We wrapped up week two of the 2022 General Assembly Session and several issues important to the Retail Industry have started to make their way through the legislative process. Below is a summary of key legislation that has had action in the last week.
To view our complete tracking list, please click here.
Minimum Wage | Sales Tax| Mandatory Opt-Out for Automatic Renewal | Workers Compensation | Other Tax Issues | Limited Liability Companies | Permit Issues | Employer Mandates | COVID-19 | ABC | Small Business
Of the four bills introduced that relate to freezing the minimum wage increase, only two remain. Senator Peake’s legislation was defeated in the first Senate Commerce and Labor Committee meeting and Delegate Marshall’s legislation was amended to apply only to certain planning districts, and did not pass either. Now both Delegate Freitas and Delegate McNamara’s legislation will be heard in the Full Commerce and Energy Committee, and then on the House floor if they pass out of Committee.
Delegate Freitas’ legislation freezes the increase at $11 an hour, and Delegate McNamara’s was amended to allow employers to include health benefits when calculating wage for any increase scheduled increase above the current $11 an hour.
The three Senate Bills to increase the Sales tax to support school construction projects are now on the Senate Floor. Bothe Senator Norment and Senator Deed’s bills are for specific localities. However, Senator McClellan’s bill authorizes all counties and cities to impose an additional local sales tax at a rate not to exceed 1%, with the revenue to be used only for capital projects for the construction or renovations of schools. This would mean that localities that have not already implemented this 1% sales tax rate increase would no longer be required to come to the General Assembly to seek passage of legislation to get their name added to the list of localities allowed to implement the increased sales tax, they would just need to pass a referendum locally to increase the Sales Tax.
Mandatory Opt-Out for Automatic Renewal
Delegate Davis’ bill has passed out of Commerce and Energy Subcommittee, but was amended to only require those who have an online automatic renewal to also have the ability to cancel that automatic renewal online, rather than having to contact the business by some other manner.
Other Tax Issues
Limited Liability Companies
We wrapped up the first week of the 2022 General Assembly Session with the Inauguration of Governor Glenn Youngkin, Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears, and Attorney General Jason Miyares. With both the House of Delegates and the Senate duly organized and the new Administration in place, the pace of Session will pick up very quickly.
Your VRF team is up at the Capitol representing the retail voice on any issues that impact the industry. As in years past, we will be sending out Action Alerts on priority issues. It is imperative that members participate in any Action Alert you receive. This is just one more way for your voice to be heard on issues that impact your individual business.
As you may be aware, OSHA issued the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that requires employers with over 100 employees to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for all employees. Below is a brief summary of the Standard provided by the National Retail Federation.
Over the weekend, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a Stay (temporary stop) on enforcement of the ETS until it could be further reviewed by the court. This review could happen very quickly, so it is important for employers with more than 100 employees to review the ETS, and be prepared to implement all requirements if the Stay is lifted.
We will keep you informed as more information becomes available.
EMERGENCY TEMPORARY STANDARD (ETS) SUMMARY:
By December 5, employers must:
Assess their workforce to determine who is and who is not vaccinated. Must categorize into:
Impose a mask mandate for unvaccinated employees. Mask must always cover the nose and mouth while working indoors. Masking required when occupying a vehicle with another person for work. when an employee is alone in a room with closed door. No masking required while the employee is eating or drinking. No masking required if it “creates a greater hazard.”
Employers must inform each employee about:
By January 4, employers must:
- OR -
The ETS does NOT apply to:
The power of both the Executive Branch and all 100 Seats for the House of Delegates were up for grabs in yesterday’s election in Virginia. After a very late night, the numbers indicate that Republicans swept the top of the ticket, which hasn’t been done since 2009, and that the House has flipped to a razor-thin republican lead.
Going into the evening, Democrats held a 55 to 45 majority in the House of Delegates. Based on last night’s election Republicans picked up 7 seats, flipping the House to a 52-48 Republican-held Majority.
You can find a breakdown of both the statewide races as well as the House of Delegates races by clicking here.
It is important to note that these are the results as of the time of distribution. There are a few races that are extremely tight which may be subject to a recount. We will keep you informed as this unfolds.
Know Where Candidates Stand Before Voting
Next Tuesday, November 2, is election day. Virginians will have the opportunity to vote for the Commonwealth's next Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, House of Delegates representatives, as well as some local offices which vary by locality - so make sure you remember to get out and vote!
It is our hope that you will take some time prior to voting to familiarize yourself with the linked legislative scorecard below.
The Virginia Retail Federation's Legislative Scorecard is intended to provide members with a method to educate themselves on legislative issues important to the Retail Industry, and to provide an opportunity to review the outcome of significant business legislation and how legislators voted on certain pieces of legislation.