Last Full Week of State Legislature
February 20, 2019
As the General Assembly is in its last few days – with all committees having finished their work – there is little legislative issues being discussed.
The 2019 General Assembly Session opened January 9, 2019, and is scheduled to adjourn its Regular Session on February 23, 2019. The General Assembly will return for its usual one-day Reconvened Session on April 3, 2019, to consider the Governor’s amendments and vetoes.
This year, AGC-VA considered the usual spate of bills in the usual categories, as reflected in this chart.
• Public procurement
• Workforce development
• Wages – nonpayment of; minimum wage increases
• Consumer protections
• Small business impacts
• Capital outlay investments – K-12, higher ed, utilities, etc.
We focused our efforts on working collaboratively with other like-minded organizations in order to maximize lobbying strength, resources, and efficiencies. This resulted in some advances we have not seen in a while.
We all supported common-sense public procurement measures, improvements in workforce development, and pro-businesses bills. Where necessary, we unabashedly opposed legislation that we determined not in the best interests of Virginia’s contractor community.
Our most determined focus this year, of course, was in joining with a broad coalition to support two identical bills in particular (SB 1368, HB 1667) that would reform the indefinite statute of limitations against contractors for work performed on state-owned projects. While the bills were unsuccessful, more progress was made this year than in years past when this issue was taken up.
Most Legislators, who are all up for re-election this November and state agencies now know that the contracting community is seriously concerned about the SOL issue and have committed to trying to address it over the coming year. This includes there likely being a study undertaken this summer, though the final construct of that study remains to be seen. During the spring, summer, and fall, this SOL study will be our primary legislative focus. We are looking into funding our own study to demonstrate the real long term impacts of not having a statute of limitations will be on Contractors and Subcontractors. How will this effect bonding and bid prices now that firms know contractors and subcontractors are on liable for eternity on public projects even when the business is dissolved is unclear.
Last, we are still awaiting the House and Senate to complete an agreed upon budget. That should be reported out in the next day or two. We will assess the budget for capital outlay investments and other items that may impact contractors. Stay tuned for that. A more detailed report will come out on key bills that passed or almost passed are likely to return.
Complete list of Bills AGCVA is tracking