2020 General Assembly Session - Week 8
The Week in Review
Now that we are in the final weeks of session, bills that have passed both the House and the Senate are beginning to make their way to the Governor for his consideration. Bills that share similarities (but are not exactly alike) are starting to be assigned to conference committees. These committees consist of several legislators in each body and work to iron out differences in these similar bills. The resulting compromise is called a conference report, and is then voted on by both legislative bodies before being sent to the Governor.

Bills of concern that we have been tracking and have publicly advocated against, including raising the Commonwealth's minimum wage, compelling local governments to engage in collective bargaining agreements, and creating a compulsory paid medical leave program will soon be assigned to conference committees. Your public policy team will be lobbying these conferees on behalf of our region's business community, and we will send you information on how to do so yourself as conference committees begin to take shape.

Also of note, the patron of Senate Bill 868 heard the business and legal community loud and clear this week. By agreeing to amendments that would reinsert a punitive damages cap as well as a "gatekeeper" requirement so that most frivolous wrongful termination lawsuits would stay out of state courts, this bill was placed in a more favorable posture for business owners. It has passed the House and the Senate and is now before Governor Northam for consideration.

Below, you will find our bill tracker with additional legislation we have our eye on and where they currently stand in the legislative process. We will continue to stand strong for our regional business community by meeting with legislators and testifying before House and Senate committee meetings on bills that would impact our local economy. Please contact Terry Durkin, Vice President of Public Policy at tdurkin@roanokechamber.org should you wish to become involved in our advocacy efforts or would like more information on legislation before the General Assembly.
In the News
General Assembly Bill Tracking
Economic Development

Del. Lee Carter
Right to work; repeals provisions of Code that refers to denial or abridgement.

  • 02/11/20 House: Left in Appropriations

OPPOSE
DEFEATED

Del. Mark Levine
Establishes a procedure by which a local alternative minimum wage may be imposed in any locality.

  • 01/28/20 House: Failed due to lack of motion

OPPOSE
DEFEATED

Sen. Dick Saslaw
Minimum wage; increases to $10 per hour effective July 1, 2020.

  • 02/25/20 House: Referred to Committee on Appropriations

OPPOSE
PASSED SENATE

Del. Jeion Ward
Minimum wage, increases to $10 per hour effective July 1, 2020 (as amended)

  • 02/27/20 House: Conferees appointed by House
  • 02/27/20 House: Delegates: Ward, Krizek, Fariss

OPPOSE
CONFEREES APPOINTED BY HOUSE

Del. Terry Kilgore
Establishes the Virginia Brownfield Renewable Energy and Coal Mine Grant Fund and Program.

  • 02/11/20 House: Left in Appropriations

SUPPORT
DEFEATED

Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy
Paid family and medical leave program.

  • 02/11/20 House: Left in Appropriations

OPPOSE
DEFEATED

Del. Sam Rasoul
Study; Department of Rail and Public Transportation; Commonwealth Corridor passenger rail service; report

  • 02/11/20 House: Left in Appropriations

SUPPORT
DEFEATED

Sen. Dick Saslaw
Fair share fees

  • 02/09/20 Senate: Passed by indefinitely in Commerce and Labor (12-Y 3-N)

OPPOSE
DEFEATED

Sen. Mark Obenshain
Interstate 81 Corridor; motor vehicle fuels sales tax. Limits the application of the additional motor vehicle fuels sales tax imposed under current law in all counties and cities in Planning Districts 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 to those counties or cities in Planning District 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 in which a portion of Interstate 81 is located

  • 02/04/20 Senate: Passed by indefinitely in Finance and Appropriations (11-Y 3-N 1-A)

OPPOSE
DEFEATED

Del. Terry Austin
Transportation bonds; I-81. Authorizes issuance of bonds in an amount up to $2 billion for revenue-producing projects in the Interstate 81 corridor.

  • 02/05/20 House: Incorporated by Appropriations (HB1414-Filler-Corn) by voice vote

SUPPORT
INCLUDED IN SPEAKERS TRANSPORTATION BILL

Sen. John Edwards
Virginia Tourism Authority; Governor's New Airline Service Incentive Fund

  • 02/26/20 House: VOTE: Passage (86-Y 12-N)

SUPPORT
PASSED SENATE AND HOUSE
Workforce Development & Education

Del. Hala Ayala
STEAM programs; establishes STEAM Education Fund
  • 01/29/20 House: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (6-Y 1-N)
SUPPORT
DEFEATED

Del. Terry Kilgore
DOE; experiential learning and workforce development opportunities in high-demand fields, report.

  • 02/03/20 House: Subcommittee recommends striking from docket (6-Y 0-N)

SUPPORT
DEFEATED

Sen. Bill DeSteph
Apprentice agreements; ratio of journeymen to apprentices

  • Senate: Failed to report (defeated) in General Laws and Technology (4-Y 10-N)

SUPPORT
DEFEATED

Sen. Bill DeSteph
Public institutions of higher education; State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; business advisory committee.

  • 01/30/20 Senate: Continued to 2021 in Education and Health (15-Y 0-N)

SUPPORT
NO FURTHER ACTION THIS SESSION

Del. David Bulova
Early childhood care and education; licensing.  

  • 02/27/20 Senate: Reported from Education and Health (9-Y 5-N)

SUPPORT
PASSED HOUSE
Research and Technology

Del. Jay Jones
Research and development tax credits; extends sunset date, aggregate caps.

  • 02/27/20 Conference: Amended by conference committee

SUPPORT
AMENDED BY CONFERENCE COMMITTEE

Del. Mark Sickles
Commonwealth of Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority; created.

  • 02/27/20 Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N)

SUPPORT
PASSED HOUSE
Healthcare

Del. Chris Hurst
Health insurance; association health plans

  • 02/27/20 House: Delegates: Hurst, Guzman, Kilgore

SUPPORT
CONFEREES APPOINTED BY HOUSE

Sen. Monty Mason
Group health benefit plans; bona fide associations; benefits consortium.

  • 02/27/20 House: Read second time

SUPPORT
PASSED SENATE

Sen. John Edwards
Virginia Health Benefit Exchange

  • 01/27/20 Senate: Incorporated by Commerce and Labor (SB732-McClellan) (14-Y 0-N)

MONITOR

STAY CONNECTED:

Terry Durkin
Vice President of Public Policy
 Roanoke Regional Chamber 
TDurkin@RoanokeChamber.org
540.682.2111