The 2015 Virginia General Assembly Session adjourned on Friday February 27. This year the session adjourned one day early for the first time in 15 years. This allows legislators to begin working on their 2015 campaigns as all 140 seats in the House of Delegates and the Senate are up for election this coming November.

The final days of the Session involved intense review and decisions about the Commonwealth's biennial budget. By Friday evening, Legislators came to an agreement on the budget, as well as the remaining 56 bills in conference committees.

During the 2015 Session, 2,775 pieces of legislation were introduced and 1,495 failed. To date, 38 bills have been passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor McAuliffe. The General Assembly will reconvene (Veto Session) on Wednesday April 15, to review the Governor's actions on legislation and his recommended amendments.

This is a brief re-cap of the retail legislative action:

1) Minimum wage: VRF opposes mandates to increase the minimum wage.
SB 681 Marsden - Minimum wage; increases from its current federally mandated level to $8.00 per hour. Defeated
SB 706 Puller - Minimum wage; increases from its current federally mandated level to $8.00 per hour. Defeated
HB 1512 Simon - Minimum wage; increases to $15.15 per hour. Defeated
HB 1654 Plum - Minimum wage; increases from its current federally mandated level to $8.00 per hour. Defeated
HB 2198 Krupicka - State minimum wage; statewide referendum at November 2015 general election on question of increase. Defeated                         

2) Felony Threshold for Larceny: VRF supports the current threshold of $200 for a larceny conviction.
HB 1369 Lindsey - Grand larceny; increases current $200 threshold for larceny conviction to $500. Defeated
SB 783 Favola - Juveniles; expungement of records for offenses that would be felony larceny if committed by adult. Defeated
HB 1975 Preston - Grand larceny; threshold. Defeated
HB 1996 Morrissey - Grand larceny; threshold. Defeated
SB 1234 Reeves - Grand larceny; threshold. Defeated

3) Tobacco: VRF opposes efforts to institute an additional burden upon retailers to obtain a license or permit to sell tobacco products.

SB 784 Lucas - Cigarettes; all localities allowed to impose a tax. Defeated

SB 1004 Ebbin - Electronic cigarettes and other vapor products; state tax created, localities authorized to impose. Defeated

HB 1994 Morrissey - Cigarettes; all counties permitted to impose a tax. Defeated

SB 1230 Reeves - ABC Board; regulation of distribution and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Defeated

4) ABC

HB 1776 Albo - Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority; created, report, eliminates ABC Board. Passed

HB 1691 Loupassi - Alcoholic beverage control; expands definition of day spa.Defeated

HB 1440 Albo - Alcoholic beverage control; ABC Board markups. Passed and signed by Governor McAuliffe

5) "Ban the Box"

HB 1680 Carr - Employment applications; inquiries regarding criminal arrests, charges, or convictions. Defeated

 6) Property Rights

HB 1876 Krupicka - Crohn's disease, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome; identification cards and information. Defeated

7) Food Labeling: VRF opposes mandated food labeling requirements.

HB 1591 DeSteph - Genetically engineered foods; definition, labeling of food, penalty. Defeated

8) Sale of Ivory and Rhinoceros Horn

SB 1215 Ebbin - Ivory and rhinoceros horn; person who imports, sells, etc. Senator Ebbin withdrew the legislation

9) Plastic Bags: VRF opposes efforts to impose a tax in order for retailers to provide plastic bags. VRF supports opportunities for recycling.

SB 1103 McWaters - Disposable plastic shopping bags; distribution prohibited, local option. Defeated

10) School Calendar: VRF supports current law which allows local school boards to seek a waiver from the Board of Education to determine school calendars.

HB 1550 Greason - School calendar; local school boards responsible for setting.Defeated

HB 1838 Robinson - School calendar; local school boards responsible for setting.Defeated

11) Paid Leave

SB 990 Lucas - Domestic violence leave; employers to provide for employees.Defeated

SB 1407 Lewis - Paid sick leave for employees; civil penalties. Defeated

12) Budget

Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) - The threshold for the Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) will be lowered from $26 million to $2.5 million. VRF opposed this change in the AST Threshold.

Weights and Measures and Restaurant Inspection Fees -The increase to both the weights and measures and restaurant inspection fees were removed from the budget.  

To view the complete list of bills tracked by the VRF, click here .

Click here to find your legislators' contact information.

Click here to view the Virginia General Assembly website.

Click here to view the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy's annual economic forecast.