A Virginia Way Forward-Medicaid Reform
Governor Terry McAuliffe has asked the General Assembly for authority to expand Medicaid if the Medicaid legislative panel does not act by the conclusion of the session in March.
The House leadership responded negatively to the Governor's request, while the State Senate is moving to extend health coverage on July 1 to Virginians earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty limit, or $21,404 a year for a family of two.
The Affordable Care Act requires states to obtain waivers for changes to the state plan for administering benefits.
The Chambers and other business organizations support a Virginia Private Option Plan for closing the coverage gap and strengthening the economy.
The Business Issue/Medicaid Expansion and Reform
HB873 (Jones R-76th) - Port Tax Credits - Increases international trade facility tax credits to $1.25M and decreases the barge and rail usage tax credit to $500,000 and reduces from 10% to 5% the minimum annual increase in cargo transported through a port that is a condition of eligibility for the international trade tax credit. (SUPPORT)
Hospitality and Tourism
HB35 (Kory D-38th), HB42 (Habeeb R-8th), HB333 (Greason R-32nd), HB366 (Comstock R-34th), HB577 (Stolle R-83rd), HB610 (Robinson R-27th) and SB131 (Newman R-23rd) - School calendar - Makes local school boards responsible for setting the school calendar and determining the opening day of school and eliminates the Post Labor Day opening requirement. (OPPOSE)
HB460 (Kilgore R-1st) and SB46 (Watkins R-10th) - Income tax, motion picture production credit. (SUPPORT)
SB28 (Stanley R-20th) - Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority; export of Virginia products and services. Authorizes the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority to undertake activities to provide bridge loans and shipment insurance for Virginia exporters. (SUPPORT)
HB321 (Landes R-25th) - Creates the Entrepreneur-In-Residence Program, a pilot program administered by the Secretary of Commerce and Trade to improve outreach by state government to the private sector. (SUPPORT)
HB32 (Morrissey D-74th) - Minimum Wage - Increases from its currently mandated federal level of $7.25 per hour to $8.50 per hour. (OPPOSE, the Chambers favor a federal minimum wage mandate).
*Note - SB590 (Marsden D-37th) and HB536 (Plum D-36th) also increase minimum wage to $8.25 per hour.
HB93 (Krupicka D-45th) - Prohibits state agencies and private employers from including on any employment application a question inquiring whether the prospective employee has been arrested or charged with or convicted of any crime. (OPPOSE)
HB 833 (Keam D-35th) - Requires private employers to provide safe days off with pay if the employee, or a family member, is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. (OPPOSE)
HB949 (Hugo R-40th) and SB519 (Wagner R-7th) - Natural Gas utilities, upstream supply infrastructure projects - Authorizes a natural gas utility to recover eligible costs of eligible natural gas infrastructure projects. (SUPPORT)
HB30 (Jones R-76th) and SB30 (Stosch R-12th) - Medicaid Reform and Expansion through market based principles. (SUPPORT)
HB375 (O'Quinn R-5th) and SB150 (Stuart R-28th) - Patent Infringement; assertions made in bad faith. (SUPPORTED)
Military and Veterans Affairs
SB18 (Locke D-2nd) Unemployment compensation to follow military spouses. (SUPPORT)
SB516 (Wagner R-7th) - Provides that private employers may grant a preference in hiring a veteran. (SUPPORT)
HB2 (Stolle R-83rd) - Provides that funding allocations in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads give priority to projects expected to provide the most congestion reduction. (SUPPORT)
HB1071 (Kilgore R-1st), HB1083 (Ware R-65th) - Limits the liability of an employer for medical treatment provided to an injured person that is rendered by a nurse practioner or physician assistant serving as an assistant at surgery to no more than 20% of the charge of the physician performing the surgery. (SUPPORT)
Casino Gaming/Toll Mitigation
SB19 (Lucas D-18th) - Creates the Virginia Casino Gaming Commission as the licensing body for casino gaming. Gross receipts tax and admission tax imposed would be split as follows: 10% to the locality and 90% to toll mitigation for Dominion Boulevard and the Downtown/Midtown Tunnel/Martin Luther King Freeway.
Conflict of Interest
SB649 (Norment R-3rd) and HB1211 (Gilbert R-15th) - State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act and General Assembly Conflicts of Interests Act, Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council. (SUPPORT)