The Virginia Retail Federation (VRF) is the voice of local retailers. Your support enables our lobbyists to help protect retailers' rights. Thank you for your tax-deductible contribution to the VRF Political Action Committee.

Dear Interested Party:

During the 2017 Session, the Virginia General Assembly enacted House Bill 1913 and Senate Bill 1390 (2017 Acts of Assembly, Chapters 112 and 453), which require the possession of a newly created Department-issued exemption certificate to purchase cigarettes bearing Virginia revenue stamps for resale exempt from Retail Sales and Use Tax beginning January 1, 2018.  Taxpayers who meet certain criteria will go through an expedited process with no application fee, waiting period, or background investigation.  Taxpayers qualifying for the expedited process will include: i) taxpayers possessing an active license, in good standing issued by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to sell alcohol; ii) taxpayers possessing an active tobacco products tax distributor's license in good standing, issued by the Department; and iii) such other categories of taxpayers as identified by the Department.

Several new laws, which impact the Retail Industry, came out of the 2017 General Assembly Session. Most of these will go into effect July 1, 2017.

View the list of new laws that impact our members here.


The 2017 General Assembly Session adjourned on Saturday, February 25.

This has been a very successful Session for the retail industry and VRF members. All of the bills that would negatively impact the industry were defeated and many of the bills that would have a positive impact have passed both bodies, and either have already been signed by the Governor or are currently before him for signature. As we get closer to Veto Session on April 5, we will continue to keep you updated on the status of those bills before the Governor.

 

HIGHLIGHTED ISSUES:

ABC

Delivery Privileges for Online Orders | Applications for Retail License

Walking Tours

BUDGET ITEMS

Increase in Inspection Fees | Sales Tax Nexus Language | AST Threshold

TAX

Sales Tax Nexus | Sales Tax Holiday | Sales & Use Tax | Increase in Food & Beverage Tax for Counties

 

OTHER KEY ISSUE RESULTS:

WAITING FOR GOVERNOR'S SIGNATURE

Airbnb | Breach of Payroll | Franchisees

Identification | Occupational Health and Safety Laws

SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

Background Check | Cigarette Sales Tax Exemption Certificate

DEFEATED

Assignment of Benefits | Employment Law

Family Medical Leave Insurance Program

Felony Threshold for Larceny Increase

GMO Labeling Mandates | Minimum Wage Increase

Paid Sick Leave Mandates | Payment | Plastic Bag Tax

Product Safety Mandates | Recycling

School Calendar / Pre-Labor Day Start to School

Signage for Retailers Mandates

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

 

 

 

ABC

 

Applications for Retail License – Waiting for Governor’s signature

SB 1382 - Ebbin - Alcoholic beverage control; applications for retail license. (H) VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (98-Y 0-N)

Delivery to Car from Grocery Store – Signed by Governor

HB 1801 - Knight - Alcoholic beverage control; delivery privileges of persons holding a wine and beer license.

(G) Approved by Governor-Chapter 154 (effective 7/1/17)

Walking Tour – Waiting for Governor’s signature

SB 1108 - Sturtevant - Alcoholic beverage control; creates walking tour permit.

 

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WAITING FOR GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

AirBnB – waiting for Governor’s signature

SB 1578 - Norment - Short-term rental of property; registration of persons offering property for rental. (H) VOTE: PASSAGE (86-Y 14-N)

Breach of Payroll – waiting for Governor’s signature

HB 2113 - Keam - Breach of payroll data; notification requirement.

(G) Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 27, 2017

SB 1033 - Howell - Breach of payroll data; notification requirement.

(G) Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 27, 2017

Franchisees – Waiting for Governor’s signature

HB 1394 - Head - Franchisees; status thereof and its employees as employees of the franchisor. (H) Senate substitute agreed to by House 17105397D-S1 (65-Y 35-N)

Identification – Waiting for Governor’s signature

HB 2229 - Villanueva - Electronic credentials; creates standards for DMV in issuing, reviewing, etc., report.

(S) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Occupational Health and Safety Laws – waiting for Governor’s Signature

HB 1883 - Kilgore - Occupational health and safety laws; increases maximum amount of civil penalties.

(G) Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 27, 2017

SB 1542 - Saslaw - Occupational health and safety laws; increases maximum amount of civil penalties.

(G) Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, February 24, 2017

 

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DEFEATED

Assignment of Benefits – defeated

HB 1813 - Leftwich - Health insurance; assignment of benefits.

(H) Left in Commerce and Labor

SB 1513 - Wagner - Health insurance; assignment of benefits. (S) Passed by indefinitely in Commerce and Labor with letter (15-Y 0-N)

Employment law – defeated

HB 2202 - Torian - Employment; abusive work environment.

(H) Stricken from docket by Commerce and Labor

HB 2283 - Krizek - Wages; cause of action against an employer for nonpayment.

(H) Left in Courts of Justice

Family Medical Leave Insurance Program – defeated

HB 2126 - Levine - Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program; established.

(H) Left in Commerce and Labor

Felony Threshold for Larceny – defeated

SB 816 - Surovell - Grand larceny & certain property crimes; increases threshold amount of money taken, etc., to $1,000. (H) Left in Courts of Justice

HB 1704 - Filler-Corn - Grand larceny and certain property crimes; increases threshold amount of money taken, etc.

GMO Labeling – defeated

HB 2349 - Marshall, R.G. - Bioengineered foods; labeling certain products containing GMO, etc.

(H) Left in Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources

Minimum Wage- defeated all bills

SB 978 - Dance - Minimum wage. (S) Passed by indefinitely in Commerce and Labor (11-Y 2-N 1-A)

SB 785 - Marsden - Minimum wage; increases wage from its current level to $8.00 per hour effective July 1, 2017. (S) Passed by indefinitely in Commerce and Labor (11-Y 3-N)

HB 1444 - Rasoul - Minimum wage; increases minimum wage from its current federally mandated level.

(H) Left in Commerce and Labor

HB 1771 - Plum - Minimum wage.

(H) Left in Commerce and Labor

HB 2309 - Simon - Minimum wage; increases wage to $11 per hour effective July 1, 2017.

(H) Left in Commerce and Labor

Paid Sick Leave Maindates defeated

SB 824 - Wexton - Sick leave for employees; private employers to give to each full-time employee paid sick days, etc. (S) Passed by indefinitely in Commerce and Labor (11-Y 4-N)

Payment – Defeated

HB 1445 - Ward - Wages and salaries; eliminates payment by prepaid cards, etc., without employee's consent.

(H) Tabled in Commerce and Labor

Plastic Bag Tax – Defeated

SB 925 - Petersen - Plastic bag tax in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Product Safety Mandates – Defeated

HB 1861 - Lopez - Product safety; flame retardants, penalty. (H) Left in Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources

Recycling – defeated, but with a letter

SB 1518 - Lewis - Recycling; beneficial use. (S) Passed by indefinitely in Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with letter (15-Y 0-N)

School Calendar/ Pre-Labor Day Start to School– defeated

HB 1983 - Greason - School calendar; opening day of school year.

(S) Passed by indefinitely in Education and Health (9-Y 6-N)

SB 1111 - Edwards - School calendar; adds to "good cause" circumstances for waiver of school opening. (S) Passed by indefinitely in Education and Health (8-Y 7-N)

Signage Mandates for Retailers – Defeated

HB 2266 - Filler-Corn - Retail establishments and restaurants; posting of signs relating to firearms policy.

(H) Left in Militia, Police and Public Safety

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – defeated

HB 2305 - Orrock - SHHR; certain waivers under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

(H) Left in Health, Welfare and Institutions

SB 1482 - Sturtevant - SHHR; certain waivers under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. (S) Passed by indefinitely in Rehabilitation and Social Services (12-Y 3-N)

 

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SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

Background Check – Signed by Governor

HB 1713 - Minchew - Nonconfidential court records; secure remote access, date of birth verification.

Signed by Governor

SB 1044 - Obenshain - Nonconfidential court records; secure remote access, date of birth verification.

Signed by Governor

Cigarette Exemption Certificate – Signed by Governor

HB 1913 - Anderson - Cigarettes; purchase for resale, issuance of a cigarette exemption certificate, penalties.

(G) Approved by Governor-Chapter 112 (effective 7/1/17)

SB 1390 - Howell - Cigarettes; purchase for resale, penalties. (G) Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 27, 2017

 

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TAX

Sales Tax Holiday

HB 1529 - Ward - Temporary exemption periods from retail sales and use taxes for qualifying items; sunset dates.

Signed by Governor

SB 1018 - Barker - Temporary exemption periods from retail sales and use taxes for qualifying items; sunset dates.

(G) Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 27, 2017

SB 1336 - Surovell - Sales and use tax; school supplies and hurricane preparedness sales tax holidays. (S) Passed by indefinitely in Finance (11-Y 5-N)

Countertop Tax – Waiting for Governor’s signature

HB 1890 - Hugo - Sales and use tax; collection of taxes from consuming contractors.

(G) Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 27, 2017

SB 1308 - McDougle - Sales and use tax; collection of taxes from consuming contractors. (G) Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 27, 2017

Sales Tax Nexus – Signed by Governor

HB 2058 - Watts - Sales and use tax; nexus for out-of-state businesses.

(G) Approved by Governor-Chapter 51 (effective 7/1/17)

SB 962 - Hanger - Sales and use tax; nexus for out-of-state businesses. (G) Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 27, 2017

Sales Tax for Personal Hygiene Products – Defeated

HB 1593 - Boysko - Sales and use tax; personal hygiene products.

(H) Left in Finance

HB 2189 - Boysko - Retail Sales and Use Tax; exemption for feminine hygiene products.

(H) Left in Finance

Food and Beverage Tax – Defeated

SB 1544 - Norment - Food and beverage tax; York County authorized to impose (S) Failed to report (defeated) in Finance (6-Y 10-N)

SB 956 - Locke - County food and beverage tax.

(S) Passed by indefinitely in Finance (13-Y 3-N)

 

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Budget Items followed by VRF:

 

Budget Conference Report

Item 40 #3c

This budget language was necessary to have for the background check legislation that we discussed above.

"N. Included in the appropriation for this item is $137,000 in the second year from the general fund for the costs of implementing the information technology system changes required pursuant to the provisions of House Bill 1713 and Senate Bill 1044 of the 2017 Session of the General Assembly."

The budget conferees funded the full cost of the technology enhancements to the case management system as estimated by OES, so there is funding for implementation of HB 1713 and SB 1044.

In summary, this amendment provides $137,000 the second year from the general fund for the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court to make necessary system changes to allow for remote access to criminal case information, pursuant to the provisions of House Bill 1713 and Senate Bill 1044 of the 2017 General Assembly Session.

Item 97 #1h

Agriculture and Forestry

Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Explanation:

This amendment eliminates a proposed increase in the annual inspection fee for nonrestaurant food establishments and restores the general fund support for the program that House Bill 1500 assumed would be covered by revenues generated by the increased fee.

Item 295 #1h

Health and Human Resources

Department of Health

Explanation:

This amendment adds $4.3 million from the general fund and reduces $3.2 million from nongeneral funds from a proposed increase in the restaurant inspection fee contained in the introduced budget. Language is modified to return the fee to $40 from the proposed fee of $285.

Item 274#1c

Finance

Department of Taxation

Language:

Page 246, after line 50, insert:

“D. The Department of Taxation shall convene a workgroup to examine the provisions related to the timing of payments and return filings required of registered dealers pursuant to §§ 58.1-615 and 58.1-616, Code of Virginia, and § 3-5.06 of this act.  The workgroup shall include the staffs of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees, the Secretary of Finance or his designee, and representatives from affected businesses and industries. Additional staff support shall be provided by the Department of Taxation and the Division of Legislative Services upon request. The workgroup shall consider alternatives and limitations to the current accelerated sales tax requirement and may examine other sales tax-related issues as it deems appropriate. The workgroup shall complete its meetings by November 30, 2017, and shall submit to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees a report of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the 2018 Regular Session of the General Assembly.”

Explanation:

This amendment directs the Department of Taxation to convene a workgroup for the purposes of examining the accelerated sales tax (AST) requirement. The workgroup shall consider alternatives and potential limitations to the current AST requirement, and may examine other issues related to retail sales and use tax collections as it deems appropriate. The workgroup will include the staffs of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees, the Secretary of Finance, and stakeholders from the retail industry. Staff support will be provided by the Department of Taxation and Division of Legislative Services as needed.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2017
Contact: Christopher West
(804) 698-1228

 

RICHMOND, VA - Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) announced Monday that he will not seek re-election. Howell's full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below.

Since the House has returned to the Morning Hour, I ask the members to indulge me a moment while I take this opportunity to share some news.

Serving in this esteemed body which is the Virginia House of Delegates for the last 30 years has been a distinct privilege. Likewise, serving as the Speaker of the House for 15 years now truly has been the greatest professional honor of my life.

While I obviously will miss all of you and while I will always look back with only fondness at every day I served here, I have decided that I will not be seeking re-election to the House.

Cessie and I are so grateful for the opportunity that we have had to serve. There truly are no words to fully describe the joy and fulfillment we have received from this incredible opportunity for public service. But, we also know there is much more joy and fulfillment to come, albeit differently and beyond Capitol Square and this body. We are blessed to have two good sons and seven energetic grandkids. We have our youth! And, we cannot wait to take some time together to travel, spend more time with our family and, frankly, just to relax together.

The House of Delegates truly is an historic institution. I love it dearly. I believe it represents the hope, enduring strength and resiliency of our exciting and ongoing experiment in representative self-government.

If America is a shining city on a hill, then our Virginia House of Delegates is the brightest light atop the highest tower.

As a Delegate and as Speaker, I always have tried to serve in a manner worthy of that stature.

I believe the Office of Speaker rises above partisan politics. This is an institutional role, with constitutional and other attendant obligations that transcend the fractured moments that often drive our politics.

I also always have tried to be open, accessible and, most of all, fair.

When I became Speaker in 2003, I pledged to lead this historic chamber with the honor and integrity it deserves and to faithfully uphold the dignity of this constitutional office.

Throughout my tenure, when faced with difficult decisions that go along with this Office, I have strived to reflect those enduring values. And, in practice, I always sought to put what’s good for the whole institution, and all that it represents, ahead of any other interest.

I pray you will judge my time as Speaker on that more than anything.

When I accepted the Speaker’s gavel, I reminded myself and others that what kind of people we are, and how we treat one another, is as important as the bills we pass and the laws we make. May we never lose sight of this worthy aspiration.

Like you, I understand that our mission is so much larger than ourselves. Ultimately, our purpose is continuing to fulfill the four-century-old mission of Virginia – preserving human freedom and advancing opportunities for all.

So today, I hope you join me in taking pride in everything that this body – Republicans and Democrats working together more often than not – has accomplished over the last 15 years. The House of Delegates has been a stable and consistent factor in reforming and improving state government for the past decade. Our shared enterprises, through difficult and good times alike, has made our Commonwealth stronger and more prosperous. And together, I believe we have enhanced the lives and livelihoods of our fellow citizens we are so privileged to represent and serve.

Now and always, I am optimistic that this House – the oldest continuous representative law-making body in the New World – will continue to inspire and fulfill the enormous potential of Virginia’s bright future.

So, I will close by saying from the bottom of my heart, thank you!

I am so grateful for the trust and faith you placed in me 15 years ago. And, I appreciate that you have continued to maintain that trust in me. The many friendships that have made here over almost 30 years are worth more than any bill I have ever championed or passed. I am proud to know you all and honored to serve with each of you.

All of you are very talented individuals and highly capable leaders. You are valuable parts of something much bigger than any one of us. So, it is easier for me to make this announcement now and to leave next year knowing that this institution will continue to thrive.

Thank you. May God Bless you. May God Bless our great country and wonderful Commonwealth. And, may God continue to Bless this historic House of Delegates.

 

 

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