Legislative Update: Issue 2

Tagged in: Advocacy
Legislative Update: Issue 2
News and Notes from the Virginia General Assembly



Monday, January 14, 2013



From Governor McDonnell’s State of the Commonwealth Address – “We must reform and reinvest in transportation infrastructure, or job growth and quality family time will suffer.  Therefore, I ask that you not conclude this session without approving a long-term transportation funding plan for Virginia.  Do not send me a budget that does not include new transportation funding.  We are all out of excuses.  We must act now.”

The Governor’s Transportation Package

  • Increases amount of existing retail sales tax dedicated to transportation from .5% to .75%.
  • Eliminates the existing 17.5 cents per gallon motor fuel tax.
  • Replaces with the existing state gas tax with .8% sales and use tax.
  • Increases existing registration fees $15 on conventional motor vehicles with revenue to the Intercity Rail Fund and $100 on alternative fuel vehicles with revenue to public transit.
  • Dedicates future “internet sales taxes” to transportation.

The total package generates $3.2 billion for transportation over 5 years.

Business Bills in Focus 

Economic Development
HB 1500/SB 800 (Putney, I-19th, Stosch, R-12th) – Promotes international trade among defense companies.
HB 1964/SB 833 (James, D-80th, Lucas, D-18th) – Allows localities in the Port zone to enter into voluntary economic growth sharing agreements.
 
Education/Labor Day School Start
HB 1309, HB 1310, HB 1319, HB 1467, HB 1673, HB 2098, HB 1491, HB 1530, HB 1596, HB 1880, HB 1894, HB 1530 and HB 1673 all may have an impact on the current law that provides that local school divisions must have a waiver to open school prior to Labor Day. The Chambers OPPOSE measures that change the current law in the Commonwealth.
 
Healthcare
HB1612 (Hugo, R-40th) – Creates a government controlled fee schedule based on Medicare rates to dictate benefits for injured workers and how doctors, hospitals and other providers are reimbursed for the care they provide. The Chambers OPPOSE measures that establish fee schedules.

Please note that additional legislation will be introduced in this area that supports cost control measures in Virginia’s Workers Compensation system.
 
Labor
There are several constitutional amendments and bills proposed to protect right to work and secret ballots in labor elections including:  SJ 88 (Reeves, R-17th), HJ 536 (Bell, R-20th , McDougle, R-4th), HB 611 (O’Bannon, R-73), and, HB 1385 (Comstock, R-34th).

Legal
HB 1374 (Head, R-17th) – Summary judgment:  use of depositions – Allows motions for summary judgment to be based in whole or in part, upon depositions, answers to interrogatory admissions to proceedings, or affidavits.The Chambers SUPPORT this bill.
 
HB 1618 (Gilbert, R-15th) – Venue in civil cases – restricts the ability to transfer from an A venue (preferred) to a category B venue. The Chambers SUPPORT this bill.
 
HB 1676 (Kilgore, R-1st) – Service of Process Timing – service of process in six months (12 months currently).The Chambers SUPPORT this legislation.
 
HB 1773 (Albo, R-42nd) Nonsuits, Fees and Costs – Provides that when a nonsuit is taken with 14 days prior to trial or during trial and a new proceeding on the same cause of action is instituted, the court may award reasonable attorney fees, expenses, and costs to a defendant.The Chambers SUPPORT this legislation.
 
HB 2004 (Cline, R-24th) Liability for injury to trespasser – Provides that the processor of real property owes no duty of care to a trespasser. The Chambers SUPPORT this legislation.

Public-Private Transportation Act
A number of bills have been introduced to modify the current Public-Private Transportation Act, (HB1689, 1690, 1691, 1692, Jones R-76th).
 
Transportation
HJ 652 (O’Bannon, R-73rd), HJ 651 (Villanueva, R-21st), and HJ 622 (Jones, R-76th), Constitutional amendment (first resolution) Transportation Funding – Requires General Assembly to maintain permanent and separate Transportation Funds.

Two Term Governor
HJ 549 (Purkey, R-82nd), SJ 276 (Garrett, R-22nd), Constitutional amendment (first resolution) Governors term of office – Permits Governor if elected in 2017 to succeed himself in office. The Chambers SUPPORT this resolution.



During the General Assembly session, please feel free to contact the Chamber’s governmental affairs staff regarding any business issue or concern.

Ira Agricola – 664-2572 or iagricola@hrccva.com
Dean McClain – 664-2560 or dmcclain@hrccva.com
Candace Reid – 664-2572 or creid@hrccva.com


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