2021 Session Update - Week 4
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Week in Review
We have now reached crossover - the point in session where surviving House Bills must be passed out of the House to make their way to the Senate, and vice versa. Although session was slated to end late next week, Governor Northam has signaled that he will call for a 15 to 16 day special session immediately upon adjournment on February 11th. That means that session will most likely continue to run until February 26th or 27th.

Success at Crossover
We are pleased to report that a proposal to impose a costly (and mandatory) paid family leave program was defeated in the House this week. HB 2016 would have mandated employers to provide up to 12 weeks of paid family leave per employee per year.

While the bills to impose a 12 week paid family medical leave program have since been defeated, a bill which mandates all businesses with 25 of more employees provide 40 hours of paid sick leave per year (HB 2137) is still active. We believe that businesses should have the flexibility to provide leave programs that work best for their business model and employees, and therefore have concerns with this proposal.

HB 2015, which would have mandated employers owning businesses in sectors deemed as "essential" pay their employees 1.5x their hourly rate or salary during public health emergencies, was also defeated this week. We voiced concerns with a bill that sought to increase employers' payroll costs by 50% when there is no guarantee of increased revenue/assistance to cover the payroll, and fortunately the House Committee on Appropriations agreed with those concerns.

Right to Work Still Intact
This week was not without its share of drama, with Delegate Lee Carter attempting a rare maneuver to bring his Right to Work Repeal bill, HB 1755, straight to the floor of the House for a vote without first going through the committee vetting process. Although this attempt failed (as did the potential for this bill to pass this session), it highlights concerns of the business community about efforts to erode a policy that has proved vital to business attraction and retention. We thank legislators who voted to "Pass By Indefinitely" the motion from Del. Carter, therefore effectively killing the bill.

Tax Conformity – a complicated issue
We are keeping an eye on SB 1146 and its House companion bill, HB 1935. These bills are annual legislation that seek to conform Virginia's tax code with the IRS. The issue this year is how the state will treat CARES ACT/PPP funds as it relates to tax deductibility. Congress has said that PPP funds used according to federal guidelines will be able to be deducted from federal income taxes. However, if this wholesale deduction were extended to Virginia taxes, an estimated $900 million dollar hole would be opened in the state budget. Legislators are currently working on compromise language that would create a tax deductibility "cap", so PPP funds up to a certain dollar amount may be tax deductible while anything over the cap would not be. We will work to ensure that this cap is as high as possible to afford businesses much needed tax relief.
In the News

By clicking on a bill number contained within our bill tracker, you will be taken directly to the web page where you will find all information on the legislation, including where it resides in the legislative process.

We continue to keep an eye on legislation that works its way through the process, even for bills that may not be on this list. Please contact Terry if you wish to advocate for bills listed in our tracker or if you have any questions. 
VA WEST Represents the Following Chambers:

Greater Augusta Regional, Bedford Area, Danville/Pittsylvania County, Harrisonburg-Rockingham, Lexington, Buena Vista, & Rockbridge County, Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance, Martinsville & Henry County, Montgomery County, Roanoke Regional, Shenandoah County, Smith Mountain Lake Regional, Two Virginias, and Wytheville, Wythe, and Bland.


Terry Durkin
Legislative Liaison
 VA West