CHAMBER ACTION ALERTS
Read the 2022 Legislative Agenda here.
The 2022 legislative session will be 60 days long, meaning it’s scheduled to end the second week of March.
Close to 2,000 bills have been filed by legislators and while it initially takes some time for bills to be assigned to committees, the process is ongoing and some have already received hearings. SB 173, a bill which sought to freeze Virginia’s minimum wage at $11 per hour, was defeated in the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor on a 12Y-3N vote. Another bill which would have expanded public employee collective bargaining rights—SB 264— was stricken at the request of the patron.
We are pleased to report that Delegate Rasoul’s HB 309, which would allow certain businesses to prepay yearly registration fees (and thereby decreasing time spent on paperwork) has passed through Subcommittee #2 in the House Committee on Commerce and Energy on a 7-0 vote. That bill will now be heard in full committee, where we hope it will receive similar success.
FINDING INFORMATION ON LEGISLATION
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.
ACCESSING HOUSE/SENATE MEETING SCHEDULES
Among a ton 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, I would highly recommend submitting written comment for each bill you intend to speak for or against.
TESTIFYING ON BILLS
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 business owner or representative of your business. Briefly (and I mean briefly, testimony may be limited to 2 minutes or less) make a clear case for your position and then thank the committee members for their time.
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.