News and Notes from the Virginia General Assembly
Points of Contact: Ira Agricola, Senior Vice President &
Candace Reid, Manager, Governmental Affairs
Representing: Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce &
Greater Williamsburg Chamber &Tourism Alliance
Monday, February 8, 2010
No portion of this communication may be retransmitted or reproduced without the expressed permission of the
Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.
Tax and Budget - SB 545 (Colgan D-29th) and HB 614 (Purkey R-82nd) are the yearly IRS conformity/de-conformity bills. These measures remove section 199 of the Internal Revenue Code that allowed a key deduction available to manufacturers for the last six years. This represents a $30 million dollar tax increase annually.
SB 239 (Watkins R-10th) was reported from committee. This bill is OPPOSED by the Chamber. Senator Wagner and Senator Newman voted correctly and voted NAY. Senators Saslaw, Colgan, Y. Miller, Wampler, Norment, Stosch, Edwards, Watkins, Puckett, Puller, Herring, McEachin and Deeds voted to extend benefits to those who are not looking for work and to those who voluntarily quit work for a “compelling reason.”
Efforts continue to have the Senate vote against this measure; however, this may be a bill where the business community has a better opportunity to prevail in the House.
Workers Compensation – HB 1326 (Merricks R-16th) and SB 367 (Puckett D-38th) are SUPPORTED by the Chamber. These bills take steps to get workers compensation medical costs under control.
Tort Reform bills Referred to Small Business Commission – Two TORT reform bills (HB 309 O’Bannon (R-73rd) and HB 310 O’Bannon (R-73rd) have been referred to the Small Business Commission for further study.
Offshore Energy Production – A number of bills have been introduced in the area of offshore energy production including: HB 389, SB 577, HB 787, HB 805, and HB 1037.
Early School Opening/Tourism -Your Chamber is OPPOSED to all bills that allow for school opening prior to the Labor Day holiday. We have now issued two Legislative Alerts on these bills and are continuing efforts to defeat all measures that allow schools to open prior to Labor Day.
Four bills that your Chamber has directed opposition to are: SB 203, SB 253, SB 412, SB 498. All of these measures are before the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.
BPOL - House Finance reported out HB 713 (Peace R-97th) that requires a taxpayer applying for a business license to furnish a state license or certification.
Another bill (HB-57) limits BPOL to those localities already imposing BPOL and prohibits increasing the BPOL tax rate after January 1, 2010. This bill has passed the House and will next be considered by Senate Finance.
Fees Considered to Balance Budget - Several fee increases that will increase the cost of doing business in the Commonwealth are under consideration by the General Assembly and the Governor. McDonnell’s Director of Communications Tucker Martin said, “The governor is focused on working with legislators in both parties to pass a budget on time that is balanced and does not increase taxes on Virginians. As part of the process, the governor is reviewing every fee in the budget on a case-by-case basis to evaluate their justification for being included.”
Governor McDonnell’s Jobs and Opportunities Legislative Agenda - Following is the status of Governor Bob McDonnell’s jobs and opportunity bills:
During the General Assembly session, please feel free to contact the Chamber’s governmental affairs team. Ira Agricola can be reached at 664-2570 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.You may contact Candace Reid at 664-2572 or at email@example.com to bring any business issue or concern to the attention of the Chamber.