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2021 General Assembly Session 

Action Needed By Feb 24th:

We have reached the point in session where tax conformity legislation has been assigned to a conference committee. The members assigned to this committee will decide the final shape of legislation to be considered by the full House and Senate, so it's imperative that you contact conferees now to ask for a $100,000 PPP deductibility cap. I have included conferees for the budget as well, as this legislation has implications for the Commonwealth's budget. To read more about tax conformity and how it could impact your business, click here.

Sample Correspondence:

Honorable Senators and Delegates,

When considering legislation or budget items relating to tax conformity during the conference process, please support the approach taken in SB 1146, which provides tax deductibility of PPP loans up to $100,000.  

Businesses, especially small ones, have been hit hard by the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) loans, as prescribed by the CARES Act, have provided many businesses their only lifeline to keep their doors open and their employees on payroll. A main benefit of PPP loans was their total tax deductibility at the federal level. Although it is discouraging that the Commonwealth isn’t going to allow total deductibility, a $100,000 threshold would provide much needed tax relief to most small businesses.

Many businesses, especially small ones, have a long way to go before they are anywhere near as successful as they were pre-pandemic. Strict regulation and dedication to health and safety measures have taken their toll, and you can send a strong message to business owners in Virginia’s Blue Ridge that you stand with them.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and please support a tax deductibility threshold of $100,000 for PPP loans when voting on tax conformity legislation.



BUSINESS (if applicable)



*Senator Janet Howell, district32@senate.virginia.gov

*Senator George Barker, district39@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Louise Lucas, District18@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Mamie Locke, District02@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Creigh Deeds, District25@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Tommy Norment, District03@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Emmett Hanger, District24@senate.virginia.gov

*Delegate Luke Torian, delltorian@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Mark Sickles, delmsickles@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Betsy Carr, delbcarr@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Roslyn Tyler, delrtyler@house.virginia.gov

Delegate David Bulova, deldbulova@house.virginia.gov

*Delegate Barry Knight, delbknight@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Terry Austin, deltaustin@house.virginia.gov


*Senator Janet Howell, district32@senate.virginia.gov

*Senator George Barker, district39@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Stephen Newman, District23@senate.virginia.gov

Delegate Vivian Watts, delvwatts@house.virginia.gov

*Delegate Luke Torian, delltorian@house.virginia.gov

*Delegate Barry Knight, delbknight@house.virginia.gov

Bills we're watching in the Virginia General Assembly that would negatively impact our business climate in the Commonwealth. We encourage you to follow these bills closely by visiting the VA Chamber's "Bills We're Watching," page and engage with their public policy and government affairs team if there are issues you are tracking that you would like to make us aware of.


Labor and Employment

HB 2036 (Delegate Tran) - "Virginia Employment Commission; communications with parties, use of electronic means, report." SUPPORT

HB 2134 (Delegate Batten) - "Employee classification; provision of personal protective equipment in response to a disaster." SUPPORT

SB 1219 (Senator Favola) - "Paid family leave; SCC's Bureau of Insurance to review and make recommendations, report." SUPPORT

SB 1314 (Senator Hashmi) - "Education and Labor Market Alignment, Office of; established." SUPPORT

HB 2037 (Delegate Tran) - "Unemployment compensation; benefits, suitable work, benefits charges." OPPOSE

HB 2040 (Delegate Hudson) - "Unemployment compensation; failure to respond, continuation of benefits, repayment of overpayments." OPPOSE

HB 2074 (Delegate Simonds) - "Environmental justice; interagency working group." OPPOSE

HB 2137 (Delegate Guzman) - "Paid sick leave; employers to provide to certain employees." OPPOSE

HB 2155 (Delegate Watts) – “Virginia Human Rights Act; nondiscrimination in employment, sexual and workplace harassment.” OPPOSE

SB 1362 (Senator Lewis) - "Employers; reporting outbreaks of COVID-19." OPPOSE

Education and Workforce

HB 1905 (Delegate Cole) - "Economic education and financial literacy required in middle and high school grades; employment." SUPPORT

HB 2204 (Speaker Filler-Corn) - "Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back (G3) Fund and Program; established." SUPPORT

SB 1279 (Senator Bell) - "Veterans Services, Department of; initiatives to reduce unemployment among veterans." SUPPORT

SB 1405 (Senator Saslaw) - "Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back (G3) Fund and Program; established." SUPPORT


HB 1999 (Delegate Murphy) - "Tax Commissioner; waiver of accrual of interest in the event that Gov. declares state of emergency." SUPPORT

SB 1394 – incorporated into SB1146 (Senators Petersen and Pillion) - "Income tax, state; an exclusion for Paycheck Protection Plan loan forgiveness." The General Assembly is debating legislation that could have a direct effect on your bottom line and tax burden this year if you have taken and spent funds through the Paycheck Protection Program. This bill allows for up to $100,000 of your loans to be tax deductible.SUPPORT

HB 2185 (Delegate Byron) - “Retail Sales and Use Tax; exemption for personal protective equipment.” SUPPORT

2021 Legislative Agenda 


You can find information on all legislation at the website https://lis.virginia.gov. If you know the bill number for the legislation you are tracking, you can enter it in “Bills & Resolutions” and you will be shown a summary of the bill, the bill text, its patron, and where it currently resides in the legislative process. If you are interested in finding a bill containing certain subject matter, you can do so in the same menu or by searching via keyword.


Among a plethora of other information, you can find the House and Senate committee meeting schedules at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov under the “Members and Session” tab. At this webpage, you can also sign up to speak remotely at committee meetings and provide written comments. Since spoken testimony may be limited, we highly recommend submitting written comment for each bill you intend to speak for or against.


If you are signed up to testify on a particular piece of legislation and are called on to speak in a committee meeting, start by thanking the committee chair, state your name, say where you are from, and inform the committee that you are a chamber representative (or business representative for your members). Briefly make a clear case for your position and then thank the committee members for their time. Legislators are ordinary citizens like the rest of us and rely on testimony to make informed decisions on legislation. 


Many of the same guidelines we mentioned for testifying to legislation also apply here. You can find your legislator at https://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov and you will see the contact information for your representative. When calling or emailing your legislator in support or opposition to a bill, always state your name, your address, and that you are a chamber representative or business owner serving his or her district. Again, it is important to share your thoughts early and often as the pace of this short session will be very fast.

In the News/Bills We're Watching:

We are hopeful for continued positive momentum of HB 2204, which would establish the "G3" program. G3, or "Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back" would provide an avenue for eligible low and middle income Virginians to receive financial support to attend a 2-year educational institution if the student is pursuing a career in an in-demand field. This is an innovative solution to help solve job shortages in the selected industries with Virginia citizens filling those jobs, and we are proud to support this initiative.

State opens COVID-19 vaccinations for Virginians 65 and older

Virginia set to implement permanent standards for COVID-19 workplace safety

As Virginia struggles to boost vaccination rates, state officials face calls for more coordination

Read the 2021 Legislative Agenda here.

VA West is a business and legislative coalition comprised of 16 chambers in central, southside, Shenandoah valley, and western Virginia, representing over 4,500 businesses and covering over 8,000 square miles. VA West supports public policies that strengthen free enterprise and regional collaboration efforts that promote economic development.

Your Board of Directors is aware of the increased flow of proposed legislation in both the State Senate and House that will impact businesses in Shenandoah County and the Commonwealth in 2021.  As such, the Board has approved membership in VA WEST to monitor proposed legislation in order to keep you, our members, informed. In addition, we will monitor legislative releases from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and we plan to send routine legislative and action alerts during the legislative session to ensure our members have an opportunity to be engaged and give perspective. 





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