News and Notes from the Virginia General Assembly
Points of Contact: Ira Agricola, Senior Vice President &
Candace Reid, Director, Municipal & Governmental Affairs
Representing: Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce &
Greater Williamsburg Chamber &Tourism Alliance
Monday, February 7, 2011
Clarification HB 2467 (Greason) – Autism Insurance Mandate – The January 31, 2011 “News and Notes” referenced a $6.1 million cost to the Commonwealth should HB 2467 become law. The $6.1 million per year cost referenced is the estimated cost for PRIVATE INSURANCE PLANS in the Commonwealth. HB 2467 now includes state employees and the measure appears headed for passage. The Chamber OPPOSED HB 2467.
Crossover – The last day that bills can be considered in either Chamber before crossing over to the other is Tuesday, February 8, 2011.
Machinery and Tools Tax
HB 1636 (Purkey) classifies as capital taxable solely by the state machinery and tools that have not been in service for more than three years, machinery and equipment used by farm wineries and idle machinery and tools. This measure is expected to pass the House and move on to Senate Finance for consideration.
BPOL Bills Advance
HB 1437 (Cole) and HB 1587 (Iaquinto) have passed the House of Delegates. HB 1437 allows localities the option to impose BPOL on gross receipts OR Virginia taxable income. HB 1587 allows localities through ordinance to provide an exemption, refund, rebate or other form of relief from BPOL for businesses locating for the first time in a locality for a period of two years. The Chamber SUPPORTS both bills.
ABC Privatization Plan Revised
HB 2456 (Brink) and SB 1417 (Obenshain) contain the Governors revised plan to privatize the ABC stores selling off the retail licenses but retaining the wholesale operation. There is some doubt that the measures will move forward prior to “crossover.” The Chamber elected not to take a position on ABC privatization.
A number of bills requiring participation in a federal electronic work verification program have been introduced this session including: HB 1727 (Carrico), SB 1049 (Barker), and SB 1288 (McWaters).
SB 1379 (Stanley and Barker) lowers the investment criteria for grants and loans from the Governors Opportunity Fund. Grants or loans with minimum investments of $5 million and 50 new jobs will now be eligible should the bill become law.
Tourism Bill Passes Subcommittee
HB 2285 (James) authorizes a local tourism project to access one percent of the sales tax revenue generated on the premises of the project for debt service. The senate’s companion bill is SB 1193 (Norment).
SB 1401 (McEachin). This bill expands eligibility for Virginia’s plan and will increase costs in the future in return for a one time investment of $125 million from the federal stimulus. The Chamber is in a business coalition that OPPOSES the measure.
An additional UI bill is SB 1113 (Watkins) that allows individuals to receive UI and social security benefits at the same time. The Chamber is in a business coalition that OPPOSES the measure. This benefit will require additional trust fund borrowing.
Transportation Bills Move Forward
HB 2527 (Howell) and SB 1446 (Wampler/Colgan) are the major funding bills for the Governor’s Transportation package. Each bill has cleared committee votes and appear to be headed for passage in floor votes. The Chamber SUPPORTED the bills and has endorsed Governor McDonnell’s transportation plan.
Key provisions of Governor McDonnell’s transportation plan are as follows:
Redistricting Panel Meets with Governor
After the regular session of the General Assembly comes to a close in 2011, they will reconvene in special session to work on redistricting.
A bipartisan panel has been appointed by the Governor to advise legislators on how to redraw districts. This work is conducted every 10 years and it is based on the federal census.
The work of the panel is expected to be submitted by April 1.
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