2015 Legislative Updates

Commonwealth of Virginia

HB 1608 Local government; prohibits practices that would require contractors to provide benefits. 

Summary as introduced:

Prohibiting certain local government practices that would require contractors to provide certain compensation or benefits. Prohibits local governing bodies from establishing provisions related to procurement of goods, professional services, or construction services that would require a wage floor or any other employee benefit or compensation above what is otherwise required by state or federal law to be provided by a contractor to one or more of the contractor’s employees as part of a contract with the locality. The prohibition shall not affect contracts between a locality and another party that were executed prior to January 31, 2016, or the renewal or future rebids of services thereof. Also, localities shall not be prohibited from entering into contracts for economic development incentives in which the company receiving the incentives is required to maintain a certain stated wage level for its employees.

HB 2395 Public works contracts; prevailing wage provisions.

Summary as passed House: (all summaries)

Public works contracts; prevailing wage provisions. Prohibits state agencies from requiring bidders, offerors, contractors, or subcontractors to pay, or require the payment of, wages, salaries, benefits, or other remuneration to persons employed to perform services in connection with a public works project at a rate that is based on the wages and benefits prevailing for the corresponding classes of laborers and mechanics employed. A corresponding prohibition is made applicable to state agencies providing grants or other financial assistance for public works projects, unless otherwise required by federal law. The measure further states that it is the policy of the Commonwealth not to implement, adopt, enforce, or require any program, policy, or provision that requires a public works contract that requires the payment of wages or other remuneration at a rate based on the prevailing wage, whether modeled on the federal Davis-Bacon Act or on a similar law of another state.

HJ 490 Constitutional amendment (first resolution); right to work.

Summary as introduced:

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); right to work. Provides that any agreement or combination between any employer and any labor union or labor organization whereby persons not members of such union or organization are denied the right to work for the employer, or whereby such membership is made a condition of employment or continuation of employment by such employer, or whereby any such union or organization acquires an employment monopoly in any enterprise, is against public policy and constitutes an illegal combination or conspiracy and is void.

HB 1820 Workers’ compensation; pecuniary liability of the employer for medical services, report.

Summary as passed: (all summaries)

Workers’ compensation; payment for medical services. Requires the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission to determine the number and geographic area of communities across the Commonwealth. The measure also requires the Commission to convene a work group of stakeholder representatives of employers, health care service providers, claimants, and insurers to advise and assist the Commission in (i) reviewing, analyzing, and comparing information contained within and reports on all possible databases containing workers’ compensation or health care data for medical services rendered in Virginia; (ii) reviewing, analyzing, and comparing information contained within and reports on how similar databases are used for the establishment of the pecuniary liability of the employer in other states; and (iii) making findings or recommendations as to how the databases reviewed and the contents thereof may serve to enhance or replace Virginia’s current mechanisms for establishing the pecuniary liability of the employer for medical services provided to an injured employee.

Henrico County, Virginia

Machinery & Tools Tax Rate Reduction

The Henrico County Board of Supervisors lowered Henrico County’s machinery and tool (M&T) tax rate this year by 70% from its previous nominal rate of $1.00/$100 of assessed value to $0.30/$100.  The effective tax rate is $0.24/$100 in year 1 and the rate decreases based on the current depreciation schedule to $.03/$100 in year 15.  This reduction gives Henrico County the lowest effective M&T tax rate in Central Virginia and the lowest effective rate of any county in Virginia with a population of at least 100,000.

The new tax rate was made effective as of January 1, 2015 so that the county’s existing companies enjoyed the benefit of this rate reduction immediately.