2020 General Assembly - Week 3
The Week in Review
As legislation begins to filter through the various subcommittees and committees in the House of Delegates and the Senate, your Public Policy team is busy advocating for bills that create the most positive environment for our region's business community.

This week, VP of Public Policy Terry Durkin visited the offices of House Appropriations Committee members from our region to advocate in favor of House Bill 1538 , Delegate Terry Austin's bill that will authorize bonds for projects under the I-81 Improvement Plan. This important measure will help expedite the commencement of these projects so that improvements to our interstate are completed as quickly as possible. HB 1538 will likely receive an initial hearing in subcommittee early next week.

We were also proud to speak in favor of Senator Monty Mason's SB 861 in the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor this week, a bill that will expand the creation of "Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements" (MEWA's). This will allow like-businesses to create consortiums that can offer healthcare plans to employees within the consortium. This will increase healthcare choice and lead to lower costs for both employees and employers. SB 861 passed through the Commerce and Labor Committee on a 14-0 vote, with one abstention.

Bills seeking to raise the Commonwealth's minimum wage have begun to be assigned to the Labor and Commerce Committee in the House of Delegates, which means they could begin to receive initial hearings as early as next week. Be on the lookout for action alerts from the Chamber that ask you to contact your Senator and Delegate to oppose these measures.
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.

  • 12/18/19 House: Referred to Committee on Labor and Commerce

OPPOSE

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


OPPOSE

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

  • 11/18/19 Senate: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor

OPPOSE

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

  • 01/22/20 House: Referred to Committee on Labor and Commerce

SUPPORT

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

  • 01/16/20 House: Assigned L & C sub: Subcommittee #1

OPPOSE

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


SUPPORT

Sen. Dick Saslaw

OPPOSE

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

  • 01/07/20 Senate: Referred to Committee on Finance and Appropriations

OPPOSE

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.

  • 01/14/20 House: Assigned App. sub: Transportation & Public Safety

SUPPORT

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

  • 01/15/20 Senate: Referred to Committee on Finance and Appropriations

SUPPORT
Workforce Development & Education

Del. Hala Ayala
STEAM programs; establishes STEAM Education Fund
  • 01/23/20 House: Assigned App. sub: Elementary & Secondary Education
SUPPORT

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


SUPPORT

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.

  • 01/21/20 Senate: Assigned Education sub: Higher Education

SUPPORT
Research and Technology

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


SUPPORT

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

  • 01/16/20 House: Assigned CT & I sub: Communications

SUPPORT
Healthcare

Del. Chris Hurst
Health insurance; association health plans

  • 01/23/20 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 1-N)

SUPPORT
PASSES SUBCOMMITTEE



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

  • 01/23/20 Senate: Printed as engrossed 20103816D-E

SUPPORT
PASSES FULL SENATE COMMITTEE

Sen. John Edwards
Virginia Health Benefit Exchange

  • 01/15/20 Senate: Assigned C&L sub: Health Insurance

MONITOR