From Your Prince William Chamber 
June 2016


Chamber Advocate,

See what the Chamber has been up to over the past few weeks and what has been happening in the community. From policy to politics there is plenty to choose from when trying to figure out how to be more involved with our advocacy efforts. 

Please remember to join the Policy Committee for its June meeting.  The meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 21 at 9:30am in the Manassas Chamber office.  The US Chamber will be here to discuss the Department of Labor's overtime rule change and answer questions about how this will impact your business.
  
If you have any questions about legislation or are just generally interested in what we are working on at the Chamber, please get in touch with me by sending an email to BShaw@pwchamber.org.  I am happy to discuss!   

President Obama and Department of Labor Finalize Overtime Rule

From the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division
** Join the Policy Committee on June 21 to learn more**

On May 18, 2016, President Obama and Secretary Perez announced the publication of the Department of Labor's final rule updating the overtime regulations, which will automatically extend overtime pay protections to over 4 million workers within the first year of implementation.

Please click here for more information from the Department of Labor's website.

Key Provisions of the Final Rule

The Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative and Professional workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule:
  1. Sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South ($913 per week; $47,476 annually for a full-year worker);
  2. Sets the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees (HCE) subject to a minimal duties test to the annual equivalent of the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally ($134,004); and
  3. Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every three years to maintain the levels at the above percentiles and to ensure that they continue to provide useful and effective tests for exemption.
Additionally, the Final Rule amends the salary basis test to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the new standard salary level.

The effective date of the final rule is December 1, 2016. The initial increases to the standard salary level (from $455 to $913 per week) and HCE total annual compensation requirement (from $100,000 to $134,004 per year) will be effective on that date. Future automatic updates to those thresholds will occur every three years, beginning on January 1, 2020.

Prince William County Solidifies Data Center Opportunities 

By: Prince William County 

 
Prince William County has experienced tremendous economic growth in the data center market over the past five years, with more than $2.4 billion in capital investment and 370 new jobs in the county. To further seize upon the economic development opportunities data centers provide, the Board of County Supervisors designated nearly 10,000 acres of land as  Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District during its May 17 meeting. 

This new zoning district permits the development and operation of data centers in all industrial, office and commercial zoning districts. It also promotes fast-track rezoning approvals for data centers within the Data Center Opportunity Zone.

"Data centers are vital to our community," said Chairman Corey A. Stewart. "They provide significant revenue to help offset the residential tax burden for our residents. We asked our Planning Office to develop a strategy, by working with the industry, to help us better identify where the opportunities exist in the community to support future data center development."

Following direction from the Board of County Supervisors to amend the zoning text to clarify data center use, the Planning Office worked with members of the data center community, utility companies and community leaders to develop what ultimately was presented as the Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District.

The Data Center Opportunity Zone was established over properties where supporting infrastructure is readily available or easily provided with minimal impact to residential properties. Also taken into consideration were the current zoning and long-range planning designations for properties.

The Board also voted to implement an expedited review process for electrical substations required to support data center developments. This allows the same opportunity for citizen feedback on the location and development of electrical substations that will occur with any such application, but assures rapid turnaround if the substation is affiliated with a data center or other targeted industry.

"We need to make certain that we encourage consistent development in the immediate and long term for the community," said Stewart. "This provides the type of certainty and commitment that data center clients need as they contemplate future development in Prince William County. Tonight, we, as a Board, have provided a clear roadmap for data center development that will support the future development and long-term planning goals of our community."

ROUTE 15 TRAFFIC SHIFT AT I-66 FRIDAY NIGHT

Traffic will be moved to new bridge as part of Diverging Diamond Interchange project


The Virginia Department of Transportation will shift traffic on Route 15 from the existing northbound and southbound bridges over I-66 to the new bridge between 10 p.m. Friday, June 10 and 9 a.m. Saturday, June 11.

Lane closures will occur during this time and police will be present to direct traffic.  Motorists should expect delays and are advised to seek alternate routes.
The work is part of the   I-66/Route 15 Diverging Diamond Interchange project . The $59 million project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2017.  

95 Express Lanes and I-395 HOV Lanes will Adjust Summer Weekday Reversal Schedule in Effort to Improve Corridor Travel

Reversal to Start One Hour Earlier Beginning June 10


The northbound 95 Express Lanes and I-395 high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes will close weekdays at 10 a.m. for the morning reversal beginning Friday, June 10. The early closure will enable southbound travelers to enter the 95 Express Lanes around 11:30 a.m., one hour earlier than the current schedule. Overnight weekday reversals will continue to take place from about midnight to 2 a.m. 

"During summer months, we consistently see much stronger demand in the southbound direction across both the regular lanes and Express Lanes during the late morning period," said Nic Barr, vice president of operations, Transurban. "By providing drivers with an extra hour of access to the southbound 95 Express Lanes, we hope to improve their travel experience and reduce congestion in the adjacent regular lanes. With summer traffic beginning to increase, this is an ideal time to implement the adjusted schedule." The schedule will remain in place throughout the summer.
Upcoming Elections

Get paid to work the polls as an election officer this November


It is never too early to begin thinking about the November Presidential election and the Prince William Office of Election is looking for officers to work the polls. Election Officers receive a stipend of $125.00 for working a full Election Day. Experienced Officers selected to serve as an Assistant Chief Officer or Chief Officer will receive $150.00 or $200.00, respectively. All officers receive $15.00 for each training class they attend.

Please click here to view the recruiting brochure  

To check your voter registration, please click here  to access the Virginia State Board of Elections website. 

If you are not registered to vote please do so! Click here to register online.   

Are you unable to vote in person in November?  Vote absentee!

Follow the below links for absentee voting information from each locality. 




Get Involved: 
June 21


 
Join Our Next Policy Committee Meeting
 

The next policy committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 21 at 9:30am at the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Headquarters.  The committee typically meets for an hour.

This month we are fortunate to be joined by the US Chamber to learn more about the Department of Labor's overtime rule change.  Their chief lobbyist on the issue will educate Chamber members on the change as well as answer any questions you may have about how this will impact your business.  
 
As a reminder, "Membership Time" is held at the beginning of every policy committee meeting.  We are continuing to ask that members help identify areas where we can work together and initiate change on various levels of government.  If you are interested in participating please come prepared to address your issue and we will do our best to assist!

I hope you can join us for what is sure to be a productive meeting. 

 

   Director, Government Relations 

 

Special thanks to Advocacy Vision Partner