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 22, 2010
No portion of this communication may be retransmitted or reproduced without the expressed permission of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce
Senate Reinstates Manufacturing Tax Break
On the last day the Senate could consider its own legislation before “crossover”, it reinstated a $30 million tax break for Virginia’s in-state manufacturers. This tax break had been removed from the Senate’s version of the annual IRS conformity bill. A section 199 deduction is now included in Senate plans.
Sales Tax on Online Retailers Clears the Senate
SB660 (Hanger R-24th) passed the Senate by a 28-12 margin. This bill requires online retailers such as Amazon to collect the State’s 5 percent sales tax.
The measure will face significant opposition when it is considered by the House.
Autism Insurance Mandate Approved by the Senate
SB464 (Howell- D-32nd) requires insurance companies to pay for treatment of children with autism. The Chamber opposes all mandates that drive up the cost of insurance to consumers and business. This will face significant opposition in the House.
Governor McDonnell’s Economic Development Bills Enjoying Support
There are 34 total bills that deal directly with economic development that were introduced at the request of Governor Bob McDonnell. With one or two possible exceptions; all appear to be headed for passage.
Chamber members are urged in Alert to Encourage Defeat of SB239
SB239 (Watkins-R-10th) expands eligibility for unemployment insurance to those who voluntarily leave employment for “compelling family reasons” and to those in training programs who do not have to seek employment. These “modernizations” have been defined in federal law and are a requirement for the State to accept $125 million in stimulus monies. SB239 will be heard in the House Commerce and Labor Committee. Members of the Chamber have been asked to direct their comments in opposition to the bill to House Commerce and Labor.
SJ63 High-speed Rail Study Approved by Senate Rules Committee and Senate
SJ63 (Miller D-5th) was approved by the Senate Rules Committee and has won the approval of the Senate. SJ63 calls for a study of high-speed passenger rail in the Commonwealth and the creation of a “sustainability fund” required to secure federal monies to develop passenger rail. This measure is supported by the Chamber.
Budget Shortfall Will Lead to Significant Spending Cuts
Budget cuts that are part of ongoing discussions between the administration and General Assembly leadership include; $700 million more from public education, $700 million from employee compensation including changes to the State’s retirement plan and ten days furlough time and $300 million from health and human services programs.
Payday Lending Bills Tabled
HB412 (Oder-R-94th) gave authority to local governments to limit the number of payday lenders. HB413 (Oder) authorized a locality to adopt a special use permit ordinance for payday lenders. Both measures were tabled in House Commerce and Labor.
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.