I was honored last week to receive the Virginia Chamber of Commerce 2016 Distinguished Advocate for Virginia Business Award for the fourth consecutive year. During this session, I continue to be an advocate for businesses, both large and small. Some of the legislation that I have supported so far include the following:
Jobs & Economic Development
HB 1394 (Head) Franchisees; status thereof and its employees as employees of the franchisor. (I co-patroned this bill.) Clarifies that neither a franchisee nor any employee of the franchisee shall be deemed to be an employee of the franchisee's franchisor.
HB 1564 (Webert) Planning & Budget, Department of: establishment of Div. of Regulatory Management & Red Tape Commission. (I co-patroned this bill.)
Forms a commission to look at reducing red-tape regulations
HB 1566 (Webert) Profession and occupations; active supervision of regulatory boards.
Establishes a statewide policy for the regulation of professions and occupations specifying criteria for government regulation with the objective of increasing opportunities, promoting competition, encouraging innovation, protecting consumers, and complying with applicable federal antitrust law.
HB 1968 (Landes) Small Business Investment Grant Fund; changes to Fund.
Makes changes to the Small Business Investment Grant Fund to make it easier for investor applicants to qualify for grants and provide more benefits for investor applicants.
HB 1969 (Landes) Small Business Jobs Grant Fund Program; reduces minimum percentage of revenues.
Reduces from 50 percent to 35 percent the minimum percentage of revenues that a small business must derive from out-of-state sources in order to be eligible for grants from the Small Business Jobs Grant Fund Program.
HB 1970 (Landes) Economic revitalization zones; counties may establish by ordinance.
Grants counties authority to create economic revitalization zones to provide incentives to entities to purchase property
HB 2347 (Byron) Commonwealth's Development Opportunity Fund; limitation on use of moneys from the Fund.
The bill requires the Secretary of Commerce and Trade to provide written notice to the Chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees at least 48 hours prior to the final approval of the grant or loan.
HB 2471 (Jones) Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority; membership, powers and duties.
The bill reforms VEDP to ensure the Commonwealth has an efficient economic development organization.
SB 962 (Hanger) Sales and use tax; nexus for out-of-state businesses. Provides that storage of inventory in the Commonwealth is sufficient nexus to require out-of-state businesses to collect sales and use tax on sales to customers in the Commonwealth.
SB 793 (Sturdevant) Waiver of tax penalties for small businesses. Waives any penalties related to taxes administered by the Department of Taxation for a small business during its first two years of operation as long as the business enters into an installment agreement with the Tax Commissioner for the payment of taxes.
Some of these bills have already passed both the House and Senate and are on their way to the Governor's office. Others are in various committees to be further debated. Regardless of outcome, I will continue to be a friend and advocate for businesses statewide and in our
HB 2326 Specially constructed vehicles for general transportation purposes; registration.
This is a bill I introduced this bill at the request of TMI AutoTech in South Boston. The bill would have allowed vehicles manufactured by TMI to be driven on open highways which would increase production and, subsequently, add jobs. Although this bill did not pass, I am continuing to look for ways to assist TMI in their quest to bring more jobs to Halifax County.
Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission.
In addition, I serve on the TRRC. In 2016, economic development grants to the Halifax County IDA and the Town of Halifax in the amount of $678,800 for the C-CARE Formulation Lab to assist in training the workforce of the future. The Southern Virginia Wild Blueway Project is already brining in tourist dollars.
Also, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Corporation was awarded $200,000 for Phase One of the Dynamic Spectrum Wireless Broadband project. When completed, this project has unlimited potential for making our area competitive for future economic locations.
The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center received $2,125,000 in 2016, which will be used for the SoVA Center of Manufacturing Excellence and Regional Nursing Education Programs.
Longwood Small Business Development Center
I have referred many people interested in starting-up a business to Longwood Small Business Development Center in South Boston. Through LSBDC's efforts in 2016, the Center assisted more than 137 clients in the 60th District. 55% of those assisted were start-up businesses that created 30 new jobs, retained 57 jobs, with a capital investment of over $1.1 million. If you or anyone you know is interested in startin their own business, please give the Center a call at 434/572-5444.
10-10-10 Education Plan
In the House of Delegates' version of the budget, there is a plan to help small school subdivisions that are losing student population, additional revenue will be directed to all counties I represent. Campbell should receive an additional $512,581; Charlotte $219,919; Halifax $399,587; and Prince Edward $289,822 as a one-time infusion. I have long advocated for help to our rural localities!
Additional Lottery Funding
The Lottery Education formula change will bring much needed revenue back to our localities. This year we plan to fully restore 40% of unencumbered funds from lottery proceeds back to school divisions. The budget language would permit school divisions to use this lottery money to provide a salary increase or to pay for increased local Virginia Retirement System costs or to be used in other ways as decided in these localities.
Quote of the Day:
"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." Colin Powell