The 2011 regular session of the General Assembly ended on Sunday, February 27, 2011. There were 2,300 bills introduced in this “short” session. The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance worked collaboratively to defeat several bills that were harmful to business. Chamber members received weekly electronic General Assembly updates and were provided the opportunity to communicate with their elected officials on a number of issues.
A sampling of business issues that were lobbied by the Chamber were the following:
Post Labor Day
The Chambers were instrumental in defeating 5 of 6 Post-Labor day bills. If passed, the bills would allow public schools to open prior to Labor Day. The remaining bill is limited to the City of Roanoke.
The Chambers supported tourism bills that provide 2% of sales tax revenues from new projects. These monies can be used in financing the new infrastructure.
The Chambers worked to defeat an unemployment insurance measure which would have expanded the eligibility of the current Unemployment Insurance Program in order to accept one time federal stimulus funding.
The Chambers supported a Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) reform measure that for the first two years business operations permits localities to rebate a new business BPOL. JLARC, the oversight agency of the Virginia General Assembly, is currently studying BPOL reform to determine the impact of local revenue streams (gross vs net).
The Chambers endorsed Governor McDonnell’s $4 billion transportation plan. Several pieces of legislation passed will:
The General Assembly will reconvene on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 to consider any amendments from the Governor and any vetoes to legislation passed by the 2011 General Assembly. To access additional information from the 2011 General Assembly session, click here.