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Virginia General Assembly Legislative Update 2-14-2017
Posted on Tuesday, February 14 @ 07:28:32 MST by editor

Virginia General Assembly Updates New Page 1

Legislative Update 2-14-2017

 

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OPPOSE

 

SB 1578 (short term rentals like Airbnb) is on the agenda for today’s meeting, 2/14/17, of the House General Laws Sub-Committee #1 (immediately upon adjournment of the full committee in House Room C). Please call and email the committee members NOW to OPPOSE this attack on private property rights.

House General Laws Sub-Committee #1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SB 1110 (utility facilities act) is on the docket for today’s meeting, 2/14/17, of the House Committee on Commerce and Labor (1/2 hour after adjournment of the House in House Room D). Please contact the committee members NOW to OPPOSE this special interest regulatory handout.

 

House Committee on Commerce and Labor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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UPDATE:

 

Successes (we support these bills):

 

SB 1153 (inverse condemnation) passed the House Courts of Justice Civil Law subcommittee 9-0.

 

SB 1421 (condemnation awards) passed the House Courts of Justice Civil Law subcommittee 8-0.

 

HB 2108 (broadband expansion) passed the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor 10-1-1.

 

Not Successes (we oppose these bills):

 

SB 1195 (farm inspections) passed the House ACNR Agriculture subcommittee 7-0.

 

HB 1766 (local zoning for utilities) passed the Senate Commerce and Labor committee 10-2.

 

The votes for the updated bills are below.

 

 

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I.  WE SUPPORT THESE BILLS

 

  • Inverse Condemnation

 

SB 1153 Inverse condemnation proceeding; reimbursement of owner’s costs.

 

Directs the court to reimburse a plaintiff for the costs of an inverse condemnation proceeding for "damaging" property if a judgment is entered for the plaintiff. Under current law, the court is directed to award costs only for the "taking" of property. The change made in this bill corresponds with the language of amendments to Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Virginia, which became effective on January 1, 2013.

 

SB 1153 conforms the Virginia Code to the 2012 Property Rights Amendment, expanding the point at which reimbursements are awarded to include property damage; thereby eliminating an Equal Protection concern that currently exists.

 

Status: (We support this bill)

02/01/17 Senate: Reported from Courts of Justice (15-Y 0-N)

02/06/17 Senate: Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

02/08/17 House: Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice

02/08/17 House: Assigned Courts sub: Civil Law

02/13/17 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting (9-Y 0-N)

 

SB 1153 passed the House Sub-Committee on Civil Law 9-0. The Courts of Justice committee meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 1/2 hour after adjournment in House Room C.  The agenda for Wednesday’s meeting has not been posted, yet.

 

YEAS--Habeeb, Kilgore, Loupassi, Minchew, Leftwich, Miyares, Toscano, Krizek, Hope--9.

NAYS--0.

ABSTENTIONS--0.

NOT VOTING--Campbell--1.

 

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  • Interest Accrual of Condemnation Awards

 

SB 1421 Condemnation proceeding; interest on the amount of award

 

Provides that the interest on an award in a condemnation proceeding that is greater than the amount that the condemner deposited with the court shall accrue at the judgment rate of interest. 

 

SB 1421 provides for the accrual of interest on the difference between the final determination of just compensation in a condemnation proceeding (i.e. the taking of property under the statutes of eminent domain), and that which may have already been received by the property owner. This not only handles a major concern regarding delays in the payment of properly awarded compensation for the condemnation of property, but also provides an incentive structure for organizations granted the powers of eminent domain to pay awards as soon as possible.

 

 

Status: (We support this bill)

02/01/17 Senate: Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (15-Y 0-N)

02/06/17 Senate: Committee substitute agreed to 17105079D-S1

02/06/17 Senate: Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

02/08/17 House: Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice

02/08/17 House: Assigned Courts sub: Civil Law

02/13/17 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment (8-Y 0-N)

 

SB 1421 passed the House Sub-Committee on Civil Law 8-0 with an amendment. The Courts of Justice committee meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 1/2 hour after adjournment in House Room C. The agenda for Wednesday’s meeting has not been posted, yet.

 

YEAS--Habeeb, Kilgore, Loupassi, Minchew, Leftwich, Miyares, Krizek, Hope--8.

NAYS--0.

ABSTENTIONS--0.

NOT VOTING--Campbell, Toscano--2.

 

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  • “Quick Take” Condemnation Proceedings

 

HB 2024 Condemnation powers and proceedings; imminent threat to public health, safety, and welfare.

 

Provides that "quick take" condemnation proceedings are available for use only when a court determines that the use of such procedure is necessary to protect against an imminent threat to public health, safety, and welfare.

 

HB 2024 requires that public entities allowed to exercise eminent domain gain judicial approval before engaging “quick-take” condemnation proceedings. This bill ensures that these types of proceedings will only occur if “such procedure is necessary to protect against an imminent threat to public health, safety, and welfare.”

 

House substitute: It should be noted that the new language of the bill, substituted in sub-committee on Wednesday, 1/25/17, was not published until after the committee vote was taken on Friday, 1/27/17. Delegate Freitas’ assertion that the bill had essentially been gutted, has proven true. All judicial protections were removed and substituted with a 15-day notification requirement before “quick take” proceedings can be enacted. This is a far weaker bill than was initially sponsored by Del. Freitas, so much so that it may no longer warrant support.  We reserve judgment until we see if the language will change in the Senate.

 

Senate substitute: The Senate changed 15-day notification to 30-day.

 

Status: (We support this bill)

01/25/17 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (8-Y 0-N)

01/27/17 House: Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (21-Y 0-N)

02/02/17 House: VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (95-Y 0-N)

02/03/17  Senate: Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice

02/08/17 Senate: Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (14-Y 0-N)

02/10/17 Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N)

02/13/17 Senate: Read third time

02/13/17 Senate: Committee substitute agreed to 17105301D-S1

02/13/17 Senate: Passed by for the day

 

HB 2024 has reported from the Senate Committee on Courts and Justice with a substitution that changes the 15-day notification to a 30-day notification.  The language is certainly better than it was coming out of the House.  It is expected to pass the Senate.

 

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  • Supervising Regulatory Boards

 

HB 1566 Professions 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 laws. In addition, the bill establishes a process for the active supervision of state regulatory boards pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, in which the Court held that a state regulatory board that includes active market participants among its board membership must be actively supervised by the state in order for such board and its members to be entitled to immunity for federal antitrust violations.

 

HB 1566 requires that regulatory commissions which include active market participants, e.g. doctors who are on the board of health, must be actively supervised to ensure that regulations and restrictions are not subject to anti-trust liability. This bill seeks to ensure that regulations such as inspections, professional certifications and registrations, and occupational licensing are not being used to limit competition and hinder free entry into the market. The bill also provides for the immediate review of all new regulations as well as a review of all past occupational regulations to be completed in 5 years.

 

Substitution: The new language has weakened the bill, essentially allowing for certain regulatory boards to continue to limit competition (the Bar Association, for instance); however, it still targets many of the markets which seriously need regulatory reform (specifically regarding occupational licensing).

 

 

Status: (We support this bill)

01/26/17 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (5-Y 0-N)

01/31/17 House: Reported from General Laws with substitute (14-Y 8-N)

02/01/17 House: Assigned App. sub: General Government & Capital Outlay

02/03/17 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (6-Y 0-N)

02/03/17 House: Reported from Appropriations with substitute (13-Y 7-N)

02/06/17 House: Committee substitute rejected 17104901D-H1

02/06/17 House: Committee substitute agreed to 17105203D-H2

02/07/17 House: VOTE: PASSAGE (63-Y 33-N)

02/10/17 Senate: Reported from Rules with amendments (11-Y 3-N)

02/10/17 Senate: Rereferred to Finance

 

HB 1566 was amended in the Rules Committee which subsequently weakened the language of the bill. Although weakened, HB 1566 still stands to improve some concerns regarding the regulatory burden imposed by licensing commissions in the Commonwealth, thus we will continue to support it. HB 1566 has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee which meets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9:00 am in Senate Room B. HB 1566 is not currently on today’s docket, 2/14/17.

 

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  • Broadband Expansion

 

HB 2108 Virginia Wireless Service Authority Act; rates and charges

 

Provides that a wireless services authority may fix rates, fees, and charges for services provide, or facilities owned, operated, or maintained by the authority, for which the authority has received loan funding. Currently, an authority may do so only if it has issued revenue bonds. A similar change authorizes rates to be set at levels to provide for payment of loans. The measure also requires each authority to maintain records demonstrating compliance with certain provisions and to make the records available for inspection and copying by the public pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, notwithstanding any exemption in that Act or in the Virginia Wireless Services Authority Act.

 

Much of this bill is simply direction as to the way government owned broadband networks (GON) will set prices. It is our firm belief that government entities, and all levels, should not engage in any market at any time; however, local governments in the Commonwealth have been and still are organizing efforts to expand broadband access in their jurisdictions. The problem is that many times these efforts come with FOIA exemptions which make it extremely difficult for people to keep them accountable (To see what happens when these organizations are not kept accountable check out the Report on the Bristol Virginia Utilities Authority). This bill states specifically that all broadband operating authorities will be required to maintain records to be provided to FOIA requests regardless of previous exemptions from transparency requirements.  

 

Status: (We support this bill)

02/02/17 House: Reported from Commerce and Labor with substitute (11-Y 9-N)

02/06/17 House: Committee substitute agreed to 17105141D-H2

02/07/17 House: VOTE: PASSAGE (72-Y 24-N 1-A)

02/08/17 Senate: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor

02/13/17 Senate: Reported from Commerce and Labor with amendment (10-Y 1-N 1-A)

 

HB 2108 passed the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor 10-1-1.  The bill is not scheduled for the Senate Floor for today, 2/14/17.

 

YEAS--Saslaw, Newman, Stanley, Cosgrove, Chafin, Dance, Lucas, McDougle, Black, Sturtevant--10.

NAYS--Wagner--1.

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