Week 4

2022 Legislative Session | February 7th-11th

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 2022

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

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Week 4 Summary

Another busy week in Richmond as the last of the House and Senate bills moved through their respective chambers before the Feb. 15 crossover. While the news has been dominated by mask mandates, Twitter fights and one cabinet nomination, a lot more has been happening at the Capitol. Here are a few of the bills and budget amendments of interest to the Northern Virginia business community.

The Gas and Grocery Tax cuts

Senate Finance subcommittee defeated the gas tax freeze on Tuesday. Last week, the House Finance Committee approved bills freezing the gas tax increase for one year and repealing the grocery tax.

A compromise on the grocery tax was approved by the Senate Finance Committee this week which maintains the local option portion (1% which goes to education). Sen. Mark Peake’s gas tax freeze bill failed to report out of a Senate Finance subcommittee on Tuesday. 

Other Tax Proposals

One-Time Small Business Exemption

Senate: referred to joint subcommittee (no more action)

House: Approved 11-10 by House Finance; Awaiting action in Appropriations 

Double the Standard Deduction

Senate: referred to joint subcommittee (no more action)

House: Approved 11-10 by House Finance; Awaiting action in Appropriations

Refunds of $300/$600

Senate: Approved unanimously by full Senate

House: Approved 20-1 by House Finance; Awaiting action in Appropriations

Paid Sick Leave and Leave Insurance 

There are two bills again this session that would establish a universal paid sick leave mandate on Virginia businesses. House and Senate committees killed those bills this week. 

Sen. Surovell has a bill requiring grocery store workers to be provided with paid sick leave. The bill amends the section of code added last year to require home health workers be provided paid sick leave. It was approved by the full Commerce & Labor Committee and Senate Finance committees.  

The House companion by Del. Mundon King was laid on the table in subcommittee this week. 

Sen. Favola has brought back her bill (with Del. Byron carrying the House companion) to establish a private insurance market in Virginia for paid leave policies, after a study over the summer. The bill was approved 14-1 by the Commerce & Labor Committee and sent to the full Senate for a vote. The House version was approved 99-0 this week. The Chamber supports this bill and sees it as a way to incentivize businesses to adopt paid leave, and a more affordable and fair system for small businesses that may not be able to afford a self-funded program.

Right to Work repeal 

House Rules committee struck bill 18-0 at Del. Clark’s request

A bill to repeal Virginia’s Right-to-Work law was stricken unanimously by the House Rules committee this week.

Outreach by Dept. of Small Business and Supplier Diversity 

House General Laws Committee approved on a bipartisan 15-7 vote.

Energy Innovation Act – allowing the use of biogas by utilities 

Senate: Approved by Commerce & Labor 13-2 and moving through full Senate

House: Approved by Commerce & Energy 14-8

These bills would expand the types of gas commercial providers in Virginia can offer to its customers, including biogas and hydrogen. 


House and Senate approved conformity bills without raising PPP deductibility from 2021 level

Bills introduced in both chambers would have raised the amount of deductible expenses from $100,000, agreed to in the 2021 session, to $1,000,000. 

Cannabis update

Senate committees reported bills to the floor; no action in House

Charter Schools

House Senate Education and Health defeated the bill on Feb. 3

Limitation on duration of executive orders

Senate Finance Committee reported the bill to the floor

House version is on the floor

These bills would put limits on a Governor’s emergency powers by setting time limits on actions during an emergency, and gives the General Assembly more power in such situations. The Chamber has included such limitations in our Legislative Agenda since 2021.