platform. A person violating these prohibitions is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 nor more than $15,000.

Byron

Virginia Broadband Deployment Act. Provides that a locality or a locality’s affiliate may own and operate a broadband or Internet communications system, including ownership or lease of fiber optic or other communications lines and facilities, to provide broadband expansion services if a variety of conditions are met, including a report or study by an independent consulting firm knowledgeable and experienced in analyzing broadband deployment, such as the Center for Innovative Technology, which report or study specifically identifies any unserved areas. An unserved area is an area in which broadband speeds are not generally available from any provider. The bill defines “broadband speeds” as average Internet speeds of both 10 Mbps or more download and 1 Mbps or more upload. A locality or a locality’s affiliate that seeks or desires to provide “overbuild broadband services,” shall not do so unless it complies with various operating requirements. The bill defines “overbuild broadband services” as broadband or Internet services offered by a locality or its affiliate in exchange for compensation that do not qualify as internal government services or broadband expansion services. The bill also repeals several disclosure exclusions related to local telecommunications services that currently exist under the Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

McDougle

Wireless communications infrastructure. Provides a uniform procedure for the way in which wireless communications infrastructure is approved by localities and approved and installed in public rights-of-way.

Transportation

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Villanueva
DeSteph

Electric personal delivery devices. Allows for the operation of electric personal delivery devices on the sidewalks and shared-use paths and across roadways on crosswalks in the Commonwealth unless otherwise prohibited by a locality. The bill directs that such devices shall not be considered vehicles and are exempt from the motor carrier provisions of Title 46.2 (Motor Vehicles).

Workers Compensation

Bill(s)
Patron(s)
Summary
Position
Murphy

Workers’ compensation; failure to make reports; deterring employee from filing claim; penalty. Provides that an employer is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor if he knowingly and intentionally fails to comply with the requirement that he report an employee’s injury or death or dissuades or deters an employee from filing a claim for compensation under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act.

Kilgore

Nominating a person to be elected to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Favola

Workers’ compensation; accident reports; filing claims; civil penalty. Requires an employer’s accident report filed with the Workers’ Compensation Commission to include the signature of the injured employee or his personal representative. The measure provides that the employer’s filing of the accident report constitutes the filing with the Commission by or on behalf of the employee of a claim for workers’ compensation benefits with respect to any injury arising from the accident. The measure also provides that an employer that fails to comply with the requirement that it report an employee’s injury or death, or dissuades or deters an employee from filing a claim for compensation, shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $500, which civil penalty is increased to not less than $500 and not more than $5,000 if the violation is willful.

Chafin

Workers’ compensation; presumption that death or disease due to coal pneumoconiosis. Specifies that the standards prescribed by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission for determining whether the death or total disability of an employee was due to pneumoconiosis or any chronic occupational lung disease shall not be inconsistent with the standards prescribed by the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services under the 1969 Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act as amended by § 1556(a) of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, in order to ensure that repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act does not alter the standards required in the Commonwealth. The measure also incorporates presumptions regarding death or disability from pneumoconiosis that are codified at 30 U.S.C. § 921(c)(3) and (4).

Wagner

Nominating a person to be elected to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.