Retail Advocate - January 30, 2023
January 30, 2023

Retail Advocate - January 30, 2023

Week three of the 2023 Session picked up the pace, with hundreds of bills being heard and acted on in their respective committees. The week ahead of us will be very busy as the House and Senate chambers move to pass legislation ahead of “Crossover” on February 7th. That is the deadline for any bill to be reviewed by the chamber in which it was introduced.   
Retail Advocate - January 23, 2023
January 23, 2023

Retail Advocate - January 23, 2023

Week Two of the 2023 Session started off slowly with committees and subcommittees starting to plow through the hundreds of bills assigned to them. The next two weeks will be crunch time as the House and Senate work long hours to get through the bills introduced in each body before “Crossover” on February 7th.
The Retail Advocate - January 16, 2023
January 16, 2023

The Retail Advocate - January 16, 2023

The General Assembly convened in Richmond for the 2023 Legislative Session on Wednesday, January 11th. This year’s Session will be a short Session lasting a total of 46 days. As the 2023 Session progresses, here are a few important key dates to keep in mind: 
About Virginia Retail Federation
December 08, 2020

About Virginia Retail Federation

VRF is stronger with your voice as a part of it. Join today to participate in the legislative process through a baseline, free membership level geared at activating your voice in policy decisions. At no cost, you will get access to decoded bill information, our engagement platform that connects you directly with your representatives, and legislative updates that keep you informed throughout the General Assembly and beyond.  Join the Cause

The General Assembly convened in Richmond for the 2023 Legislative Session on Wednesday, January 11th. This year’s Session will be a short Session lasting a total of 46 days. As the 2023 Session progresses, here are a few important key dates to keep in mind: 

  • On December 15, 2022, Governor Glenn Youngkin presented his budget priorities for the upcoming year. The General Assembly will then have an opportunity to review and offer amendments during session. 
  • February 7, 2023 is “Crossover.” The deadline for action on any bill by the chamber in which it was introduced is midnight on Crossover. All legislation that has been acted on by the body of origin, then crosses over to the opposite Chamber.
  • February 25, 2023 is the scheduled date that the General Assembly should adjourn sine die. This marks the end of the 2023 legislative session, and all legislation that has passed out of both Chambers will be communicated to the Governor.

 

This year’s General Assembly composition will include three newly elected members that ran in special elections.

  • Delegate Ellen Campbell succeeds her recently deceased husband, Delegate Ronnie Campbell.
  • Delegate Holly Seibold succeeds former Delegate Mark Keam who recently left the General Assembly to join the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
  • Senator-Elect Aaron Rouse succeeds a recently vacated seat due to the election of Jen Kiggans to the U.S. House of Representatives. This particular succession bolsters the narrow Democratic lead in the Senate chamber.

Currently, the House of Delegates is controlled by Republicans with a 52:48 split and the Senate is controlled by the Democrats 22:18.


On Wednesday, January 11th, Governor Glenn Youngkin presented his State of the Commonwealth jointly addressing the House and Senate. The Governor shared his priorities for the upcoming session, including reducing the individual income tax rate to 5.5%, reducing the corporate tax rate to 5%, creating a 10% deduction on business income for small businesses, and doubling the standard deduction. The Governor additionally stated he wants to address and combat learning loss effects due to the COVID-19 pandemic through retention bonuses for teachers. Governor Youngkin finished up the State of the Commonwealth by sharing he wants to focus more attention on programs that will reduce the number of vacancies for law enforcement officers and nurses.
 
 

LEGISLATION  

Currently, there have been 1,813 bills introduced in total for both the House and Senate chambers. Below you will find a breakdown of legislation that impacts the retail industry. Your Virginia Retail Federation team will continue to keep you informed throughout the 2023 Session on all issues that impact your business. VRF is represented by in-house Government Relations Director, Jodi Roth, as well as our contract lobbying team at Two Capitols Consulting.

 

ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME  

  • HB 1885: Organized retail theft; establishes as a crime, report, penalty.

 

Establishes the crime of organized retail theft that makes it a Class 3 felony for any person to (i) conspire or act in concert with another person to commit simple larceny of retail property from one or more retail mercantile establishments, with a value exceeding $1,000 aggregated over a 90-day period, with the intent to sell such retail property for monetary or other gain, and to take or cause such retail property to be placed in the control of a retail property fence or other person; (ii) receive or possess any retail property that has been obtained by simple larceny from one or more retail mercantile establishments in violation of clause (i) while knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe the property was unlawfully obtained; or (iii) conspire or act in concert with two or more other persons as an organizer, supervisor, financier, leader, or manager to engage for profit in a scheme or course of conduct to effectuate the transfer or sale of property obtained by simple larceny from one or more retail mercantile establishments in violation of either of clause (i) or clause (ii).

The bill defines the terms retail mercantile establishment, retail property, and retail property fence. The bill makes it a Class 5 felony for any person to injure property during an act or attempted act of organized retail theft when the value of or damage to the property, memorial, or monument is $1,000 or more.

The bill provides that any person convicted of a second larceny offense shall be confined in jail not less than 30 days nor more than 12 months and that for a third or any subsequent offense, they are guilty of a Class 6 felony.

The bill also establishes the Organized Retail Crime Fund to be administered by the Attorney General solely for the purposes of awarding grants to attorneys for the Commonwealth and law-enforcement agencies to investigate, indict, and prosecute violations of organized retail theft and associated fraud and property crimes.

  • SB 1396: Organized retail theft; report; penalty.

Establishes the crime of organized retail theft that makes it a Class 3 felony for any person to (i) conspire or act in concert with another person to commit simple larceny of retail property from one or more retail mercantile establishments, with a value exceeding $1,000 aggregated over a 90-day period, with the intent to sell such retail property for monetary or other gain, and to take or cause such retail property to be placed in the control of a retail property fence or other person; (ii) receive or possess any retail property that has been obtained by simple larceny from one or more retail mercantile establishments in violation of clause (i) while knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe the property was unlawfully obtained; or (iii) conspire or act in concert with two or more other persons as an organizer, supervisor, financier, leader, or manager to engage for profit in a scheme or course of conduct to effectuate the transfer or sale of property obtained by simple larceny from one or more retail mercantile establishments in violation of either of clause (i) or clause (ii).

The bill defines the terms retail mercantile establishment, retail property, and retail property fence. The bill makes it a Class 5 felony for any person to injure property during an act or attempted act of organized retail theft when the value of or damage to the property, memorial, or monument is $1,000 or more.

The bill provides that any person convicted of a second larceny offense shall be confined in jail not less than 30 days nor more than 12 months and that for a third or any subsequent offense, they are guilty of a Class 6 felony.

The bill also establishes the Organized Retail Crime Fund to be administered by the Attorney General solely for the purposes of awarding grants to attorneys for the Commonwealth and law-enforcement agencies to investigate, indict, and prosecute violations of organized retail theft and associated fraud and property crimes.

 

FELONY LARCENY THRESHOLD  

  • SB 1296: Grand larceny and certain property crimes; penalties.

Grand larceny and certain property crimes; penalties. Reduces from $1,000 to $500 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny.

The bill reduces the threshold by the same amount for the classification of certain property crimes. The bill also provides that any person convicted of a second larceny offense shall be confined in jail not less than 30 days nor more than 12 months and that for a third or any subsequent offense, they are guilty of a Class 6 felony.

 

MINIMUM WAGE  

  • HB 1669: Minimum wage; payment to employees younger than the age of 18.
Minimum wage; employees younger than the age of 18. Requires employers to pay employees younger than the age of 18 wages at a rate not less than the greater of (i) $9.00 per hour or (ii) the federal minimum wage.

  • HB 1924: Minimum wage; employees with disabilities.
Minimum wage; employees with disabilities. Provides that individuals with disabilities that are paid at subminimum wage pursuant to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act are employees for the purposes of the Virginia Minimum Wage Act.

The bill requires every employer of such employees to pay such employees wages at a rate not less than (i) from July 1, 2023, until July 1, 2024, $9.50 per hour; (ii) from July 1, 2024, until July 1, 2025, $10.50 per hour; and (iii) from July 1, 2025, until July 1, 2026, $11.50 per hour.

The bill requires that from and after July 1, 2026, every employer of such employees pay such employees at a rate equivalent to all other employees covered by the Virginia Minimum Wage Act.
 

PAID AND UNPAID LEAVE  

  • HB 1886: Insurance agents; definitions; private family leave insurance.
Insurance agents; definitions; private family leave insurance. Expands the definitions of "health agent" and "property and casualty insurance agent" to include that such agents may sell, solicit, or negotiate private family leave insurance.

The bill also clarifies that private family leave insurance is not included in either limited lines life and health insurance or limited lines property and casualty insurance as they relate to the definitions of "limited lines life and health agent" and "limited lines property and casualty agent," respectively.

  • HB 1988: Employment; paid sick leave; civil penalties.
Expands provisions of the Code that currently provide paid sick leave for home health workers to cover all employees of private employers and state and local governments. The bill provides that accrued paid sick leave can be carried over to the following year and that employees transferred to a separate division or location remain entitled to previously accrued paid sick leave.

The bill provides that paid sick leave may be used for the closure of an employee's place of business by order of a public official due to a public health emergency, for an employee's need to care for a child whose school or place of care has been closed due to a public health emergency, or for an employee to care for himself or a family member who has been exposed to a communicable disease.

The bill requires each employer to provide its employees a written notice of its paid sick leave policy at the commencement of employment and prohibits an employer from taking retaliatory personnel action against an employee for exercising the rights provided in the bill.

The bill authorizes the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, in the case of a knowing violation, to subject an employer to a civil penalty not to exceed $150 for the first violation, $300 for the second violation, and $500 for each successive violation. The Commissioner may institute proceedings on behalf of an employee to enforce compliance with the provisions of this bill and to collect specified amounts from the employer that shall be awarded to the employee.

Alternatively, an aggrieved employee is authorized to bring a civil action against the employer in which he may recover double the amount of any unpaid sick leave and the amount of any actual damages suffered as the result of the employer's violation. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2024.

  • HB 2035: Paid family and medical leave program; Virginia Employment Commission required to establish.
Paid family and medical leave program. Requires the Virginia Employment Commission to establish and administer a paid family and medical leave program with benefits beginning January 1, 2026. Under the program, benefits are paid to eligible employees for family and medical leave.

Funding for the program is provided through premiums assessed to employers and employees beginning in 2025. The amount of a benefit is 80 percent of the employee's average weekly wage, not to exceed 80 percent of the state weekly wage, which amount is required to be adjusted annually to reflect changes in the statewide average weekly wage. The measure caps the duration of paid leave at 12 weeks in any application year. The bill provides self-employed individuals the option of participating in the program.

  • HB 2087: Health care providers and grocery store workers; employers to provide paid sick leave.
Paid sick leave; health care providers and grocery store workers. Requires employers to provide paid sick leave to health care providers and grocery store workers. Under current law, employers are only required to provide paid sick leave to certain home health workers.

The bill removes requirements that workers work on average at least 20 hours per week or 90 hours per month to be eligible for paid sick leave. The bill provides that certain health care providers may waive their right to accrue and use paid sick leave and provides an exemption for employers of certain other health care providers.

The bill requires the Department of Labor and Industry to develop guidelines for retail employers that sell groceries to provide sick leave and to publish such guidelines by December 1, 2023. The provisions of the bill, other than the requirement for the Department of Labor and Industry to develop guidelines, have a delayed effective date of January 1, 2024.

  • SB 886: Health care providers and grocery store workers; employers to provide paid sick leave.
Paid sick leave; health care providers and grocery store workers. Requires employers to provide paid sick leave to health care providers and grocery store workers. Under current law, employers are only required to provide paid sick leave to certain home health workers.

The bill removes requirements that workers work on average at least 20 hours per week or 90 hours per month to be eligible for paid sick leave. The bill provides that certain health care providers may waive their right to accrue and use paid sick leave and provides an exemption for employers of certain other health care providers.

The bill requires the Department of Labor and Industry to develop guidelines for retail employers that sell groceries to provide sick leave and to publish such guidelines by December 1, 2023. The provisions of the bill, other than the requirement for the Department of Labor and Industry to develop guidelines, have a delayed effective date of January 1, 2024.

  • SB 1000: Insurance agents; definitions; private family leave insurance.
Insurance agents; definitions; private family leave insurance. Expands the definitions of "health agent" and "property and casualty insurance agent" to include that such agents may sell, solicit, or negotiate private family leave insurance.

The bill also clarifies that private family leave insurance is not included in either limited lines life and health insurance or limited lines property and casualty insurance as they relate to the definitions of "limited lines life and health agent" and "limited lines property and casualty agent" respectively.

  • SB 1086: Living organ donors; unpaid leave, civil penalty.
Living organ donors; unpaid leave; civil penalty. Requires that an employer that employs 15 or more employees provide eligible employees, defined in the bill, with (i) up to 60 business days of unpaid organ donation leave in any 12-month period to serve as an organ donor and (ii) up to 30 business days of unpaid organ donation leave in any 12-month period to serve as a bone marrow donor.

The bill requires the employer to restore the employee's position following the leave, to continue to provide coverage for the employee under any health benefit plan, and to pay the employee any commission earned prior to the leave.

The bill prohibits the employer from taking retaliatory action against the employee for taking organ donation leave. The bill requires the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to enforce its provisions and provides for civil penalties for violations of its requirements.

  • SB 1101: Paid family and medical leave program; Virginia Employment Commission required to establish.
Paid family and medical leave program. Requires the Virginia Employment Commission to establish and administer a paid family and medical leave program with benefits beginning January 1, 2026. Under the program, benefits are paid to eligible employees for family and medical leave.

Funding for the program is provided through premiums assessed to employers and employees beginning in 2025. The amount of a benefit is 80 percent of the employee's average weekly wage, not to exceed 80 percent of the state weekly wage, which amount is required to be adjusted annually to reflect changes in the statewide average weekly wage.

The measure caps the duration of paid leave at 12 weeks in any application year. The bill provides self-employed individuals the option of participating in the program.

 

SALES TAX INCREASE  

  • HB 1531: Hampton Roads Interstate Highway Corridor Improvement Program and Fund; established and created.
Hampton Roads Interstate Highway Corridor Improvement Program and Fund; sales and use tax; Planning District 23. Creates the Hampton Roads Interstate Highway Corridor Improvement Program for the purpose of making infrastructure and safety improvements to highway corridors surrounding and paralleling interstate highways in Planning District 23.

The program is funded by an additional 0.30 percent retail sales and use tax levied and imposed in Planning District 23. The bill provides that moneys generated by such tax shall be deposited in the Hampton Roads Interstate Highway Corridor Improvement Fund, created by the bill.

  • HB 1605: Local sales and use tax; construction or renovation of schools, Prince Edward County.
Local sales and use tax; construction or renovation of schools; Prince Edward County. Adds Prince Edward County to the list of localities that are authorized to impose an additional local sales and use tax at a rate not to exceed one percent with the revenue used only for capital projects for the construction or renovation of schools.

  • SB 1287: Additional local sales and use tax to support schools.
Additional local sales and use tax to support schools. Adds Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville to the list of qualifying localities that, under current law, are authorized to impose an additional local sales and use tax at a rate not to exceed one percent, with the revenue from such tax used only for capital projects for the construction or renovation of schools.

  • SB 1408: Sales and use tax, local; additional tax authorized in all counties & cities to support schools.
Additional local sales and use tax to support schools; referendum. Authorizes all counties and cities to impose an additional local sales and use tax at a rate not to exceed one percent with the revenue used only for capital projects for the construction or renovation of schools if such levy is approved in a voter referendum.

Under current law, only Charlotte, Gloucester, Halifax, Henry, Mecklenburg, Northampton, Patrick, and Pittsylvania Counties and the City of Danville are authorized to impose such a tax. This bill is a recommendation of the Commission on School Construction and Modernization.
 
 

SALES TAX EXEMPTIONS  

  • HB 1484: Sales Tax; exemption for food purchased for human consumption, essential personal hygiene products.
Sales tax; exemption for food purchased for human consumption and essential personal hygiene products. Provides an exemption from local sales and use tax beginning July 1, 2023, for food purchased for human consumption and essential personal hygiene products.

The bill also provides an allocation of state revenues to fund the distribution to localities for funding that would have been distributed to them absent the exemption created by the bill. Under current law, such products are exempt from state sales and use tax but are subject to the standard local rate of one percent.

  • HB 1563: Sales and use tax; agricultural exemptions.
Sales and use tax; agricultural exemptions. Provides a sales and use tax exemption for property used to produce agricultural products for market in an indoor, closed, controlled-environment commercial agricultural facility.

The property exempted includes (i) internal structural components required to create the necessary growing environment for plants, including watering systems, towers for growing plants, and lighting and air systems, and (ii) transparent elements of external structural components of such facilities, including windows, walls, and roofs, that allow sunlight in for the commercial production of agricultural products. The exemption shall not apply to property used in producing cannabis.

  • HB 1601: Retail Sales and Use tax; agricultural exemptions, structural construction materials, definition.
Retail sales and use tax; agricultural exemptions; structural construction materials; definition. Clarifies that for the purpose of agricultural exemptions from the retail sales and use tax the definition of "structural construction materials" does not include structural construction materials and environmental control systems that will be affixed to or integrated into a commercial greenhouse structure that is 50,000 square feet or more in size, provided that such materials and equipment have been ordered to meet the specifications of the commercial greenhouse operator and are necessary for use in the greenhouse structure and growing system.

  • HB 1605: Local sales and use tax; construction or renovation of schools, Prince Edward County.
Local sales and use tax; construction or renovation of schools; Prince Edward County. Adds Prince Edward County to the list of localities that are authorized to impose an additional local sales and use tax a:t a rate not to exceed one percent, with the revenue used only for capital projects for the construction or renovation of schools.

  • HB 1686: Sales and use tax, local; exemptions for food purchased for human consumption.
Local sales and use tax; exemptions. Authorizes the governing board of a city or county to, by ordinance, exempt food purchased for human consumption and essential personal hygiene products from local sales and use tax.

  • HB 2196: Local sales and use tax; exemption essential personal hygiene products and infant formula.
Local sales and use tax; exemption for essential personal hygiene products and infant formula. Exempts essential personal hygiene products and infant formula from the local sales and use tax. Under current law, such products are exempt from state sales and use tax but are subject to the local one percent option.

  • SB 850: Sales Tax; exemption for food purchased for human consumption, essential personal hygiene products.
Sales tax; exemption for food purchased for human consumption and essential personal hygiene products. Provides an exemption from local sales and use tax beginning July 1, 2023, for food purchased for human consumption and essential personal hygiene products.

The bill also provides an allocation of state revenues to fund the distribution to localities for funding that would have been distributed to them absent the exemption created by the bill. Under current law, such products are exempt from state sales and use tax but are subject to the standard local rate of one percent.

  • SB 985: Retail Sales and Use Tax; agricultural exemptions, structural construction materials.
Virginia Retail Sales and Use Tax Act; agricultural exemptions; structural construction materials. Exempts from certain retail sales and use taxes structural construction materials that are an integral part of a commercial greenhouse structure and growing system, ordered to meet the specifications of an operator of such system, and intended to be affixed to or integrated into a commercial greenhouse structure that is at least 50,000 square feet in size.

Current law specifies that structural construction materials to be affixed to real property owned or leased by a farmer, necessary for use in agricultural production for market, and sold to or purchased by a farmer or contractor are not exempt from such taxation.

  • SB 1008: Sales and use tax, local; exemptions for food purchased for human consumption.
Local sales and use tax; exemptions. Authorizes the governing board of a city or county to, by ordinance, exempt food purchased for human consumption and essential personal hygiene products from local sales and use tax.

  • SB 1240: Sales and use tax; agricultural exemptions.
Sales and use tax; agricultural exemptions. Provides a sales and use tax exemption for property used to produce agricultural products for market in an indoor, closed, controlled-environment commercial agricultural facility. The property exempted includes (i) internal structural components required to create the necessary growing environment for plants, including watering systems, towers for growing plants, and lighting and air systems, and (ii) transparent elements of external structural components of such facilities, including windows, walls, and roofs, that allow sunlight in for the commercial production of agricultural products. The exemption shall not apply to property used in producing cannabis.

 

EMPLOYER MANDATES  

  • HB 1616: Workplace violence; policy required for certain employers, civil penalty.
Workplace violence policy required for certain employers; civil penalty. Requires any employer of 100 or more employees to develop, implement, and maintain a workplace violence policy no later than January 1, 2024. The bill includes requirements for such a policy, such as procedures and methods for employee reporting of incidents and post-incident investigations.

Employers subject to the bill are required to maintain documentation of workplace violence incidents for not less than five years. An employer that violates the provisions of the bill shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 per violation.

The bill prohibits retaliation from an employer on the basis of reporting a workplace violence incident and provides that any employee who makes a report of workplace violence shall be immune from civil liability.

  • HB 1715: Workplace violence; Department of Labor and Industry to convene work group to evaluate, report.
Department of Labor and Industry; work group to evaluate workplace violence. Directs the Department of Labor and Industry to convene a work group for the purpose of evaluating the prevalence of workplace violence in the Commonwealth, including its effects on the workplace and measures to address workplace violence.

The bill requires the work group to submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Commerce and Energy and the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor no later than December 1, 2025.

  • HB 1716: Mental health resources; inclusion on Job Safety and health Protection poster.
Safety and Health Codes Board; mental health resources. Directs the Safety and Health Codes Board within the Department of Labor and Industry to include mental health resources from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services on the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Program's Job Safety and Health Protection poster that employers are required to keep posted in the workplace.

  • HB 1873: Employee protections; medicinal use of cannabis oil.
Employee protections; medicinal use of cannabis oil. Amends the provision that prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee for such employee's lawful use of cannabis oil pursuant to a valid written certification issued by a practitioner for the treatment or to eliminate the symptoms of the employee's diagnosed condition or disease, with certain exceptions, by specifying that such use must conform to the laws of the Commonwealth and by excluding the employees of the Commonwealth and other public bodies from such protections.

  • HB 1895: Employee protection; prohibited retaliation, prohibited nondisclosure.
Prohibits the inclusion of provisions in any employment contract that waive an employee, prospective employee, or independent contractor's rights to disclose or discuss conduct that an employee reasonably believes under state, federal, or common law to be discrimination, including harassment, retaliation, a wage or hour violation, sexual assault, a fraud (against taxpayers, shareholders, the government, consumers, or other employees), or other conduct that is recognized as against a clear mandate of public policy.

The bill prohibits such nondisclosure and nondisparagement provisions in any employment contract or settlement agreement that concerns conduct at the workplace, at work-related events coordinated by or through an employer, between employees, or between an employer and an employee, whether on or off the employment premises. Under the bill, no employer shall discharge or otherwise retaliate against an employee, prospective employee, or independent contractor for disclosing or discussing conduct related to illegal harassment, discrimination, retaliation, a wage or hour violation, or sexual assault.

An employer that violates the provisions of the bill may be subject to actual damages or statutory damages of $10,000. The also bill requires employers to include in any settlement agreement or employment agreement with an employee a disclaimer that the agreement does not prohibit an employee from disclosing conduct as protected under the bill.

The provisions of the bill apply to contracts entered into, renewed, modified, or amended on or after July 1, 2023 and apply retroactively to any provision in an existing contract or agreement that is deemed void and unenforceable under the bill.

  • HB 2003: Employment; training and education; sexual harassment and workplace discrimination.
Employment; training and education; sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. Requires each employer with 50 or more employees, including the Commonwealth and its agencies, institutions, and political subdivisions, to provide annual interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment and workplace discrimination by January 1, 2024.

The bill includes specific training and education requirements for supervisory and nonsupervisory employees, seasonal and temporary employees who are hired to work for less than six months, and migrant and seasonal agricultural workers.

The training and education required under the bill must be provided by an educator or human resources professional with knowledge and expertise in the subject matter and must include a method for employees to electronically save a certificate of completion of such training and education.

The bill requires the Department of Labor and Industry to make online courses for the required training available on its website beginning January 1, 2024.

  • HB 2023: Wage or salary history inquiries prohibited; civil penalty.
Wage or salary history inquiries prohibited; civil penalty. Prohibits a prospective employer from (i) seeking the wage or salary history of a prospective employee; (ii) relying on the wage or salary history of a prospective employee in determining the wages or salary the prospective employee is to be paid upon hire; (iii) relying on the wage or salary history of a prospective employee in considering the prospective employee for employment; (iv) refusing to interview, hire, employ, or promote a prospective employee or otherwise retaliating against a prospective employee for not providing wage or salary history; (v) failing or refusing to provide a prospective employee the wage or salary range for the position for which the prospective employee is applying prior to discussing compensation and at any time upon the prospective employee's request; and (vi) failing to set a wage or salary range in good faith.

The bill establishes a cause of action for an aggrieved prospective employee or employee and provides that an employer that violates such prohibitions is liable to the aggrieved prospective employee or employee for statutory damages between $1,000 and $10,000 or actual damages, whichever is greater; reasonable attorney fees and costs; and any other legal and equitable relief as may be appropriate.

The bill also provides for civil penalties for violations not to exceed $1,000 for a first violation, $2,000 for a second violation, and $4,000 for a third or subsequent violation.

  • HB 2116: Employment; restrictions on use of credit report for employment purposes.
Employment; restrictions on use of credit report for employment purposes. Prohibits employers from (i) using a credit report in connection with or as a criterion for employment purposes, (ii) requesting or procuring a credit report for employment purposes, or (iii) requiring an employee or prospective employee to answer a question about the contents of a credit report or the information contained therein.

Notwithstanding this prohibition, the bill lists conditions under which an employer or person acting on behalf of an employer may obtain, use, or seek a credit report from an employee or prospective employee.

The bill prohibits any waiver of its requirements and prohibits retaliation and other discrimination or adverse action taken by an employer against an employee for alleging a violation of its requirements.

The bill provides that the State Corporation Commission shall enforce the requirements of the bill by imposing civil penalties, notifying employers, and conducting informal conferences to assess violations.
 
  • HB 2148: Employment discrimination; employee notification of federal and state statute of limitations.
Employment discrimination; employee notification of federal and state statute of limitations. Requires an employer who receives an employee complaint alleging sexual assault, harassment, or any other form of discrimination for which the employee may seek enforcement by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Office of the Attorney General to notify such employee that a charge may be filed with the EEOC or the Office of the Attorney General within 300 days after the alleged unlawful discriminatory practice occurred. The bill also requires an employer to provide this information as part of any new employee training provided at the commencement of employment or anti-discrimination training provided to an employee.

  • HB 2167: Workplace violence; violence in certain public places, penalty.
Workplace violence; violence in certain public places; penalty. Makes it a Class 3 felony for any person to commit an act of violence at (i) such person's place of employment or former place of employment, or a franchise thereof, whether on or off duty and whether during or outside of normal business hours; (ii) a place of worship; (iii) a courthouse; or (iv) a hospital.

The bill provides that such offense is a separate and distinct offense, punishment for which shall be consecutive to any punishment received for the act of violence.

  • HB 2217: Interagency task force on Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
Interagency task force on Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Directs the Secretaries of Education and Labor to convene a task force of relevant state agencies who house Title I, II, and III programs and the state's Registered Apprenticeship program, as well as representatives from the Virginia Community College System, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority, the Virginia Board of Workforce Development, the Virginia Association of Workforce Directors, and organized labor, to consider possible alternatives for the alignment of Titles I, II, and III funded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

The task force shall include in its review the challenges, opportunities, and costs for each considered reorganization model. The task force shall also consult with the Virginia representative from the U.S. Department of Labor and consider the December 2021 Workforce System Evaluation report submitted to the Governor and the Virginia Board of Workforce Development.

The Secretaries of Education and Labor shall submit their executive summary and report by June 30, 2024.

  • SB 1040: Employee's social security number; prohibited use by employer, civil penalty.
Employer use of use of employee's social security; prohibited; civil penalty. Prohibits an employer from using an employee's social security number or any derivative thereof as such employee's identification number or including an employee's social security number or any number derived thereof on any identification card or badge, any access card or badge, or any other similar card or badge issued to such employee.

The bill imposes a civil penalty of up to $100 for any knowing violation of the prohibition.

  • SB 1103: Workplace violence; violence in certain public places, penalty.
Workplace violence; violence in certain public places; penalty. Makes it a Class 3 felony for any person to commit an act of violence at (i) such person's place of employment or former place of employment, or a franchise thereof, whether on or off duty and whether during or outside of normal business hours; (ii) a place of worship; (iii) a courthouse; or (iv) a hospital. T

he bill provides that such offense is a separate and distinct offense, punishment for which shall be consecutive to any punishment received for the act of violence.

  • SB 1136: Wage or salary history inquiries prohibited; civil penalty.
Wage or salary history inquiries prohibited; civil penalty. Prohibits a prospective employer from (i) seeking the wage or salary history of a prospective employee; (ii) relying on the wage or salary history of a prospective employee in determining the wages or salary the prospective employee is to be paid upon hire; (iii) relying on the wage or salary history of a prospective employee in considering the prospective employee for employment; (iv) refusing to interview, hire, employ, or promote a prospective employee or otherwise retaliating against a prospective employee for not providing wage or salary history; (v) failing or refusing to provide a prospective employee the wage or salary range for the position for which the prospective employee is applying prior to discussing compensation and at any time upon the prospective employee's request; and (vi) failing to set a wage or salary range in good faith.

The bill establishes a cause of action for an aggrieved prospective employee or employee and provides that an employer that violates such prohibitions is liable to the aggrieved prospective employee or employee for statutory damages between $1,000 and $10,000 or actual damages, whichever is greater; reasonable attorney fees and costs; and any other legal and equitable relief as may be appropriate.

The bill also provides for civil penalties for violations not to exceed $1,000 for a first violation, $2,000 for a second violation, and $4,000 for a third or subsequent violation.

  • SB 1354: Worker misclassification; debarment procedures.
Worker misclassification; debarment procedures. Revises the procedure under which a contractor may be debarred from public contracts for misclassification of workers. The bill requires the Tax Department to notify an employer of a determination that the employer failed to properly classify an individual and allows the employer to apply for judicial or administrative review. Upon a subsequent violation, and once the opportunity for appeals has been exhausted, the Department is required to provide notice to all public bodies that they shall not award a contract to firms associated with the offending employer for specified periods. Under current law, notice to all public bodies is required after the first violation determined by the Department, and debarment is required without reference to the timing of appeals.

  • SB 1363: Voluntary apprenticeships; persons 16 years of age or older; cosmetology salon.
Voluntary apprenticeships; persons 16 years of age or older; cosmetology salon. Directs the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to adopt regulations permitting persons 16 years of age or older to serve as voluntary apprentices in a cosmetology salon.
 
 

INDIVIDUAL AND CORPORATE INCOME TAX  

  • HB 1367: Income tax, state; tax credit for employer contributions to Virginia College Savings Plan accounts.
Income tax credit; employer contributions to Virginia College Savings Plan accounts. Provides a nonrefundable income tax credit for taxable years 2023 through 2027 for 35 percent of expenses incurred by a business during the taxable year for contributions into a Virginia College Savings Plan account owned by an employee of the business.

If the employee receiving the contribution is a qualified employee, as defined in the bill, the bill specifies that the credit shall not exceed $500 annually for each such employee. If the employee receiving the contribution is a qualified employee who is not highly compensated, as defined in the bill, the bill specifies that the credit shall not exceed $1,000 annually for each such employee.

The bill provides that the total amount of tax credits available for a calendar year shall not exceed $5 million and that any unused tax credit may be carried over for three years.

  • HB 1369: Income tax, state; installment agreements for payment of taxes.
Installment agreements for payment of taxes. Requires the Tax Commissioner to offer to enter into an installment agreement with any individual taxpayer under which the taxpayer may satisfy his entire tax liability over a payment term of up to five years.

The bill maintains the current law for corporate taxpayers whereby the Tax Commissioner may enter into a written agreement with any taxpayer under which such taxpayer is allowed to satisfy his entire tax liability in installment payments if the Tax Commissioner determines that such agreement will facilitate collection, but limits such agreement to no more than five years.

The bill also removes the power under which the Tax Commissioner may alter, modify, or terminate an installment agreement if it is determined that the financial condition of the taxpayer has significantly changed or if the taxpayer fails to provide a financial condition update upon request.

  • HB 1405: Income tax, corporate; returns, affiliated corporations.
Corporate income tax; filing method for affiliated corporations. Removes the requirement that, in order for a group of affiliated corporations to be granted permission from the Tax Commissioner to change their filing status for corporate income tax purposes for the previous tax year, there would have been no decrease in tax liability computed under the proposed election as compared to the affiliated group's former filing method.

The bill retains the current requirement that the affiliated group agree to file returns under both the new filing method and the former method and pay the greater of the two amounts for the taxable year in which the new election is effective and for the immediately succeeding taxable year.

  • HB 1456: Income tax, state; pass-through entities.
Income tax; pass-through entities. Makes changes to the elective entity level tax on pass-through entities. The bill would impose the tax only on the share of income, gain, loss, or deduction attributable to eligible owners, as opposed to imposing the tax on the entire entity.

"Eligible owner" is defined in the bill as an owner of a pass-through entity that is a natural person or a person eligible to be a shareholder in an S corporation. The bill also strikes the requirement that to qualify for the tax a pass-through entity must be 100 percent owned by natural persons or persons eligible to be shareholders in an S corporation.

  • HB 1978: Taxable income apportionment; retail companies.
Taxable income apportionment; retail companies. Provides that, beginning with taxable year 2023, affiliated corporations filing on a consolidated basis may elect to apportion the taxable income of all members of the affiliated group using sales factor alone even if one or more members of the affiliated group would be required to use different apportionment factors if filing separate returns. The election is valid only in taxable years for which 80 percent or more of the affiliated group's sales is derived from retail company activities.

  • HB 2138: Income tax; business interest; qualified business income deduction; corporate rate reduction.
Income tax; business interest; qualified business income deduction; corporate rate reduction. Increases from 30 percent to 50 percent the Virginia individual and corporate income tax deduction for business interest disallowed as a deduction under § 163(j) of the Internal Revenue Code beginning in taxable year 2024.

The bill allows an individual income tax deduction in an amount equal to 50 percent of certain federal qualified business income deductions, excluding qualified real estate investment trust dividends. The bill also reduces from six percent to five percent the corporate income tax rate beginning in taxable year 2023.

  • HB 2176: Individual income tax; distribution of revenues; local school construction.
Individual income tax; distribution of revenues; local school construction. Requires distribution of five percent of the individual income tax revenues collected from residents of a locality to be distributed to that locality. The bill requires such funds to be used for school construction or renovation purposes and to be repaid to the state if used for any other purpose.

The bill provides that a locality shall be required to maintain its level of expenditure for public school purposes as a condition of receiving the income tax revenues; however, a locality may reduce its level of expenditure to account for a loss of revenues resulting from a reduction in machinery and tools taxes.

  • SB 796: Income tax, corporate; returns, affiliated corporations.
Corporate income tax returns; affiliated corporations. Removes the requirement that, in order for a group of affiliated corporations to be granted permission from the Tax Commissioner to change their filing status for corporate income tax purposes, for the previous tax year there would have been no decrease in tax liability computed under the proposed election as compared to the affiliated group's former filing method.

The bill retains the current requirement that the affiliated group agree to file returns under both the new filing method and the former method and pay the greater of the two amounts for the taxable year in which the new election is effective and for the immediately succeeding taxable year.

  • SB 851: Income tax, state; increases standard deduction.
Income tax; standard deduction. Increases the standard deduction, starting with taxable year 2023, from $8,000 to $12,500 for single filers and from $16,000 to $25,000 for married filers (one-half of such amount in the case of a married individual filing a separate return).

The increase would remain in effect until taxable year 2026, when the standard deduction is scheduled to be reduced to $3,000 for single filers and to $6,000 for married filers.

  • SB 950: Income tax, state and corporate; Paycheck Protection Program loans.
Taxable income; Paycheck Protection Program loans. Allows an individual and corporate income tax deduction or subtraction, as applicable, for any amount of business expenses funded by forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan proceeds that are paid or incurred prior to taxable year 2023.

Under current law, the allowable amount that may be deducted or subtracted is limited to $100,000 of business expenses funded by forgiven PPP loan proceeds paid or incurred prior to taxable year 2021.

  • SB 1346: Taxable income apportionment; retail companies.
Taxable income apportionment; retail companies. Provides that, beginning with taxable year 2023, affiliated corporations filing on a consolidated basis may elect to apportion the taxable income of all members of the affiliated group using sales factor alone even if one or more members of the affiliated group would be required to use different apportionment factors if filing separate returns. The election is valid only in taxable years for which 80 percent or more of the affiliated group's sales is derived from retail company activities.

  • SB 1355: Income tax; business interest; qualified business income deduction; corporate rate reduction.
Income tax; business interest; qualified business income deduction; corporate rate reduction. Increases from 30 percent to 50 percent the Virginia individual and corporate income tax deduction for business interest disallowed as a deduction under § 163(j) of the Internal Revenue Code beginning in taxable year 2024.

The bill allows an individual income tax deduction in an amount equal to 50 percent of certain federal qualified business income deductions, excluding qualified real estate investment trust dividends. The bill also reduces from six percent to five percent the corporate income tax rate beginning in taxable year 2023.

  • SB 1423: Income tax; rates and deductions for businesses.
Income tax; rates and deductions for businesses. Provides an individual income tax deduction for 50 percent of the amount of qualified business income deductible for federal income tax purposes, but excluding the amount of qualified REIT dividends deductible under the same provision of the Internal Revenue Code.

The bill also reduces the corporate income tax rate from six percent to five percent for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2023.

  • SB 1451: Income tax; rates and deductions.
Income tax; rates and deductions. Lowers the top income tax rate from 5.75 percent to 5.5 percent for taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2024. The bill also raises the standard deduction to $9,000 for single individuals and $18,000 for married persons for taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2024, but before January 1, 2026.

 
 

SMALL BUSINESS EMPLOYER TAX CREDITS  

  • HB 1479: Employer-provided childcare; creates a tax credit for taxable years 2023 through 2027.
Employer-provided childcare tax credit. Creates a tax credit for taxable years 2023 through 2027 for qualified childcare expenses, as defined by the bill, incurred by a small business, as defined by the bill, in the amount of 20 percent of such business's aggregate monthly payments made for such expenses in the preceding taxable year.

The amount of the credit allowed to a taxpayer shall not exceed $300,000 per taxable year.
 
 

SMALL BUSINESS  

  • HB 1491: Small business; redefines for the purposes of certain programs.
Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity; definitions; small business. Redefines "small business" for the purposes of programs for the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity and the Virginia Public Procurement Act to mean a business that together with its affiliates has both 250 or fewer employees and average annual gross receipts, less the cost of goods sold by the business, of $10 million or less averaged over the previous three years.

Currently for these programs, a business qualifies as a small business if, together with its affiliates, it has either 250 or fewer employees or average annual gross receipts of $10 million or less averaged over the previous three years.

  • HB 1829: Small, women-owned, or minority-owned businesses certification, grant and procurement awards.
Grant and procurement awards; certification for small, women-owned, or minority-owned businesses. Requires that for any grant or contract issued or entered into by the Governor, a state agency, or a locality, such entity shall inquire whether the grant recipient, bidder, offeror, or contractor is a small, women-owned, or minority-owned business and whether it is certified by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (DSBSD) for procurement enhancement. If such business is eligible but not certified, the bill directs DSBSD to provide it with information on the certification process and encourage it to apply for certification.
 


TAX CONFORMITY  

  • HB 1595: Internal Revenue Code; conformity of the Commonwealth's taxation system. (Emergency Clause)
Conformity of the Commonwealth's taxation system with the Internal Revenue Code; emergency. Advances Virginia's date of conformity with the Internal Revenue Code from December 31, 2021, to December 31, 2022.

  • HB 2193: Income tax; rolling conformity; report.
Income tax; rolling conformity; report. Provides that Virginia shall generally conform to federal tax laws on a rolling basis, meaning that Virginia tax laws incorporate changes to federal income tax law as soon as Congress enacts them on or after January 1, 2023.

However, the bill provides that Virginia shall not conform to any changes in a single act of Congress with an impact of more than $50 million on revenues in the year in which the amendment was enacted or any of the next four years. For any amendment enacted on or after January 1, 2024, the $50 million impact threshold shall be adjusted annually by the change in the Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) for the previous year.

  • SB 882: Internal Revenue Code; conformity of the Commonwealth's taxation system. (Emergency Clause)
Conformity of the Commonwealth's taxation system with the Internal Revenue Code; emergency. Advances Virginia's date of conformity with the Internal Revenue Code from December 31, 2021, to December 31, 2022.

  • SB 1405: Income tax; rolling conformity; report.
Income tax; rolling conformity; report. Provides that Virginia shall generally conform to federal tax laws on a rolling basis, meaning that Virginia tax laws incorporate changes to federal income tax law as soon as Congress enacts them on or after January 1, 2023.

However, the bill provides that Virginia shall not conform to any changes in a single act of Congress with an impact of more than $50 million on revenues in the year in which the amendment was enacted or any of the next four years. For any amendment enacted on or after January 1, 2024, the $50 million impact threshold shall be adjusted annually by the change in the Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) for the previous year.
 
 

ABC  

  • HB 1730: Alcoholic beverage control; grounds for suspension or revocation of license, exception.
  • HB 1866: Alcoholic beverage control; suspension or revocation of certain retail licenses, reinstatement.
  • HB 1971: Alcoholic beverage control; slotting fees.
  • HB 1979: Alcoholic beverage control; displays of wine and beer.
  • HB 2001: Alcoholic beverage control; disclosure of alcohol by volume content by certain retail licensees.
  • HB 2258: Alcoholic beverage control; beer distribution.
  • HB 2336: Alcoholic beverage control; marketplace license fees.
  • SB 809: Alcoholic beverage control; displays of wine and beer.
  • Reported from Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee with Amendments (13Y – 0N).
  • SB 885: Alternative beer distribution program; Va. Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority to study.
  • SB 1371: Alcoholic beverage control; brewery licensees; tied house exception.
  • SB 1387: Alcoholic beverage control; slotting fees.

 

DRAM SHOP  

  • SB 1113: Liability for sale of alcohol to an impaired customer; injury to another person.
  • SB 1226: Alcohol; liability for sale to an underage person.

 

PLASTIC BAG BAN  

  • SB 933: Single-use plastic carrier bags; local prohibition.

 

SINGLE-USE PLASTIC AND POLYSTYRENE BAN  

  • SB 1012: Single-use plastic and expanded polystyrene products; state and local prohibition.

 

WORKERS' COMPENSATION  

  • HB 1763: Workers' compensation; injuries caused by repetitive and sustained physical stressors.
  • HB 1966: Workers' compensation; failure to timely pay compensation.
  • HB 2002: Workers' compensation; premium discounts for employers providing high-quality work-based learning.
  • SB 1037: Workers' compensation; notice to employees.

 

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION  

  • HB 1639: Unemployment compensation; reduces time to file appeal.
  • HB 2115: Unemployment compensation; continuation of benefits; repayment of overpayments.
  • SB 1435: Unemployment compensation; time to file appeal.

 

MISCELLANEOUS TAX  

  • HB 1368: Advisory Tax Administration Commission; established, report.
  • HB 1621: State taxes; notice before penalty and interest.
  • HB 1863: Taxation in the Commonwealth; numerous changes to tax structure, report.
  • HB 1927: Filing of tax returns or payment of taxes by mail.

 

CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT  

  • HB 1517: Virginia Consumer Protection Act; automatic renewal or continuous service offers.
  • HB 1855: Consumer Protection Act; PFAS chemicals in children's products.
  • SB 1108: Virginia Consumer Protection Act; prohibited practices, kratom products.

 

CANNABIS  

  • HB 1464: Cannabis control; establishes framework for creation of retail market, transitional sale, penalties.
  • HB 1547: Cannabis; de-conforms from federal law. licensees.
  • HB 1750: Cannabis control; establisher framework for creation of retail marijuana market.
  • HB 1922: Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol; distribution; penalty.
  • HB 1973: Tetrahydrocannabinol; industrial hemp, regulated hemp products.
  • HB 2294: Marijuana; tetrahydrocannabinol; hemp products; civil penalty.
  • SB 903: Tetrahydrocannabinol; industrial hemp, regulated hemp products.
  • SB 1133: Cannabis control; retail market; transitional sales; regulated hemp products; penalties.
  • SB 1233: Marijuana; advertising restrictions; penalties.
  • SB 1393: Hemp products; license and label requirements.

 

TRANSIENT OCCUPANCY TAX  

  • HB 1442: Transient occupancy tax; administration.



BUDGET  

 

COVID-19  

  • SB 792: COVID-19 immunization; prohibition on requirement, discrimination prohibited, civil penalty.
  • SB 1315: Localities, public and private schools, institutions of higher education, and employers; face cover.

 

TOBACCO  

  • HB 1404: Cigarette; definition, delivery sale requirements.
  • HB 1417: Cigars; modifies the statutory tax rate imposed on selling or distributing, etc.
  • HB 2296: Tobacco products tax; liquid nicotine and nicotine vapor products, licensing requirements.
  • SB 992: Cigars; modifies the statutory tax rate imposed on selling or distributing.
  • SB 1350: Tobacco products tax; liquid nicotine and nicotine vapor products, licensing requirements.

 

ASSOCIATION HEALTH PLANS  

  • HB 2201: Association health plans; prohibiting discrimination based on health status; base premium rates.
  • SB 1171: Association health plans; premium rates based on employer member's risk profile.

 

TRANSPORTATION  

  • HB 1535: Commercial motor vehicles; limits driving in left-most lane.

 

MISCELLANEOUS  

  • HB 1802: Food product sales; waive government inspection.
  • HB 1813: Fireworks; sale, use, and taxation.
  • HB 1874: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; applying to participate or renewal.
  • HB 2179: Commercial delivery services; authorized use for notice to an employer for violation of safety provisions.
  • HB 2180: Professional and Occupational Regulation, Department of; universal license recognition.
  • HB 2347: Department of Planning and Budget; Regulatory Budget Program; report.
  • SB 845: Immunity of persons at public hearing; statements made by employee against employer.
  • SB 1126: Commercial delivery services; authorized use for notice to an employer for violation of safety provisions.
  • SB 1213: Professional and Occupational Regulation, Department of; universal license recognition.
  • SB 1312: Requirement for electric vehicle charging stations for certain developments.