Week 1

2023 Legislative Session January 16th - 20th

Advocating on behalf of our members.

We bring business leaders, top institutions, other business organizations, and a diverse group of elected leaders together to work toward a better Northern Virginia.

We maintain a full-time presence in Richmond during the 2023

Virginia General Assembly

We work with business leaders, top institutions, other business organizations, and a diverse group of elected leaders to stress the importance of regionally-focused collaboration throughout Northern Virginia.
Read Our Week 1 Summary

Your Chamber Advocacy Contact

For more information, please contact Clayton Medford, VP Government Relations: cmedford@novachamber.org

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Ensuring that our region has a voice in the legislative process, we have established the NOVABIZPAC to support a pro-business agenda.

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Our Policy Committee

Our Chamber maintains multiple topic-focused business councils that host educational and networking events and welcome all members.

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2023 Legislative Agenda

Stay up-to-date on the General Assembly Session in Richmond! The Northern Virginia Chamber has a full-time presence throughout the 2023 legislative session.

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Week 1 Summary

The first full week of the 2023 General Assembly session, is in the books. So far, over 1,800 bills have been introduced. Most bills remained undocketed. However, as is usual for the short (45-day) session, it is picking up. Nevertheless, with divided control, many will not reach the Governor’s desk. I have identified numerous pieces of legislation that align with our legislative agenda approved by our Policy Committee. Furthermore, a few bills have been introduced that run counter to our objectives. 

First, I want to thank all our members who reached out to share their policy issues. Therefore, I have a tremendous amount of bills on my radar. Next, I will give a recap of the Chamber’s Lobby Day and evening reception. I will also provide an update on bills that are noteworthy. Lastly, I will conclude with legislation that we are monitoring and may become top priorities. If you are tracking a bill, that I do not have on our watch list, please reach out to me at nclemente@novachamber.org or if it’s urgent call my cell at 703-946-6109.

Lobby Day and Viva Virginia Reception

On January 18th, we had several members come down for our lobby day. Our delegation had the privilege to meet with 25 members of the General Assembly. We had productive meetings with the leaders in both Chambers, including Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, Speaker Todd Gilbert, Majority Leader Terry Kilgore and Minority Leader Don Scott. We also met with several local elected officials including Delegates Brianna Sewell, Suhas Subramanyam, David Reid and Charniele Herring. We also had an opportunity to meet with Senators John Bell, Siobhan Dunnavant and Jill Vogel. 

We were please to meet with Secretary Bryan Slater where we learned about the Administration’s plan to make our workforce development efforts more streamlined and efficient. This effort is something our Chamber strongly supports. Furthermore, we had a wonderful meeting with Secretary Caren Merrick, where we learned about the economic development efforts her office is undertaking. We also had a fascinating meeting with Eric Moeller, Governor Youngkin’s, Chief Transformation Officer, where we learned about the role his office of three staffers plays in transforming government agencies such as the DMV, where the cut they wait time 300%.

Our evening event was a great success in large part to the support of several of our members, but particularly Scott McGeary! Overall, more than 60 elected leaders attended, including LG Winsome Sears. We were also lucky to have Chairman Jeff McKay (D-Fairfax) and Chairwoman Ann Wheeler (D-Prince William). 

Noteworthy Legislation 

Senate Bills

SB 818 Public elementary and secondary schools; programs of instruction on mental health education.

Introduced by Senator Lionell Spruill requires each public elementary, middle, and high school to provide at each grade level, in addition to health instruction, an additional age-appropriate course of instruction on mental health. This bill has been assigned the Education, Subcommittee of Public Education. We applaud the Senator for his approach and strongly support this. 

SB 886 Paid sick leave; health care providers and grocery store workers.

Introduced by Senator Scott Surovell requires employers to provide paid sick leave to health care providers and grocery store workers. It removes requirements that workers work on average at least 20 hours per week or 90 hours per month to be eligible for paid sick leave. As this bill is currently written, we do not support it. 

SB 926 Emergency Department Care Management Grant Program and Fund; report.

This bill introduced by Barbara Favola would establish a program to provide grants to eligible hospitals that provide care management and medical services to frequent users of hospital emergency departments. This reported from Education and Health with amendments unanimously. We support this bill. 

SB 980 Secretary of Transportation; Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; work group; report.

This bill introduced by Senator Dave Marsden will bring accountability to efforts to increase the participation of businesses owned by underrepresented individuals in the state procurement process in transportation. This could result in similar accountability being used for overall state procurement performance. We support this bill. 

SB 1048 Research and development expenses tax credits.

Introduced by Jeremy McPike this would impose an annual per taxpayer major research and development expenses tax credit cap of $300,000, that increases to $400,000 if the qualified research was conducted with a public or private institution of higher education. We support this bill. 

SB 1078 Siting of data centers; impacts on resources; site assessment.

Introduced by Chap Petersen this bill has been referred to Local Government and would apply statewide to any data center constructed within a mile of a NPS facility or state park or similar, unnamed cultural resource.  There are 41 state parks in VA and 22 national parks, which doesn’t provide many locations for data centers. This bill has been referred to Committee on Local Government. We do not support. 

SB 1101 Paid family and medical leave program; Virginia Employment Commission required to establish.

Introduced by Senator Jennifer Boysko and referred to Commerce and Labor, this would require the Virginia Employment Commission to establish and administer a paid family and medical leave program with benefits beginning January 1, 2026. We do not anticipate this bill to make it to the Governor’s desk. We do not support this bill. 

SB 1213 Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation; universal license recognition.

Introduced by Senator Ryan McDougle and referred to General Laws and Technology would establish criteria for an individual licensed, certified, or having work experience in another state to apply to a regulatory board within the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. This was reported out of General Laws 14-0. Delegate Will Morefield introduced the House version, 2180. We support this bill! 

House Bills

HB 1378 State Air Pollution Control Board; regulations; low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicle standards.

This issue due to the campaign kicking off already is starting to take up a lot of oxygen during the session. It passed the Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources in a party line vote 12-10. However, the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee along party line votes, killed this bill. We do not support this. 

HB 1439 Comprehensive community colleges; conditionally forgivable loans for tuition and other fees.

Introduced by Delegate Tim Anderson, this bill would establish forgivable loans. Delegate Anderson told us, the bill has stipulations and would require the beneficiary to work in a high demand field for 7 years in Virginia. It has been referred to the Education Committee. We support this bill.  

HB 1508 Virginia Education Success Account Program; established, report. 

Introduced by Delegate Glenn Davis, it allows parents to use the funds in their “Virginia Education Success Account” for private elementary or secondary schools. Delegate Davis told us that parents could save $6,300. The Education Subcommittee of K-12 voted along party lines 5-3 to report this to the full committee. We do not have a position at this moment.

HB 1783 Natural gas utilities; retail supply choice.

Introduced by Delegate Israel O’Quinn this legislation ensures every person has access to retail natural gas. This bill will assure all Virginians, would have diversity and freedom of choice in their selection of energy sources for their homes and businesses. This bill was reported from Commerce and Energy with substitute along party lines 12-9. We support this bill. 

HB 1842 Economic development; Virginia Business Ready Sites Acquisition Fund and Program.

This bill is introduced by Delegate Barry Knight would establish the Virginia Business Ready Sites Acquisition Program. The objective would be acquiring sites to maintain a portfolio of project-ready sites. This bill was reported from Appropriations with substitutes 22-0. We support this legislation. 

HB 1988 Employment; paid sick leave; civil penalties.

This bill introduced by Delegate Elizabeth Guzman would expands provisions of the Code to cover all employees of private employers. This has been referred to House Commerce and Energy Subcommittee #4. We oppose this. 

HB 2195 Department of Workforce Development and Advancement created; consolidation of the Commonwealth's workforce development policies and programs; report.

This bill introduced by Delegate Kathy Byron (SB 1470 introduced by Senate Frank Ruff) creates the Department of Workforce Development and Advancement to serve as administrator and fiscal agent for the Commonwealth's workforce programs. We are working with Secretary of Labor Bryan Slater on this legislation. We support this. 

HJ 460 Constitutional amendment; repeal of same-sex marriage prohibition (first reference).

In 2021, the Democratic-controlled legislature approved a constitutional amendment to remove the marriage ban that Virginia voters enacted in a referendum in 2006. In order, for the constitutional amendment to be sent back to the voters, it needs to pass the General Assembly twice. We have spoken to Delegate Tim Anderson and Senator Adam Ebbin. We support this. 

Bills the Chamber is watching

The following bills we are monitoring. If these get traction, they could become priorities.  

Senate Bills

  • Senator Barbara Favola: SB 819 Public schools; Standards of Quality, early intervention services for reading and mathematics.
  • Senator Barbara Favola: SB 827 Hospital emergency departments; required security and training, regulations.
    • We support this bill with an amendment that would exempt freestanding emergency rooms. 
  • Senator Bryce Reeves: SB 836 Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Advisory Committee; established.
    • Delegate Paul Krizek introduced the House Campion Bill on this. 
    • Spoke to Senator Reeves and we expressed our support of this bill. 
  • Senator Stephen Newman: SB 862 Highway use fee and mileage-based user fee program; eliminates the program.
  • Senator John Cosgrove: SB 865 Highway use fee; exemptions, low-speed vehicles.
  • Senator Bill DeSteph: SB 904 Workers' compensation; post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder, or depressive disorder.
    • We support this. 
  • Senator Chap Petersen: SB 950 Taxable income; Paycheck Protection Program loans.
    • We support this. 
  • Senator Chap Petersen: SB 954 Virginia Public Procurement Act; construction management and design-build contracting.
  • Senator Adam Ebbin: SB 1096 Marriage lawful regardless of sex of parties.
  • Senator Dave Marsden: SB 1157 Health insurance; coverage for audio-only telehealth services.
  • Senator Dick Saslaw: SB 1265 Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act.
  • Senator John Edwards: SB 1338 Health insurance; pharmacy benefits managers; employee welfare benefit plans.
  • Senator David Suetterlein: SB 1423 Income tax; rates and deductions for businesses.
  • Senator Monty Mason: SB 1425 Health insurance; ensuring fairness in cost-sharing.
    • HB 1782 introduced by Delegate Israel O’Quinn.
  • Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel: SB 1464 Virginia Power Innovation Fund and Program; created.
  • Senator John Bell: SJ 230 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; VSCC to study hate crimes and bias-motivated acts.

House Bills

  • Delegate Joe McNamara: HB 1405 Income tax, corporate; returns, affiliated corporations.
  • Delegate Danny Marshall: HB 1413 Industrial development authorities; safe and affordable housing.
  • Delegate Tim Anderson: HB 1429 Public defender; supplementing compensation.
    • We strongly support this. 
  • Delegate Bobby Orrock: HB 1449 Emergency medical services providers; administration of prescription medication.
    • We support this bill. 
  • Delegate Tim Anderson: HB 1479 Employer-provided childcare; creates a tax credit for taxable years 2023 through 2027.
    • We support this. 
  • Delegate Glenn Davis: HB 1491 Small business; redefines for the purposes of certain programs.
  • Delegate Terry Austin: HB 1495 Transportation network companies; uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Delegate Terry Austin: HB 1496 Commonwealth Mass Transit Fund; 2.5 percent of Fund allocated to CROC for operating purposes.
    • Companion is SB1079. We support these bills. 
  • Delegate Dawn Adams: HB 1514 Deceased high school seniors; waiver of graduation requirements and award of posthumous programs.
  • Delegate Carrie Coyner: HB 1526 Student literacy measures; scope, students in grades four through eight.
  • Delegate Clinton Jenkins: HB 1533 Public utility regulation; Internet service providers, certificate to furnish broadband service.
  • Delegate Nadarius Clark: HB 1534 Loan repayment programs; creates program for mental health professionals.
    • We strongly support this. 
  • Delegate Karrie Delaney: HB 1596 Prescription Drug Affordability Board and Fund established; drug cost affordability review.
    • Senate Companion bill introduced by Chap Petersen, SB 957.
  • Delegate Jason Ballard: HB 1624 Department of Veterans Services; mental health and rehabilitative services; Military Spouse Liaison.
  • Delegate Elizabeth Bennett-Parker: HB 1730 Alcoholic beverage control; grounds for suspension or revocation of license; exception.
    • We strongly support this! 
  • Delegate Terry Kilgore: HB 1770 Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act.
  • Delegate Israel O’Quinn: HB 1777 Phase I Utilities; annual rate true-up reviews.
  • Delegate David Reid: HB 1790-EV Chargers for Home and Farm Use.
  • Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn: HB 1791 Veterans' Behavioral Health Services Grant Matching Fund; established.
    • We strongly support this. 
  • Delegate Mike Cherry: HB 1827 Autopsies; decedents in the custody of Department of Corrections.
  • Delegate Rob Bell: HB 1835 Threats made against health care providers; penalty.
  • Delegate Michael Webert: HB 1858 Roadways under Va. Hwy. Corporation Act of 1988; operating under Public-Private Transp. Act of 1995.
    • SB 1162 introduced by Senator Dave Marsden. 
    • We support this! 
  • Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn: HB 1895 Employee protection; prohibited retaliation, prohibited nondisclosure.
  • Delegate Brianna Sewell: HB 2034 National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board; joint transportation meeting.
  • Delegate Betsy Carr: HB 2047 Affordable housing; local zoning ordinance authority; comprehensive plan.
    • We support this legislation. 
  • Delegate Kathleen Murphy: HB 2073 Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and Commission; created.
  • Delegate Dan Helmer: HB 2237 Hospital price transparency; private right of action; patient payment disputes; noncompliance.
    • We oppose this bill. 
  • Delegate Irene Shin: HB 2283 Disconnection suspensions for certain utilities; state of emergency, residential customers, report. 
  • Delegate Terry Kilgore: HB 2311 Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act; renewable energy; eligible sources for renewable energy.
  • Delegate Ellen Campbell: HB 2332 Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority; eligible site for site development grant.
  • Delegate Glenn Davis: HB 2374 Prescriptions; telemedicine; refusal to fill prescription from telemedicine provider; prohibition.
  • Delegate Israel O’Quinn: HB 2386 Virginia Power Innovation Fund and Program; created.


Please stay tuned to the weekly summaries moving forward, which will be shorter! This week we casted a wide net, to ensure that all issues that could impact our members were noted. As we move forward, some bills will require more detailed updates, others will die. As always, we serve to assist you, and if anyone has any questions, concerns or would like to participate in the weekly update calls on Friday at 8AM, please contact me! 


Nick Clemente