2.19 Update from Virginia Chamber of Commerce
With just over a week left in the current special session, committees are finalizing their business, as the last day committees are scheduled to meet is on Monday, February 22. Next week, the primary focus of the General Assembly will be to negotiate the final details on bills in conference and reconcile the House and Senate budget bills.
In advance of the conclusion of special session, I would like to provide an update on several legislative items of interest to the business community.
The Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back (G3) Fund and Program (HB 2204 / SB 1405) has passed the House and Senate and will soon be headed to the Governor for his signature. This was a high priority for the Virginia Chamber and we are looking forward to the program’s implementation.
The Chamber continues to advocate for the Paycheck Protection Program loan deductibility (HB 1935 / SB 1146) for all individuals and businesses to be able to take these deductions up to $100,000. Negotiations continue on the amount of the deduction.
The study on options for financing universal health care in Virginia (HB 2271) was defeated in committee and instead a letter will be sent to the Joint Commission on Health Care asking the Commission to take a look at the issue.
The proposed legislation to require employers to offer a state facilitated IRA savings plan (HB 2174) has passed the House and is expected to pass the Senate. This will require employers to offer this retirement option to their employees but will be voluntary for employees to participate. The Virginia Chamber is continuing to monitor for any potential amendments to be added to the bill and will keep you informed on any developments.
The General Assembly has passed a Resolution to study Virginia’s individual income tax system and will submit a report of its findings in early January 2022. More information can be found here.
Additionally, an amendment to the budget was introduced last week which will require unitary businesses to file a pro forma report with the Virginia Department of Taxation for the 2019 taxable year. This report would be due by June 1, 2021. If the unitary business does not file by this date, they will be subject to a $10,000 penalty. A link to the amendment can be found here.
The Virginia Chamber will continue to monitor the progress of this legislation and subsequent workgroup activities and provide our members with updates.
Finally, I would like to conclude this week’s Chamber Briefing by providing an update on the current status of the biennium budget process. The House and Senate have passed different budget bills and are expected to announce each chamber’s budget conferees today.
Those conferees could begin meeting as soon as this weekend to begin the reconciliation process and come up with a final bill to be voted on by the full General Assembly. Aiding in this reconciliation process was an announcement this week by the Secretary of Finance that there is an additional $730.2 million in revenue available to the General Assembly to support additional spending priorities.