The 2018 Virginia General Assembly session began on Jan. 10, and it’s one to watch. With close to 20 new legislators in the General Assembly and a more evenly divided House (Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority), the opportunity for more anti-business legislation is high.
Legislators are allowed to pre-file an unlimited number of bills during long sessions in even-numbered years. Legislators filed 3,201 pieces of legislation last session, and that number could be higher this time around.
Here’s a look at a few key items on the agenda so far.
Seven bills related to raising the minimum wage as high as $15 an hour have been introduced. The Senate Commerce and Labor committee killed the three Senate bills raising the minimum wage. There are still four bills in the House of Delegates. NFIB will continue to oppose as those are heard in committee.
Currently, there are six bills requiring that some type of paid leave be provided by employers to their employees. One of the bills sets up a state program where the employer and employee are taxed to pay for the paid leave–much like payroll taxes. NFIB leads a coalition of business organizations in opposition to these proposals.
There are several bills NFIB will oppose to weaken Virginia’s Workers’ Compensation program. These bills would open up employers to more claims and possible litigation.