News and Notes From the Virginia General Assembly

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News and Notes From the Virginia General Assembly

News and Notes from the Virginia General Assembly

January 7, 2014

 

 

The 2014 session of the General Assembly will convene at noon on Wednesday, January 8.  We will publish a weekly “News and Notes” throughout the 60-day session and issue “Legislative Alerts” as necessary.  Our communication targets business issues throughout the session providing updates to bills introduced and the progress each piece of legislation makes.  In addition, we will indicate if the chambers are in support, opposed, or strategically monitoring specific bills.

History

The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World, established in 1619.  The General Assembly is a bicameral body consisting of the House of Delegates with 100 members and the Senate, with 40 members.  The House of Delegates is presided over by the Speaker of the House, while the Senate is presided over by the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.  The Virginia State Capitol was designed by Thomas Jefferson in 1788.  The General Assembly’s existence dates from the establishment of the Virginia Governor’s Council and the House of Burgesses at Jamestown on July 30, 1619.

Governor’s Cabinet

Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed a number of members to his cabinet with strong ties to Hampton Roads and the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.  Aubrey Layne, former Chair-Elect for the Chamber’s Virginia Beach Division and regional board member was appointed Secretary of Transportation.  Maurice Jones, former Chair of the Hampton Roads Chamber, was appointed Secretary of Commerce and Trade.  In addition, Molly Ward, former Mayor of Hampton and Hampton Roads Planning District Commission Chair was appointed Secretary of Natural Resources and Admiral John Harvey, Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs and Homeland Security.  Yorktown native and JMU graduate Levar Stoney is the new Secretary of the Commonwealth and Karen Jackson, Secretary of Technology and Ric Brown, Secretary of Finance, have strong ties to William and Mary and the Peninsula.

 

 

 

 

Transportation

HB2 (Stolle-R-83rd) – Provides that funding allocations in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia be made by giving priority to projects expected to give the greatest congestion relief.  (SUPPORT)

HB67 (Ramadan- R-87th) – Increases the total membership of the Commonwealth Transportation Board to 22 members by doubling the representation for the Richmond, Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia highway construction districts.

HB68 (D. Marshall-R-14th) – Changes the dates on which certain scheduled increased maintenance and operating fund collections would take place if Congress does not act on the remission of out-of-state collection of sales and use tax.  (OPPOSED)

HB3 (Cline-R-24th) – Provides that all provisions of the 2013 session omnibus transportation bill (HB2313) expire on July 1, 2014.  (OPPOSED)

HB70 (Marshall-R-14th) – Vest the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability with the power to make performance reviews of agencies with transportation responsibilities.

HB4 (Surovell-D-44th) – Repeals the $64 annual license tax on hybrid electric motor vehicles.  (OPPOSED)

HB40 (Marshall-R-13th) – Repeals the provision of the 2013 transportation funding bill that will increase motor fuels tax if the U.S. Congress does not allow the Commonwealth to compel remote sellers to collect state and local retail sales and use tax by January 1, 2015.  (OPPOSED)

HB47 (Kory-D-38th) – Repeals the $64 annual tax on hybrid electric vehicles.  (OPPOSED)

HB4 (Surovell-D-44th) – Repeals the $64 annual license fee on hybrid electric vehicles.  (OPPOSED)

HB87 (Cole- R-88th) – Provides that all state funds expended on transportation projects be for congestion relief or safety.

HB146 (Hugo-R-40th) – Increases size of the Commonwealth Transportation Board by six (from 18 to 24).  Three of the new members from the House of Delegates, two from the majority party and one from the minority party.  Three members from the Virginia Senate, two from the majority party and one from the minority party.

SB165 (Locke-D-2nd) and HB346 (James – D-80th) – Requires a specific description of proposed agreements and anticipated expenditures and revenues for projects greater than 1B in total value, and approval by the Governor (under the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995).

SB156 (Miller-D-1st) – Requires VDOT or toll facility operator to pay maintenance fees on EZPass.

SB1 (Ebbin-D-30th) – Repeals the $64 annual fee on hybrid electric motor vehicles.  (OPPOSED)

SB38 (Marsden-D-37th) – Repeals the $64 annual fee on hybrid electric motor vehicles.  (OPPOSED)

SB91 (Alexander-D-5th) – Requires comprehensive agreements under PPTA Act to include reduced rates for commuters.

Economic Development/Port

SB28 (Stanley-R-20th) – Authorizes the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority to undertake action to provide bridge loans and shipment insurance for Virginia exporters.

Offshore natural gas and oil royal ties

 (Reeves-R-17th) – Sets out the recipients, proportions and payment order for royalties received by the Commonwealth as a result of offshore natural gas and oil drilling and exploration.

Hospitality/Tourism

HB35 (Kory-D-38th) – Makes local school boards responsible for setting school calendar.  (OPPOSED)

HB42 (Habeeb-R-8th) – Makes local school boards responsible for setting school calendar.  (OPPOSED)

HB386 (Comstock-R-34th) – Makes local school boards responsible for setting school calendar.  (OPPOSED)

HB34 (Kory-D-38th) – Requires the daily school calendar to be set by local school boards with an effective date of July 1, 2016.  (OPPOSED)

SB131 (Newman-R-23rd) – Requires the Board of Education waive the requirement that a local school board set the first day students are required to attend school after Labor Day.  (OPPOSED)

Minimum Wage

HB32 (Morrissey-D-74th) – Increases minimum wage to $8.50 per hour. 
(OPPOSED to increases that are not federally mandated).

Workers Compensation

SB110 (Stanley – R-20th) – Establishes a short-time compensation program that provides employers with the option of reducing hours worked by employees, while permitting employees to receive partial compensation for hours lost.

Unemployment compensation; benefit ratio

(Kory-D-38th) – Provides that an employee’s payroll, for purposes of calculating its benefit ratio shall be deemed to be $1 when the employer’s taxable payroll is not morethan $1 for 12-month periods.

SB18 (Locke-D-2nd) - Unemployment compensation, voluntarily leaving employment to accompany military spouse.  (OPPOSED)

Budget

SB29/ SB30 (Stoch-R-12th) 2014 Senate Session Budget Bill
HB30 (Jones-R-76th) House Session Budget Bill

Health Benefit Exchange

SB45 (Watkins-R10th) – Creates the Virginia Health Benefit Exchange, which will be established and operated by a new division within the State Corporation Commission (SCC).

Ethics

HJ5 Study, (R. Marshall-R-13th) - ethics laws governing public officials
Establishes a 14 member joint subcommittee to evaluate the adequacy of Virginia’s ethics laws governing conduct of state elected officials.

Flooding

HJ16 (Stolle-R-83rd) – Establishes a 15 member joint subcommittee to formulate recommendations for the development of a comprehensive and coordinated planning effort to address recurrent flooding.  (SUPPORT)

 

 

Business Permits

HB94 (Head –R-17th) – Requires localities to provide documentation and instructions that outline all steps necessary to obtaining business licenses or permits.  (SUPPORT)

Education

HJ41 (Landes- R-25th) – Establishes joint committee to study options for reducing the number of SOL assessments.

BPOL

HJ45 (DeSteph-R-82nd) – Establishes a joint subcommittee to study the local business license (BPOL) tax.

Equity of Transportation Funding

HJ42 (Villanueva- R-21st) – Directs JLARC to review the equity of transportation funding in consideration of new funding.

Environmental

HB58 (Hodges-R-98th) – Clarifies the appeals process for persons subject to state permit requirements under the Stormwater Management Act.

HB117 (Morrissey-D-74th) – Imposes a $.05 fee on disposable paper and plastic bags used by purchasers to carry tangible personal property.  Funds after retail fees would go to the Virginia Water Quality Fund.  (OPPOSED)

Employment Applications

HB93 (Krupicka-D-45th) – Prohibits state agencies and private employers from including on any employment application a question inquiring whether the prospective employee has ever been arrested or charged with, or convicted of, any crime, subject to certain exceptions.  (OPPOSED)

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