New year, new bills! Please see the following to stay updated on what bills FABA is watching. Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please forward them to [email protected] and we will get them answered. Our legislative committee is also a great place to voice your opinion, don’t be shy! Join us at the next meeting!

  1. Please see HB 209 – Amending the Civil Remedies and Procedure section of the VA Code. Unless we hear differently, HBAV will definitely oppose this legislation. See below.
    1. Provides that any person owning, operating, or managing (i) a commercial property used primarily for business purposes or (ii) residential real property that is owned by a person who owns five or more dwelling units that are used primarily for rental as a dwelling unit shall have the duty to take reasonable precautions to protect the tenants, other authorized occupants, or guests or invitees of such property against injury caused by the criminal conduct of a third party, if the danger of injury by such conduct is known to such owner, operator, or manager or is reasonably foreseeable. The bill provides that the same duty applies to any private security services business contracted to provide services to such person owning, operating, or managing such property.
  2. Senator Richard Stuart introduced legislation that would authorize a locality to show in the locality’s comprehensive plan the locality’s long-range recommendations for groundwater and surface water availability, quality, and sustainability. The bill requires the local planning commission to survey and study groundwater and surface water availability, quality, and sustainability in the preparation of a comprehensive plan. Is there concern that this requirement could be used as an anti-growth tool in areas (Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area) where water supply is an issue? Also, there are other provisions in the code that already dictate responsibilities of localities to plan for and develop long range water supply needs.
    1. Bill Summary Here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+sum+SB211
    2. Bill Language Here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+ful+SB211+pdf
    3. Changes Include:
      1. The comprehensive plan, with the accompanying maps, plats, charts, and descriptive matter, shall show the locality’s long-range recommendations for the general development of the territory covered by the plan. It may include, but need not be limited to:
        1. The designation of areas for the implementation of reasonable ground water protection measures to ensure the continued availability, quality, and sustainability of groundwater and surface water;
        2. AND In the preparation of a comprehensive plan, the local planning commission shall survey and study such matters as the following:
          1. Use of land, preservation of agricultural and forestal land, production of food and fiber, characteristics and conditions of existing development, trends of growth or changes, natural resources, historic areas, ground water, groundwater and surface water availability, quality, and sustainability, geologic factors, population factors, employment, environmental and economic factors, existing public facilities, drainage, flood control and flood damage prevention measures, dam break inundation zones and potential impacts to downstream properties to the extent that information concerning such information exists and is available to the local planning authority, the transmission of electricity, road improvements, and any estimated cost thereof, transportation facilities, transportation improvements, and any cost thereof, the need for affordable housing in both the locality and planning district within which it is situated, and any other matters relating to the subject matter and general purposes of the comprehensive plan.
  3. Del-Elect Bob Thomas has introduced the following bill: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+sum+HB341, which would allow a locality to prohibit a stormwater management area from being located in an “open space” or “conservation area” established as part of a cluster development. Current law bars localities from enacting such a prohibition.
    1. Bill language here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+ful+HB341+pdf
  4. Please review the bill below related to “Uniform Statewide Building Code; enforcement; inspection warrants; hoarding”.
    1. Expands the circumstances in which an inspection warrant may be issued by a magistrate or court of competent jurisdiction to a local building official or his agent to include instances in which a local building department has received a complaint that a violation of the unsafe structures provisions of the Building Code exists due to documented prolonged and extensive hoarding by the owner, tenant, or occupant of any building, and the owner, tenant, or occupant has refused to allow the local building official or his agent access to such building or structure. The bill defines “hoarding” as the acquisition and retention of large quantities of items and materials that produce an extensively cluttered living space, which significantly impairs the performance of essential self-care tasks or otherwise substantially threatens health, life, or safety.
    2. Bill Summary: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+sum+HB391
    3. Bill Language: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+ful+HB391+pdf
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (December 4, 2017)
Primary Sponsor: Delegate John J. Bell
Summary: Department of Transportation; use of practical design methods. Requires the Department of Transportation to employ practical design methods for any highway system project, including all projects costing more than $5 million. “Practical design methods” are defined in the bill as practices that incorporate maximum flexibility in application of standards that reduce the cost of project delivery while preserving and enhancing safety and mobility.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (December 4, 2017)
Summary: Statewide prioritization process project selection. Requires the total cost of a transportation project to be considered in evaluating projects under the statewide prioritization process. The bill requires the Commonwealth Transportation Board to evaluate congestion mitigation on the basis of total traffic volumes, not just traffic volumes during weekdays. The bill imposes restrictions on projects receiving funding from the High Priority Projects Program that are evaluated under the statewide prioritization process.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (December 13, 2017)
Primary Sponsor: Delegate John J. Bell
Summary: Virginia Public Procurement Act; competitive negotiation for professional services. Provides that for competitive negotiation for professional services, a public body may conduct negotiations simultaneously with the top two ranked offerors if the public body does not request or discuss nonbinding estimates of total project costs at the discussion stage and as long as such process is set forth in the Request for Proposal.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (December 13, 2017)
Primary Sponsor: Delegate Mark L. Cole
Summary: Additional lanes of Interstate 95. Directs the Department of Transportation to immediately commence a transportation project to add an additional lane of travel to that portion of Interstate 95 between Exit 126 in Spotsylvania County and Interstate 495 in both the north-bound and south-bound directions.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (December 17, 2017)
Primary Sponsor: Delegate Sam Rasoul
Summary: Department of Education; community schools. Requires the Department of Education to establish an interagency taskforce composed of state and local agencies and entities in the areas of early childhood development, health, social services, community engagement, family engagement, higher education, and workforce development for the purpose of developing a program for the establishment of community schools whereby public elementary and secondary schools serve as centers for the provision of such community programs and services to students and their families as may be necessary on the basis of the unique needs of the student population to be served. The bill requires such program to include a process by which school boards and community partnerships may apply to the Department of Education to designate an elementary or secondary school in the local school division as a community school. The bill also establishes a special nonreverting fund in the state treasury for the purpose of providing planning grants for school boards and community partnerships that seek to apply to the Department of Education through such program for community school designation.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (December 19, 2017)
Primary Sponsor: Delegate David E. Yancey
Summary: Worker retraining tax credit; manufacturing instruction for students. Modifies the worker retraining tax credit by allowing credit to manufacturers conducting a manufacturing orientation, instruction, and training program that is (i) provided to students in grades six through 12, (ii) coordinated with the local school division and certified as qualified for tax credit by the Virginia Economic Partnership Development Authority, and (iii) conducted either at a plant or facility used by the manufacturer or at a public middle or high school in Virginia. The credit would equal 35 percent of the manufacturer’s direct costs in providing the program, not to exceed $2,000 for any year.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (December 23, 2017)
Summary: Bonds issued for the construction of public facilities; municipal authority to retain sales tax revenues from such facilities. Extends until July 1, 2020, the authority of any municipality to issue bonds for the construction of certain public facilities and retain sales and use tax revenue generated within such facilities to pay off such bonds. Under current law, such authority expired on July 1, 2017.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (December 27, 2017)
Primary Sponsor: Delegate Richard P. Bell
Summary: Virginia Public Procurement Act; bid match preference for Virginia businesses. Provides a bid match preference for Virginia businesses. Under the bill, for contracts of $5,000 or more, a Virginia business has an opportunity to match the lowest bid of an out-of-state bidder if the bid of a Virginia business is within five percent of the lowest bid of an out-of-state bidder.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (December 28, 2017)
Summary: Superintendent of Public Instruction; establishment of the Digital Citizenship, Internet Safety, and Media Literacy Advisory Council. Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish and appoint members to the Digital Citizenship, Internet Safety, and Media Literacy Advisory Council (Council), including at least one teacher, librarian, representative of a parent-teacher organization, school administrator, and individual with expertise in digital citizenship, Internet safety, and media literacy. The bill requires the Council to (i) develop and recommend to the Board of Education for adoption a model policy for local school boards that would enable such school boards to better support the digital citizenship, Internet safety, and media literacy of all students in the local school division; (ii) develop and recommend to the Board for adoption model instructional practices for the safe, ethical, and responsible use of media and technology by students in public elementary and secondary schools; and (iii) design and post on the Department of Education’s website a page with links to successful instructional practices, curricula, and other teacher resources used in school divisions within and outside of the Commonwealth for the safe, ethical, and responsible use of media and technology by students.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (January 2, 2018)
Primary Sponsor: Delegate Terry G. Kilgore
Summary: One-stop small business permitting program. Extends the date by which the State Corporation Commission and the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity are required to complete aspects of the one-stop small business permitting program from June 30, 2018, to January 1, 2020. The measure also (i) deletes a provision regarding the implementation of a hyperlink in 2014, (ii) amends the description of the processes to be established for the electronic collection and exchange of data or information, and (iii) deletes requirements for biannual progress reports.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (January 5, 2018)
Primary Sponsor: Delegate Mark L. Keam
Summary: School boards; work-based learning experiences for students; notification. Requires each school board to implement a plan to notify students and their parents of the availability of internships, externships, apprenticeships, credentialing programs, certification programs, licensure programs, and other work-based learning experiences.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (January 7, 2018)
Summary: State and local tax and regulatory exemptions for new small businesses. Exempts new small businesses from (i) payment of unemployment, sales and use, and local license taxes and (ii) certain registration and reporting requirements with the State Corporation Commission. The bill defines an eligible business as any business that has its principal place of business in the Commonwealth, has not been in existence for more than five years, and has fewer than six employees or has paid less than $5,000 for the purchase or lease of business personal property, including machinery and tools and merchants’ capital, since its inception.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (January 7, 2018)
Summary: Virginia Public Procurement Act; use of best value contracting. Authorizes the use of best value contracting by all public bodies. The bill sets forth the requirements for any procurement process that uses best value concepts.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (January 7, 2018)
Summary: Commercial motor vehicles; certain high-occupancy vehicle lanes. Prohibits the operation of a commercial motor vehicle in a high-occupancy vehicle lane on State Route 267.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (January 8, 2018)
Primary Sponsor: Delegate M. Keith Hodges
Summary: Virginia Small Business Financing Authority; Veteran Entrepreneur and Capital Resources Program and Fund. Establishes the Veteran Entrepreneur and Capital Resources Program and Fund to provide loans and support to veteran small business owners, as defined in the bill, and to veterans starting a business, purchasing a franchise, or pursuing other entrepreneurial endeavors. The Fund shall be managed and administered by the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority with guidance from the Director of Small Business and Supplier Diversity and assistance with verification of veteran status and promotion of the program from the Department of Veteran Services. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2019.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (January 8, 2018)
Primary Sponsor: Delegate Tony O. Wilt
Summary: Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity; implementation of certification programs for small businesses; definition of small business; report. Changes the definition of small business, beginning July 1, 2019, to meet the small business size standards established by the regulations of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The bill provides that any business entity that the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (the Department) has certified as a small business prior to July 1, 2019, shall have such certification extended for a three-year period. The bill also provides that the Director of the Department adopt regulations that will, beginning July 1, 2019, establish a three-year certification period for small businesses to be based on the dominant business activity of each small business entity. The bill (i) includes a definition of “dominant business activity”; (ii) provides for the Department to enter into a memorandum of understanding with appropriate agencies establishing provisions for the sharing of information consistent with the requirements of state and federal law; (iii) authorizes the Director to terminate a contract with any independent certifying entities to assist in the certification of small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses based on performance or a written determination by the Director that continuing the contract is not practicable, and (iv) requires the Secretary of Commerce and Trade to evaluate the effect of the implementation of the new definition at three-year intervals, reporting to the Governor and General Assembly by December 1, 2022, and December 1, 2025.
Last Action: House: Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18101042D (January 8, 2018)
Primary Sponsor: Nicholas J. Freitas
Summary: Removes the licensure requirement for the occupation of landscape architect and provides for optional certification. The bill limits title protection for landscape architects to the term “certified landscape architect” and removes restrictions on the practice of landscape architecture by unlicensed persons. The bill also clarifies that hair braiding is not a practice included under the definition of “cosmetology.”
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (December 22, 2017)
Summary: Study; Standards of Learning Innovation Committee; experiential learning and workforce development opportunities in high-demand fields; report. Requests that the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee study experiential learning and workforce development opportunities for high school students in high-demand fields. The bill requires the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee to reports its findings no later than the first day of the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (January 4, 2018)
Primary Sponsor: Delegate Dave A. LaRock
Summary: Constitutional amendment (second resolution); Transportation Funds. Requires the General Assembly to maintain permanent and separate Transportation Funds to include the Commonwealth Transportation Fund, Transportation Trust Fund, Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund, and other funds established by general law for transportation. The amendment directs that revenues dedicated to Transportation Funds on January 1, 2018, by general law, other than a general appropriation law, shall be deposited to the Transportation Funds, unless the General Assembly by general law, other than a general appropriation law, alters the revenues dedicated to the Funds. The amendment limits the use of Funds moneys to transportation and related purposes. The amendment specifies that the General Assembly may borrow from the Funds for other purposes only by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house and that the loan must be repaid with reasonable interest within four years.
 
Last Action: Committee Referral Pending (January 6, 2018)
Summary: Study; Department of Rail and Public Transportation; improved transportation services; report. Requests that the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (the Department) identify and recommend potential public transportation services from the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station to Marine Corps Base Quantico in Prince William and Stafford Counties and study the feasibility of extending the Blue Line and other multimodal options such as bus rapid transit along Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1. The Department shall report on its findings and recommendations on the first day of the 2019 and 2020 Regular Sessions of the General Assembly.
 
Last Action: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor (November 29, 2017)
Primary Sponsor: Senator John S. Edwards
Summary: Minimum wage. Increases the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $8.00 per hour effective July 1, 2018, to $9.00 per hour effective July 1, 2019, and to $10.10 per hour effective July 1, 2020, unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The measure also provides that the Virginia minimum wage applies to persons whose employment is covered by the FLSA and to persons employed by the Commonwealth, its agencies or political subdivisions, or a public body.
 
Last Action: Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology (December 11, 2017)
Primary Sponsor: Senator L. Louise Lucas
Summary: Virginia Casino Gaming Commission; regulation of casino gaming; penalties. Creates the Virginia Casino Gaming Commission (the Commission) as the licensing body for casino gaming. The bill specifies the licensing requirements for casino gaming and imposes penalties for violations of the casino gaming law. Casino gaming shall be limited to localities that have passed a referendum on the question of allowing casino gaming in the locality. The bill also requires the Commission to establish a voluntary exclusion program allowing persons to voluntarily exclude themselves from the gaming areas of facilities under the jurisdiction of the Commission. In addition, the bill establishes the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund administered by the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to provide counseling and other support services for compulsive and problem gamblers, develop problem gambling treatment and prevention programs, and provide grants to supporting organizations that provide assistance to compulsive gamblers. The bill requires proceeds of the gross receipts tax and admission tax imposed on casino gaming operators to be paid as follows: (i) one percent into the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, (ii) 10 percent to the locality in which the casino gaming operation is located, and (iii) 89 percent into the Toll Mitigation Fund, which shall be used to mitigate the tolls established to support construction and maintenance of the Dominion Boulevard Bridge and Roadway Improvement Project and the Downtown Tunnel/Midtown Tunnel/Martin Luther King Freeway Extension Project.
 
Last Action: Referred to Committee on Finance (December 27, 2017)
Summary: Motor vehicle fuels sales tax in certain transportation districts; price floor. Establishes a floor on the 2.1 percent tax imposed on motor vehicle fuels sold in Northern Virginia by requiring that the average wholesale price upon which the tax is based be no less than the statewide average sales price on February 20, 2013.
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