January 28, 2017
This week marks the third week of the 2017 Virginia General Assembly Session. Over 2600 bills and resolutions were introduced this year. Each week, the Hampton Road Chamber tracks legislation and are constantly updating a number of significant bills impacting the business community in the Commonwealth. For a complete list of "bills on our radar" click here.
Virginia General Assembly Update
Delegate Kathy Byron (R-22nd) made a number of changes this week to the Virginia Broadband Deployment Act (HB 2108). The new language provides focus to transparency of taxpayer-funded broadband authorities. Local opposition to the bill remains.
SB 837 (Chase-R 11th) would change Virginia from a winner-take-all state to one with congressional district allocations.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline
A recently published report indicated that President Trump is including the Atlantic Coast Pipeline among a list of 50 national administration priorities.
The Senate Finance Committee defeated a series of bills that would have curtailed tuition increases and altered the autonomy of governing boards of state universities. Tuition bills were proposed by Senators DeSteph, Sturtevant and Peterson.
Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R 3rd) has patroned SB 1578 that would authorize local ordinances to require people who use the platform to register and pay fees set by localities. Localities would be permitted to charge penalties for non-compliance.
Stephen Moret, the new President and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership spoke to members participating in “Chamber Day” in Richmond recently.
He described his job as a “mission” to restore the Commonwealth’s national ranking as the best state for business. Moret referenced a recent JLARC study that was highly critical of the VEDP and noted the challenge ahead. The new CEO of VEDP embraced the aims of Go Virginia and announced a goal of the creation of 20,000 to 25,000 jobs.
NOTE: Several bills have been introduced that would restructure the state’s Economic Development Partnership. Delegate Chris Jones (R 76th) and Senator Frank Ruff, Jr. (R 15th) are among those carrying legislative proposals.