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News & Press: 2019 Member News

Chamber Briefings

Friday, February 1, 2019  
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Chamber Briefings February 2019
UPCOMING EVENTS
 
MARK YOUR CALENDAR

2019 Virginia Conference on Energy & Infrastructure"Foundations of Economic Development & Impact on Job Growth"
April 17-18, 2019
The Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke
 
Fantastic 50 Awards Banquet
May 2, 2019
Westfields Marriott, Chantilly

Virginia Chamber Annual Dinner
May 15, 2019
The Jefferson Hotel, Richmond
MEMBER NEWS & EVENTS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
President's Message

As the General Assembly approaches crossover, where the bulk of legislation from each chamber of the General Assembly transitions to the other for review, our Government affairs team has actively worked to protect the cost of doing business in the Commonwealth and support ideas aligned to the goals of Blueprint Virginia 2025. One such issue is tax conformity and tax policy, where both the House of Delegates and Senate are working towards agreement. We will keep you updated in the coming days on a resolution.
 
The decisions made on tax conformity and policy will impact the Commonwealth's budget. We are tracking a number of spending priorities before the legislature. Each body will release their budgets this weekend for consideration. The budget bills are respectively patroned by the chairmen of the money committees: Sen. Tommy Norment and Sen. Emmett Hanger in the Senate and Del. Chris Jones in the House of Delegates. Please find a detailed summary of items in the introduced budget and budget amendments the Virginia Chamber are actively supporting in theBudget Amendmentsection below.
 
Legislation to improve the legal climate for the business community passed the General Assembly this week. The bills that passed on the Senate and House of Delegates floors related to legal reform are:
  • HB 2167 (Peace)andSB 1457 (Vogel)which allow corporate officers called as a deposition witness to file a motion for a protective order.
  • HB 2197 (Gilbert)andSB 1486 (Obenshain)which limit the use of discovery depositions and affidavits in support of or in opposition to a motion for summary judgment.
Important health care legislation that would allow organizations like the Virginia Chamber of Commerce to offer affordable health plans to membership passed out of their respective committees this week.SB 1689 (Dunnavant)andHB 2443 (Wilt)would allow for organizations to create a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA). MEWA's are innovative, self-funded benefit groups of small employers that pool together to offer their employees comprehensive, affordable health care coverage on terms similar to those available to large employers. These bills will be considered on the House of Delegates and Senate floors towards the beginning of next week. We will keep you updated on the developments of these important health care bills. For more information on MEWAs please find our fact sheet on the topichere.
 
Best Regards,
 
Barry E. DuVal
Budget Amendments

The budget items below include items from the Governor's Introduced Budget and House and Senate Budget Amendments that the Virginia Chamber supports. Although this is not an exhaustive list of items that we're supporting and there may be items added in the coming days, it is reflective of the concepts the Virginia Chamber supports from the bills in House and Senate. We are constantly updating our "Bills We're Watching"page on our website with timely information.
 
HB 1700 (Jones):
Broadband
  • Increased funding for the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative
Economic Development
  • Funding to support the semiconductor manufacturing performance grant
  • Funding to support the major headquarter workforce grant to increase the number of computer science degrees conferred by Virginia's public institutions of higher education
  • Funding to support the tech talent investment fund
  • Funding to support facility improvements related to increased computer science degree attainment
  • Funding to support the creation of a business-ready sites program
  • Increased funding to market Virginia as a destination for tourism related activity
Education and Workforce
  • Funding to increase pay for teachers in Virginia's public schools as well as additional support for school counselors
  • Funding to support computer science literacy in K-12 education
  • Language that requires respect for student ability to pay in developing a uniform approach to dual enrollment tuition
  • Increased funding to develop and implement an online program on the state's aviation and aerospace programs
Energy
  • Language prohibiting the use of state funds to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) until the General Assembly authorizes the state's participation in the program
  • Language prohibiting the use of proceeds from RGGI or Transportation and Climate Initiative for any program or project without express General Assembly approval
Tax Competitiveness
  • Language that forms a workgroup to address the Machinery and Tools tax
SB 1100 (Norment, Hanger):
Broadband
  • Increased funding for the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative
Economic Development
  • Funding to support the semiconductor manufacturing performance grant
  • Funding to support the major headquarter workforce grant to increase the number of computer science degrees conferred by Virginia's public institutions of higher education
  • Funding to support the tech talent investment fund
  • Funding to support facility improvements related to increased computer science degree attainment
  • Funding to support the creation of a business-ready sites program
  • Increased funding to market Virginia as a destination for tourism related activity
Education and Workforce
  • Funding to increase pay for teachers in Virginia's public schools as well as additional support for school counselors
  • Funding to support computer science literacy in K-12 education
  • Language that requires respect for student ability to pay in developing a uniform approach to dual enrollment tuition
  • Increased funding to develop and implement an online program on the state's aviation and aerospace programs
  • Increased funding to support internships for Virginia's postsecondary students
Tax Competitiveness
  • Language that forms a workgroup to address the Machinery and Tools tax
Military and Veterans Affairs
  • Funding to establish the Virginia Community Military Partnership Fund to help enhance the value of Virginia's military installations
Out-migration hurts Virginia's population growth
 
Earlier this week, the Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia published itspopulation estimates, which showed that Virginia's population grew at a slower rate that the overall U.S. population over the past five years (3.2% compared to 3.5%, respectively), despite adding over 50,000 new residents in 2018. One of the primary reasons for this phenomenon is that more Virginians are moving out of the Commonwealth than individuals from other states moving in, a trend that has occurred for the fifth consecutive year.



Since 2010, over half of Virginia's counties have lost population, primarily in rural and non-metro areas, while a majority of the Commonwealth's population growth has occurred in Northern Virginia, as well as Richmond and Roanoke City and suburban counties, such as New Kent and Frederick. Virginia's overall population growth rate in 2018 lagged behind that of North Carolina and Tennessee, and if the growth rate stays the same for the remainder of the decade, Virginia will have grown by 7.8 percent, the lowest growth rate since the 1920s.
Federal agencies resume work after government shutdown ends

Last Friday, Congress and President Trump agreed to a short-term funding bill that ended the 35-day partial government shutdown. The legislation funds affected government departments and agencies through February 15, by which time congressional leaders and the president will need to approve another appropriations bill or risk incurring another shutdown. According toestimatesfrom the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the partial shutdown delayed $18 billion in discretionary spending for purchases and compensation, contributed to the furlough of 300,000 federal civilian employees, and lowered real GDP in the first quarter of 2019 by 0.2 percent. Moving forward, President Trump continues to demand funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, even threatening to declare a national emergency to secure the necessary resources, but congressional Democrats have refused to earmark funds for wall construction in legislation, although they appear open to supporting other forms of border security.
2019 Session Legislative Roundtable Meetings

During the General Assembly Session, the Virginia Chamber holds weekly "Legislative Roundtable" meetings for our members and other stakeholders to gather to discuss issues of importance to the business community. These informal, discussion based meetings allow attendees to update one another on bills and other items of note during the fast-moving General Assembly session.
 
All meetings are from noon-1:00 pm. Please note that all meetings will be held in the Tilghman Room located in the lobby of the SunTrust Center, 919 E. Main St., Richmond, VA 23219.
 
This year's Legislative Roundtables will be held on the following dates:
  • January 14
  • January 21
  • January 28
  • February 4
  • February 11
  • February 18
Please feel free to forward this information to the lobbyist who represents your organization in Richmond during session, or the person who may handle your government affairs or public policy duties.
 
Feel free to contact Tyler Minnich, Manager of Legislative Affairs, at (804) 237-1468 or t.minnich@vachamber.com if you have any questions.
Bills We're Watching
Our bill tracking system, "Bills We're Watching," provides a quick and easy way for our members to stay abreast of all legislation pertinent to business. Short, concise summaries of each bill are provided along with the Chamber's "thumbs-up" or "thumbs-down" position.

Click on the image below to view "Bills We're Watching"
 

SAVE THE DATE - 2019 FANTASTIC 50 AWARDS BANQUET!

TheVirginia Chamber of Commerce is proud to present the only statewide awards program recognizing 50 of the fastest growing companies in the Commonwealth.
 
Winners for the 2019 competition will be announced at theFantastic 50 Awards Banquet on May 2ndat theWestfields Marriott in Chantilly.As part of the competition,five Virginia Vanguard Award Winners will be selected showcasing the top companies in Technology, Service, Manufacturing, Retail/Wholesale, and the Highest Growth Rate Overall, or the #1 Fantastic 50 Company for 2019.

Nominations for the 2020 Fantastic 50 Awards will be open during the Fall. Please contact Lindsay Borge, Director of Events, atl.borge@vachamber.comfor more information.
Keep up with the Virginia Chamber on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

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