The first few days of the 2018 General Assembly Session has been a whirlwind with a flurry of activity.
This weekend was the Inauguration for Governor Ralph Northam, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, and Attorney General Mark Herring. In addition to the Inauguration, 17 new Delegates were sworn in last week and the new Speaker of the House, Kirk Cox, was elected. The House is now organized, and committee assignments have been made, view here.
The Senate has been moving very quickly in hearing bills.
They have already heard several bills that impact the retail industry. Those include Felony Threshold for Larceny and Minimum Wage. There were 8 Larceny bills referred to Senate Courts of Justice. The bills ranged from raising the threshold to $500 all the way to raising it to $1,500. After hearing from support and opposition on this issue, all bills were rolled into SB 105 ($500 threshold) carried by Senator Suetterlein which was passed by a 12 to 3 vote. This means that the issue will now be heard on the Floor of the Senate, where we expect it to pass. There are also several Larceny bills that have been introduced in the House. These bills run the gamut in thresholds as well. These bills have been referred to the House Rules Committee. Virginia Retail Federation continues to maintain our legislative policy position and opposes an increase in the Felony Threshold.
In addition to Larceny, Minimum Wage has also already been heard in Senate Commerce and Labor.
There were three individual bills introduced in the Senate, they ranged from $10.10 to $15 an hour by 2020. A motion was made to roll two bills into Senator Edwards’ SB 58 which would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2020. This bill was passed by indefinitely by a vote of 11 to 3, which means that a minimum wage increase has been defeated in the Senate.
As of today, we are already tracking a large number of bills.
Friday is the last day that legislation can be introduced without having to get special permission. Therefore, we are expecting to see several more bills introduced that have an impact on the retail industry. To see our full bill list as of today click here (Link to Bill List).
In addition, we would like to thank all of our members who came out for our Legislative Reception last night.
It was a great event with a great turn out from elected officials. Thank you to our event sponsors for their support.
The Home Depot | Walgreens Co.
Bell Tower Sponsors
Franco’s Fine Clothier | Ruffin & Payne, Inc.
Friends of the VRF PAC
Ball Office Products | Good Foods Grocery, Inc. | Infotel Systems (VoIP)