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 Virginia General Assembly Legislative Update 2-24-2017

Virginia General Assembly UpdatesAnonymous writes "

Special Update 2-24-2017



**********************************************************



The session is almost over.



Only two of the bills we are following are still being worked on: HB 2024 (“Quick Take” Condemnation Proceedings), and HB 1566 (Supervising Regulatory Boards). Both bills are in conference committee today.



We have been informed that HB 2024 is on the right track to be appropriately strengthened against the misuse of “quick take” proceedings, which was previously strengthened in the Senate from a 15-day to a 30-day notification window. This may be even further strengthened in conference committee. We are keeping an eye out.



HB 1566 is also in committee to discuss amendment #5 which the House rejected and the Senate has insisted upon. The amendment states, “That the provisions of this act shall not become effective unless an appropriation effectuating the purposes of this act is included in a general appropriation act passed in 2017 by the General Assembly that becomes law.” Given that the session ends on Sunday, this amendment will likely kill this bill.



**********************************************************



We ask that you contact the committee members listed below NOW, and ask that they REJECT HB 1566 Amendment #5. Please support this important regulatory reform.



HB 1566 Conference Committee:



Del. Richard L. Anderson (R) 804-698-1051 DelRAnderson@house.virginia.gov


Del. Jeffery M. Bourne (D) 804-698-1071 DelJBourne@house.virginia.gov


Sen. Frank M. Ruff, Jr. (R) 804-698-7515 district15@senate.virginia.gov


Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R) 804-698-7527 district27@senate.virginia.gov


Sen. Frank W. Wagner (R) 804-698-7507 district07@senate.virginia.gov


Del. Michael J. Webert (R) 804-698-1018 DelMWebert@house.virginia.gov




Caleb Taylor

Director of Policy and Operations

Tertium Quids

ctaylor@tertiumquids.org


"

Posted by editor on Friday, February 24 @ 12:57:06 MST (18 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 0)

 Commonwealth Transportation Board

Virginia Regulatory Town Hall New Page 1
Minutes have been posted for the following meetings:
Commonwealth Transportation Board
Title: CTB Innovation and Technology Subcommittee Meeting
Time: 2/16/17  07:30 AM
Location: Virginia Department of Transportation 1221 East Broad Street Richmond, Virginia 23219
Minutes: Draft minutes have been posted
Contact: Carol A. Mathis / Carol.Mathis@VDOT.Virginia.gov / (804)786-2701
See the meeting on the Town Hall
http://TownHall.virginia.gov//l/ViewMeeting.cfm?MeetingID=25630

New meetings have been posted:
State Water Control Board
Title: Outreach Session - Chesapeake Bay Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP)
Time: 3/6/17  01:00 PM
Location: DEQ’s Valley Regional Office, 4411 Early Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Contact: Joan Salvati / Joan.Salvati@deq.virginia.gov / (804)698-4230
See the meeting on the Town Hall
http://TownHall.virginia.gov//l/ViewMeeting.cfm?MeetingID=25672
We try to keep price lists up to date. Price list of our pharmacies are updated daily - go to pharmacy online : Announcements of new drugs. Shares. Best price.

Posted by editor on Wednesday, February 22 @ 19:31:59 MST (42 reads)
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 Virginia General Assembly Legislative Update 2-22-2017

Virginia General Assembly UpdatesAnonymous writes "

Legislative Update 2-22-2017



**********************************************************



SUCCESS



Passed: SB 1153 Inverse Condemnation Proceedings (final vote today, 2/22/17, on uncontested calendar)


Passed: SB 1421 Interest on Unpaid Condemnation Rewards (final vote today, 2/22/17, on uncontested calendar)


Killed: HB 1482 National Popular Vote Compact




**********************************************************



To find your legislator, please follow this link:



Who is my legislator?





**********************************************************



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)

02/20/17 House: Reported from Courts of Justice (21-Y 0-N)



SB 1153 is on today’s uncontested calendar, 2/22/17, for its final passage. Thank you everyone for supporting this important eminent domain reform.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------



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)

02/20/17 House: Reported from Courts of Justice with amendment (21-Y 0-N)



SB 1421 (amended) is on today’s uncontested calendar, 2/22/17, for its final passage in the House. We will look for the amended SB 1421 to be adopted by the Senate before the end of the week.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------



“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)

02/14/17 Senate: Passed Senate with substitute (40-Y 0-N)

02/16/17 House: VOTE: REJECTED (0-Y 97-N)

02/20/17 Senate: Senate requested conference committee

02/21/17 House: House acceded to request



HB 2024 (Senate substitute) has been rejected by the House, and the Senate has requested a conference committee. A conference committee membership list has not yet been released.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------



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)

02/15/17 Senate: Reported from Finance with amendment (10-Y 6-N)

02/17/17 Senate: Passed Senate with amendments (21-Y 19-N)

02/21/17 House: Senate amendments #1, 2, 3 and 4 agreed to by House (61-Y 34-N)

02/21/17 House: VOTE: ADOPTION (61-Y 34-N)

02/21/17 House: Senate amendment #5 rejected by House (0-Y 95-N)

02/21/17 House: VOTE: REJECTED (0-Y 95-N)



HB 1566 has passed the House with 4 of the 5 Senate amendments intact. We will keep an eye out for HB 1566 to be headed back to the Senate once again.



**********************************************************





II. WE OPPOSE THESE BILLS



Farm Inspections and Penalties


SB 1195 Produce safety; farm inspections; Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund; penalties.



Prohibits certain farms from violating the federal regulations that set minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables. The bill authorizes the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt regulations to carry out the purposes of the law and gives the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services free access at all reasonable hours to any farm to inspect the farm and take samples. The Commissioner also is authorized to seize certain produce that he believes to violate the federal regulations or state law. The bill makes the act of obstructing an inspector a Class 2 misdemeanor and of violating any other provision of the law or a Board regulation a Class 1 misdemeanor. In lieu of a criminal penalty, the Board is authorized to levy a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation, to be deposited in an Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund that is created by the bill.



SB 1195 permits the Commissioner of Agriculture to surprise inspect any small farmer, defined in Federal Code as any farm producing more than $25,000 and less than $500,000 annually. During these inspections, an inspector may confiscate produce without due process and levy a fine of up to $1,000 per violation. Per the substituted language of SB 1195, the proceeds from the civil penalties will be deposited into the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund.



Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/26/17 Senate: Reported from Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources with substitute (12-Y 1-N 1-A)

02/01/17 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (25-Y 15-N)

02/03/17 House: Placed on Calendar

02/03/17 House: Read first time

02/03/17 House: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources

02/06/17 House: Assigned ACNR sub: Agriculture

02/13/17 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (7-Y 0-N)

02/15/17 House: Reported from Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources with substitute (19-Y 3-N)

02/17/17 House: VOTE: PASSAGE (73-Y 26-N)

02/21/17 Senate: House substitute agreed to by Senate (28-Y 12-N)

02/21/17 Senate: Reconsideration of House substitute agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N)

02/21/17 Senate: House substitute agreed to by Senate (25-Y 14-N)



SB 1195 has passed returned to the Senate and passed. In response to questions as to why this heinous bill passed, many (Republican) Delegates and Senators have released an email consisting of canned talking points which essentially pass the blame to the Federal level, and suggest that we, as citizens should take our grievances to our federal representatives. This is a cowardly, patronizing, and poorly conceived response. When the establishment circles the wagons, and attempts to pass the blame, our reply should be to burn the wagons. It is time that our majority Republican General Assembly stand up for Virginians, even against the Federal Government. The fact that our Republican delegates can be so easily cowed by Federal statutes is extremely concerning.



---------------------------------------------------------------------------



Short Term Rental Registration


SB 1578 Short-term rental of property; registration of persons offering property for rental.



Authorizes a locality to adopt an ordinance requiring the registration of persons offering property for short-term rental. The bill defines "short-term rental" as the provision of a room or space suitable for sleeping or lodging for less than 30 consecutive days. Persons and entities already licensed related to the rental or management of property by the Board of Health, the Real Estate Board, or a locality would not be required to register. The bill authorizes localities to impose fees and penalties on persons who violate the registry ordinance or who offer short-term rentals that have multiple violations of state or federal laws or ordinances, including those related to alcoholic beverage control. The bill amends the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Act to clarify that certain property rented on a short-term basis is considered a bed and breakfast establishment for purposes of ABC licensing and that the exception from ABC licensing for serving alcoholic beverages to guests in a residence does not apply if the guest is a short-term lessee of the residence.



SB 1578 requires the registration and permits the regulation by local governments of “short-term rental properties” such as those vacation rentals accessed through applications like Airbnb, VRBO, and Home Away. This is in direct contrast to last year’s Airbnb Law, which restricted localities ability to regulate the private use of an individual’s property. This law opens the gate to the increasingly restrictive ordinances by local governments using general land use and zoning authority powers to keep local property owners from making the best use of their personal property, thereby potentially causing an increase in unused capital (implying possible sunk costs which must be absorbed by the property owner) throughout the Commonwealth.



SB 1579 has also been incorporated into SB 1578. SB 1579 establishes the requirement of a minimum of $500,000 in liability insurance as well as a $10,000 fine for property owners who operate short-term rentals without the express permission of their local government.



Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/27/17 Senate: Rereferred from Rehabilitation and Social Services (13-Y 1-N)

02/02/17 Senate: Reported from Local Government with substitute (11-Y 2-N)

02/02/17 Senate: Incorporates SB1579 (Stanley)

02/06/17 Senate: Committee substitute agreed to 17105130D-S1

02/07/17 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (36-Y 4-N)

02/09/17 House: Referred to Committee on General Laws

02/14/17 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 0-N)

02/14/17 House: Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Appropriations

02/16/17 House: Reported from General Laws (21-Y 0-N)

02/16/17 House: Referred to Committee on Appropriations

02/20/17 House: Reported from Appropriations (21-Y 0-N)



SB 1578 is on today’s uncontested calendar, 2/22/17, for its final passage on the floor of the House. Once again, the establishment calls and the Republicans come running.



---------------------------------------------------------------------------



Local Zoning Ordinances for Utilities


HB 1766 Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.



Provides that the issuance by the State Corporation Commission of a certificate of public convenience and necessity for construction of an electrical transmission line of 138 kilovolts and any associated facilities shall be deemed to satisfy local comprehensive plan requirements and all local zoning ordinances with respect to the transmission line and associated facilities. The measure defines "associated facilities" as including any station, substation, transition station, and switchyard facilities to be constructed in association with the 138-kilovolt transmission line.



This issue is a tough one, and one we considered very carefully. HB 1766, and its companion SB 1110, essentially remove zoning restrictions for the installation of electrical facilities that Dominion Power wants to put in. We want to be crystal clear: in opposing this bill we are not in support of zoning laws in any shape, form, or by any other name. Zoning laws are, by their very nature, anathema to private property rights. In opposing this bill, we are opposing any further special privilege allotted to Dominion Power (or any other government supported power company) as a supposedly private organization which has often misused the power of eminent domain (a power which it should never have been permitted to use), and has essentially been maintained for years as a government mandated monopoly in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If Dominion Power were being granted this privilege by way of the elimination of local zoning ordinances for all Virginia property owners, then we would stand in passionate support. However, this is not that bill, so we must OPPOSE.



Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/17/17 House: Reported from Commerce and Labor (18-Y 1-N)

01/24/17 House: VOTE: PASSAGE (67-Y 30-N 1-A)

01/25/17 Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed

01/25/17 Senate: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor

02/13/17 Senate: Reported from Commerce and Labor (10-Y 2-N)

02/16/17 Senate: Passed Senate with amendment (32-Y 8-N)

02/20/17 House: VOTE: ADOPTION (60-Y 34-N 1-A)



HB 1766 (Senate amendment) has been adopted by the House, 64-34.



---------------------------------------------------------------------------



SB 1110 Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.



Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/09/17 Senate: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor

01/30/17 Senate: Reported from Commerce and Labor (12-Y 2-N 1-A)

02/03/17 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (30-Y 9-N)

02/14/17 House: Reported from Commerce and Labor (18-Y 3-N)



SB 1110 has been passed by for the day; with the final adoption of HB 1766 we expect this is the end of the line for SB 1110.





---------------------------------------------------------------------------





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.

The Senate amendment to HB 2108 drops the important language which would have eliminated FOIA exemptions for localities with regards to broadband expansion projects. This removal has completely changed the language of this bill.



Status: (We oppose 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)

02/15/17 Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N)

02/16/17 Senate: Passed Senate with amendment (35-Y 3-N 1-A)

02/20/17 House: VOTE: ADOPTION (79-Y 13-N 1-A)



HB 2108 (Senate amendment) has been adopted by the House, 79-13.


**********************************************************


To find your legislator, please follow this link:



Who is my legislator?





Please feel free to forward this message and future updates to your list.









Caleb Taylor

Director of Policy and Operations

Tertium Quids

ctaylor@tertiumquids.org


"

Posted by editor on Wednesday, February 22 @ 07:25:31 MST (53 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 0)

 Virginia General Assembly Legislative Update 2-20-2017

Virginia General Assembly UpdatesAnonymous writes "Legislative Update 2-20-2017



**********************************************************



SUPPORT



SB 1153 (inverse condemnation proceedings) and SB 1421 (interest payments on eminent domain takings) are on the agenda for today’s meeting, 2/20/17, of the House Committee for Courts and Justice, which meets shortly after adjournment in House Room C. Please contact the committee members NOW and support these important eminent domain reforms.



House Courts of Justice



Del. David B. Albo (R) 804-698-1042 deldalbo@house.virginia.gov (Chairman)


Del. Robert B. Bell (R) 804-698-1058 delrbell@house.virginia.gov (Vice-Chairman)


Del. Leslie R. Adams (R) 804-698-1016 delladams@house.virginia.gov


Del. Jeffrey L. Campbell (R) 804-698-1006 deljcampbell@house.virginia.gov


Del. Benjamin L. Cline (R) 804-698-1024 delbcline@house.virginia.gov


Del. Christopher E. Collins (R) 804-698-1029 delccollins@house.virginia.gov


Del. C. Todd Gilbert (R) 804-698-1015 deltgilbert@house.virginia.gov


Del. Gregory D. Habeeb (R) 804-698-1008 delghabeeb@house.virginia.gov


Del. Charniele L. Herring (D) 804-698-1046 delcherring@house.virginia.gov


Del. Patrick A. Hope (D) 804-698-1047 delphope@house.virginia.gov


Del. Terry G. Kilgore (R) 804-698-1001 deltkilgore@house.virginia.gov


Del. Paul E. Krizek (D) 804-698-1044 delpkrized@house.virginia.gov


Del. James A. Leftwich (R) 804-698-1078 deljleftwich@house.virginia.gov


Del. G. Manoli Loupassi (R) 804-698-1068 delmloupassi@house.virginia.gov


Del. Jackson H. Miller (R) 804-698-1050 deljmiller@house.virginia.gov


Del. J. Randall Minchew (R) 804-698-1010 delrminchew@house.virginia.gov


Del. Jason S. Miyares (R) 84-698-1082 deljmiyares@house.virginia.gov


Del. Richard L. Morris (R) 804-698-1064 delrmorris@house.virginia.gov


Del. Michael P. Mullin (D) 804-698-1093 delmmullin@house.virginia.gov


Del. David J. Toscano (D) 804-698-1057 deldtoscano@house.virginia.gov


Del. Vivian E. Watts (D) 804-698-1039 delvwatts@house.virginia.gov




**********************************************************



OPPOSE



SB 1578 (restrictions on short term rentals) is on the agenda for today’s meeting, 2/20/17, of the House Appropriations Committee, which meets in the 9th Floor Appropriations Room, 30 minutes after adjournment. Please contact the committee members NOW and oppose this attack on private property rights.



House Appropriations



Del. S. Chris Jones (R) 804-698-1076 delcjones@house.virginia.gov (chairman)
Del. R. Steven Landes (R) 804-698-1025 delslandes@house.virginia.gov (vice chair)
Del. Lashrecse D. Aird (D) 804-698-1063 DelLAird@house.virginia.gov
Del. Richard L. Anderson (R) 804-698-1051 delranderson@house.virginia.gov
Del. Betsy B. Carr (D) 804-698-1069 delbcarr@house.virginia.gov
Del. M. Kirkland Cox (R) 804-698-1066 delkcox@house.virginia.gov
Del. T. Scott Garrett (R) 804-698-1023 delsgarrett@house.virginia.gov
Del. Thomas A. Greason (R) 804-698-1032 deltgreason@house.virginia.gov
Del. Daun Sessoms Hester (D) 804-698-1089 deldhester@house.virginia.gov
Del. Riley E. Ingram (R) 804-698-1062 delringram@house.virginia.gov
Del. Matthew James (D) 804-698-1080 delmjames@house.virginia.gov
Del. Barry D. Knight (R) 804-698-1081 delbknight@house.virginia.gov
Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R) 804-698-1031 delslingamfelter@house.virginia.gov
Del. James P. Massie, III (R) 804-698-1072 deljmassie@house.virginia.gov
Del. Delores L. McQuinn (D) 804-698-1070 deldmcquinn@house.virginia.gov
Del. John M. O’Bannon, III (R) 804-698-1073 deljobannon@house.virginia.gov
Del. Christopher K. Peace (R) 804-698-1097 delcpeace@house.virginia.gov
Del. Charles D. Poindexter (R) 804-698-1009 delcpoindexter@house.virginia.gov
Del. L. Nick Rush (R) 804-698-1007 delnrush@house.virginia.gov
Del. Mark D. Sickles (D) 804-698-1043 delmsickles@house.virginia.gov
Del. Christopher P. Stolle (R) 804-698-1083 delcstolle@house.virginia.gov
Del. Luke E. Torian (D) 804-698-1052 delltorian@house.virginia.gov


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HB 1766 (zoning exemptions for utility lines) is on today’s calendar to return to the House. Please contact your Delegate and oppose this bill.



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SB 1110 (zoning exemptions for utility lines) is on the House floor for its final passage today, 2/20/17. Please contact your Delegate NOW to oppose SB 1110.



**********************************************************





To find your legislator, please follow this link:



Who is my legislator?





**********************************************************



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. SB 1153 is on today’s agenda, 2/20/17. Please contact the House Courts and Justice Committee NOW and support this bill. Contact information is posted in the notice above.



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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, seemingly representing only minor adjustments in the bills language. The Courts of Justice committee meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 1/2 hour after adjournment in House Room C. SB 1421 is on the agenda for today’s meeting, 2/20/17. Please contact the committee members NOW and support this bill. Contact information is posted in the above notice.



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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)

02/14/17 Senate: Passed Senate with substitute (40-Y 0-N)

02/16/17 House: VOTE: REJECTED (0-Y 97-N)



HB 2024 (Senate substitute) has been rejected by the House, so we will be looking for HB 2024 to go to conference committee. Keep an eye out for special updates on this bill as we want to maximize the effect it will have for victims of quick take proceedings.



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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)

02/15/17 Senate: Reported from Finance with amendment (10-Y 6-N)

02/17/17 Senate: Passed Senate with amendments (21-Y 19-N)



HB 1566 has passed the Senate with amendments, 21-19. The amended version of HB 1566 now heads back to the House, but is not on today’s calendar, 2/20/17.





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II. WE OPPOSE THESE BILLS



Farm Inspections and Penalties


SB 1195 Produce safety; farm inspections; Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund; penalties.



Prohibits certain farms from violating the federal regulations that set minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables. The bill authorizes the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt regulations to carry out the purposes of the law and gives the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services free access at all reasonable hours to any farm to inspect the farm and take samples. The Commissioner also is authorized to seize certain produce that he believes to violate the federal regulations or state law. The bill makes the act of obstructing an inspector a Class 2 misdemeanor and of violating any other provision of the law or a Board regulation a Class 1 misdemeanor. In lieu of a criminal penalty, the Board is authorized to levy a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation, to be deposited in an Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund that is created by the bill.



SB 1195 permits the Commissioner of Agriculture to surprise inspect any small farmer, defined in Federal Code as any farm producing more than $25,000 and less than $500,000 annually. During these inspections, an inspector may confiscate produce without due process and levy a fine of up to $1,000 per violation. Per the substituted language of SB 1195, the proceeds from the civil penalties will be deposited into the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund.



Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/26/17 Senate: Reported from Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources with substitute (12-Y 1-N 1-A)

02/01/17 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (25-Y 15-N)

02/03/17 House: Placed on Calendar

02/03/17 House: Read first time

02/03/17 House: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources

02/06/17 House: Assigned ACNR sub: Agriculture

02/13/17 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (7-Y 0-N)

02/15/17 House: Reported from Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources with substitute (19-Y 3-N)

02/17/17 House: VOTE: PASSAGE (73-Y 26-N)



SB 1195 has passed the House with a vote of 73-26. In response to questions as to why this heinous bill passed, many (Republican) delegates have released an email consisting of canned talking points which essentially pass the blame to the Federal level, and demand that we, as citizens should take our grievances to our federal representatives. This is a cowardly, patronizing, and poorly conceived response. When the establishment circles the wagons, and attempts to pass the blame, our reply should be to burn the wagons. It is time that our majority Republican General Assembly stand up for Virginians, even against the Federal Government. SB 1195 needs to be killed, NOW, and we need to build a strategy to deal with the Federal version of this anti-competition law. The fact that our Republican delegates can be so easily cowed by Federal statutes is extremely concerning.



SB 1195 has not yet been placed on the Senate calendar for reassessment. We will keep a sharp eye out for this bill to return to the Senate.



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Short Term Rental Registration


SB 1578 Short-term rental of property; registration of persons offering property for rental.



Authorizes a locality to adopt an ordinance requiring the registration of persons offering property for short-term rental. The bill defines "short-term rental" as the provision of a room or space suitable for sleeping or lodging for less than 30 consecutive days. Persons and entities already licensed related to the rental or management of property by the Board of Health, the Real Estate Board, or a locality would not be required to register. The bill authorizes localities to impose fees and penalties on persons who violate the registry ordinance or who offer short-term rentals that have multiple violations of state or federal laws or ordinances, including those related to alcoholic beverage control. The bill amends the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Act to clarify that certain property rented on a short-term basis is considered a bed and breakfast establishment for purposes of ABC licensing and that the exception from ABC licensing for serving alcoholic beverages to guests in a residence does not apply if the guest is a short-term lessee of the residence.



SB 1578 requires the registration and permits the regulation by local governments of “short-term rental properties” such as those vacation rentals accessed through applications like Airbnb, VRBO, and Home Away. This is in direct contrast to last year’s Airbnb Law, which restricted localities ability to regulate the private use of an individual’s property. This law opens the gate to the increasingly restrictive ordinances by local governments using general land use and zoning authority powers to keep local property owners from making the best use of their personal property, thereby potentially causing an increase in unused capital (implying possible sunk costs which must be absorbed by the property owner) throughout the Commonwealth.



SB 1579 has also been incorporated into SB 1578. SB 1579 establishes the requirement of a minimum of $500,000 in liability insurance as well as a $10,000 fine for property owners who operate short-term rentals without the express permission of their local government.



Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/27/17 Senate: Rereferred from Rehabilitation and Social Services (13-Y 1-N)

02/02/17 Senate: Reported from Local Government with substitute (11-Y 2-N)

02/02/17 Senate: Incorporates SB1579 (Stanley)

02/06/17 Senate: Committee substitute agreed to 17105130D-S1

02/07/17 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (36-Y 4-N)

02/09/17 House: Referred to Committee on General Laws

02/14/17 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 0-N)

02/14/17 House: Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Appropriations

02/16/17 House: Reported from General Laws (21-Y 0-N)

02/16/17 House: Referred to Committee on Appropriations



SB 1578 is on the agenda for today’s meeting, 2/20/17, of the House Appropriations Committee which meets 30 minutes after adjournment in the 9th Floor Appropriations Room. Please contact the committee members NOW, and oppose this attack on property rights. Contact information is posted in the notice above.



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Local Zoning Ordinances for Utilities


HB 1766 Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.



Provides that the issuance by the State Corporation Commission of a certificate of public convenience and necessity for construction of an electrical transmission line of 138 kilovolts and any associated facilities shall be deemed to satisfy local comprehensive plan requirements and all local zoning ordinances with respect to the transmission line and associated facilities. The measure defines "associated facilities" as including any station, substation, transition station, and switchyard facilities to be constructed in association with the 138-kilovolt transmission line.



This issue is a tough one, and one we considered very carefully. HB 1766, and its companion SB 1110, essentially remove zoning restrictions for the installation of electrical facilities that Dominion Power wants to put in. We want to be crystal clear: in opposing this bill we are not in support of zoning laws in any shape, form, or by any other name. Zoning laws are, by their very nature, anathema to private property rights. In opposing this bill, we are opposing any further special privilege allotted to Dominion Power (or any other government supported power company) as a supposedly private organization which has often misused the power of eminent domain (a power which it should never have been permitted to use), and has essentially been maintained for years as a government mandated monopoly in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If Dominion Power were being granted this privilege by way of the elimination of local zoning ordinances for all Virginia property owners, then we would stand in passionate support. However, this is not that bill, so we must OPPOSE.



Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/17/17 House: Reported from Commerce and Labor (18-Y 1-N)

01/24/17 House: VOTE: PASSAGE (67-Y 30-N 1-A)

01/25/17 Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed

01/25/17 Senate: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor

02/13/17 Senate: Reported from Commerce and Labor (10-Y 2-N)

02/16/17 Senate: Passed Senate with amendment (32-Y 8-N)



HB 1766 is on today’s calendar, 2/20/17, to be re-addressed on the floor of the House. Please contact your Delegate and oppose this bill. If nothing else, request that the bill be referred back into committee and amended to include language that limits the scope of HB 1766 to its purported purpose, a single power line in Prince William County. To find your Delegate, click the link below, or in the above posted notice.



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SB 1110 Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.



Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/09/17 Senate: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor

01/30/17 Senate: Reported from Commerce and Labor (12-Y 2-N 1-A)

02/03/17 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (30-Y 9-N)

02/14/17 House: Reported from Commerce and Labor (18-Y 3-N)



SB 1110 is on the House floor today, 2/20/17, for its third and final reading. Please contact your Delegate NOW and oppose HB 1766’s companion bill. To find your Delegate, click the link below or in the above posted notice.





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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.



The Senate amendment to HB 2108 drops the important language which would have eliminated FOIA exemptions for localities with regards to broadband expansion projects. This removal has completely changed the language of this bill.



Status: (We oppose 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)

02/15/17 Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N)

02/16/17 Senate: Passed Senate with amendment (35-Y 3-N 1-A)



HB 2108 has passed the Senate with amendment, 35-3. The Senate amendment to HB 2108 eliminates the transparency clause, allowing localities to, once again, hide behind inappropriate exemptions to the Virginia FOIA requirements. Because of this, we now oppose HB 2108.





**********************************************************



To find your legislator, please follow this link:



Who is my legislator?





Please feel free to forward this message and future updates to your list.







Donate









Caleb Taylor

Director of Policy and Operations

Tertium Quids

ctaylor@tertiumquids.org


"

Posted by editor on Monday, February 20 @ 14:34:08 MST (21 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 0)

 Kevin Duffan, candidate for the 2nd Judicial District, JDR Court

Virginia General Assembly UpdatesAnonymous writes "Senate Courts of Justice
NEW Judicial Interview

Meeting Date: February 20, 2017
Meeting Time: 09:00 AM
Location: House Room C, General Assembly Building
201 N. 9th Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Meeting Information: The House Judicial Panel and the Senate Courts of Justice Committee will meet Monday, February 20, 2017, at 9 a.m. in HR C to interview Kevin Duffan, candidate for the 2nd Judicial District, JDR Court, Virginia Beach.





Link to Meeting: http://studies.virginiageneralassembly.gov/meetings/445

Link to Study: http://studies.virginiageneralassembly.gov/studies/304
"

Posted by editor on Monday, February 20 @ 14:22:35 MST (29 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 0)

 Virginia General Assembly Legislative Update 2-17-2017

Virginia General Assembly Updates New Page 1

Legislative Update 2-17-2017

 

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SUPPORT

 

HB 1566 (active supervision of regulatory boards) is on the floor of the Senate for its third reading and final passage today, 2/17/17. Please contact your Senator NOW to support HB 1566.

 

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OPPOSE

 

SB 1195 (general farm inspections) in on the floor of the House for its third and final reading today, 2/17/17. Please contact your Delegate NOW to oppose SB 1195.

 

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SB 1110 (zoning exemptions for utility lines) is on the House floor for its final passage today, 2/17/17. Please contact your Delegate NOW to oppose SB 1110.

 

**********************************************************

 

 

To find your legislator, please follow this link:

 

Who is my legislator?

 

 

**********************************************************

 

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.  An agenda has not yet been posted for today’s meeting, 2/17/17.

 

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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, seemingly representing only minor adjustments in the bills language. The Courts of Justice committee meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 1/2 hour after adjournment in House Room C. An agenda has not yet been posted for today’s meeting, 2/17/17.

 

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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)

02/14/17 Senate: Passed Senate with substitute (40-Y 0-N)

02/16/17 House: VOTE: REJECTED (0-Y 97-N)

 

HB 2024 (Senate substitute) has been rejected by the House, so we will be looking for HB 2024 to go to conference committee. Keep an eye out for special updates on this bill as we want to maximize the effect it will have for victims of quick take proceedings.

 

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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)

02/15/17 Senate: Reported from Finance with amendment (10-Y 6-N)

 

HB 1566 has been reported from finance 10-6, and is on the Senate floor today for its third and final reading. Please contact your Senator NOW and support this important regulatory reform. To find your Senator click the link below or in the above posted notice.

 

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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)

02/15/17 Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N)

02/16/17 Senate: Passed Senate with amendment (35-Y 3-N 1-A)

 

HB 2108 has passed the Senate with amendment, 35-3. The amended version of HB 2108 now heads back to the House, but has not yet been placed on the calendar.

 

 

**********************************************************

 

 

II.  WE OPPOSE THESE BILLS

 

  • Farm Inspections and Penalties

 

SB 1195 Produce safety; farm inspections; Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund; penalties.

 

Prohibits certain farms from violating the federal regulations that set minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables. The bill authorizes the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt regulations to carry out the purposes of the law and gives the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services free access at all reasonable hours to any farm to inspect the farm and take samples. The Commissioner also is authorized to seize certain produce that he believes to violate the federal regulations or state law. The bill makes the act of obstructing an inspector a Class 2 misdemeanor and of violating any other provision of the law or a Board regulation a Class 1 misdemeanor. In lieu of a criminal penalty, the Board is authorized to levy a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation, to be deposited in an Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund that is created by the bill.

 

SB 1195 permits the Commissioner of Agriculture to surprise inspect any small farmer, defined in Federal Code as any farm producing more than $25,000 and less than $500,000 annually. During these inspections, an inspector may confiscate produce without due process and levy a fine of up to $1,000 per violation. Per the substituted language of SB 1195, the proceeds from the civil penalties will be deposited into the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund.

 

Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/26/17 Senate: Reported from Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources with substitute (12-Y 1-N 1-A)

02/01/17 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (25-Y 15-N)

02/03/17 House: Placed on Calendar

02/03/17 House: Read first time

02/03/17 House: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources

02/06/17 House: Assigned ACNR sub: Agriculture

02/13/17 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (7-Y 0-N)

02/15/17 House: Reported from Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources with substitute (19-Y 3-N)

 

SB 1195 is on the House floor today, 2/17/17, for its third and final reading. Please contact your Delegate NOW and oppose this attempt to restrict competition in local agriculture. To find your Delegate, click the link below or in the above posted notice.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

  • Short Term Rental Registration

 

SB 1578 Short-term rental of property; registration of persons offering property for rental.

 

Authorizes a locality to adopt an ordinance requiring the registration of persons offering property for short-term rental. The bill defines "short-term rental" as the provision of a room or space suitable for sleeping or lodging for less than 30 consecutive days. Persons and entities already licensed related to the rental or management of property by the Board of Health, the Real Estate Board, or a locality would not be required to register. The bill authorizes localities to impose fees and penalties on persons who violate the registry ordinance or who offer short-term rentals that have multiple violations of state or federal laws or ordinances, including those related to alcoholic beverage control. The bill amends the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Act to clarify that certain property rented on a short-term basis is considered a bed and breakfast establishment for purposes of ABC licensing and that the exception from ABC licensing for serving alcoholic beverages to guests in a residence does not apply if the guest is a short-term lessee of the residence.

 

SB 1578 requires the registration and permits the regulation by local governments of “short-term rental properties” such as those vacation rentals accessed through applications like Airbnb, VRBO, and Home Away. This is in direct contrast to last year’s Airbnb Law, which restricted localities ability to regulate the private use of an individual’s property. This law opens the gate to the increasingly restrictive ordinances by local governments using general land use and zoning authority powers to keep local property owners from making the best use of their personal property, thereby potentially causing an increase in unused capital (implying possible sunk costs which must be absorbed by the property owner) throughout the Commonwealth.

 

SB 1579 has also been incorporated into SB 1578. SB 1579 establishes the requirement of a minimum of $500,000 in liability insurance as well as a $10,000 fine for property owners who operate short-term rentals without the express permission of their local government.

 

Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/27/17 Senate: Rereferred from Rehabilitation and Social Services (13-Y 1-N)

02/02/17 Senate: Reported from Local Government with substitute (11-Y 2-N)

02/02/17 Senate: Incorporates SB1579 (Stanley)

02/06/17 Senate: Committee substitute agreed to 17105130D-S1

02/07/17 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (36-Y 4-N)

02/09/17 House: Referred to Committee on General Laws

02/14/17 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 0-N)

02/14/17 House: Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Appropriations

 

SB 1578 has passed the House Sub-Committee on General Laws and has been recommended to the Appropriations Committee. SB 1578 has not yet been taken up by Appropriations, which meets Monday, Wednesday, Friday, shortly after adjournment in the 9th Floor Appropriations Room. Today’s meeting, 2/17/17, of the House Appropriations Committee has been cancelled. An agenda has not yet been released for Monday’s meeting, 2/20/17.

 

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  • Local Zoning Ordinances for Utilities

 

HB 1766 Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.

 

Provides that the issuance by the State Corporation Commission of a certificate of public convenience and necessity for construction of an electrical transmission line of 138 kilovolts and any associated facilities shall be deemed to satisfy local comprehensive plan requirements and all local zoning ordinances with respect to the transmission line and associated facilities. The measure defines "associated facilities" as including any station, substation, transition station, and switchyard facilities to be constructed in association with the 138-kilovolt transmission line.

 

This issue is a tough one, and one we considered very carefully. HB 1766, and its companion SB 1110, essentially remove zoning restrictions for the installation of electrical facilities that Dominion Power wants to put in. We want to be crystal clear: in opposing this bill we are not in support of zoning laws in any shape, form, or by any other name. Zoning laws are, by their very nature, anathema to private property rights. In opposing this bill, we are opposing any further special privilege allotted to Dominion Power (or any other government supported power company) as a supposedly private organization which has often misused the power of eminent domain (a power which it should never have been permitted to use), and has essentially been maintained for years as a government mandated monopoly in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If Dominion Power were being granted this privilege by way of the elimination of local zoning ordinances for all Virginia property owners, then we would stand in passionate support. However, this is not that bill, so we must OPPOSE.

 

Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/17/17 House: Reported from Commerce and Labor (18-Y 1-N)

01/24/17 House: VOTE: PASSAGE (67-Y 30-N 1-A)

01/25/17 Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed

01/25/17 Senate: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor

02/13/17 Senate: Reported from Commerce and Labor (10-Y 2-N)

02/16/17 Senate: Passed Senate with amendment (32-Y 8-N)

 

HB 1766 has passed the Senate with an amendment, 32-8. The bill will now return to the House to be reconsidered, but has not yet been placed on a calendar.

 

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SB 1110 Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.

 

Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/09/17 Senate: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor

01/30/17 Senate: Reported from Commerce and Labor (12-Y 2-N 1-A)

02/03/17 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (30-Y 9-N)

02/14/17 House: Reported from Commerce and Labor (18-Y 3-N)

 

SB 1110 is on the House floor today for its third and final reading. Please contact your Delegate TODAY and oppose HB 1766’s companion bill. To find your Delegate, click the link below or in the above posted notice. 

 

 

**********************************************************

 

 

To find your legislator, please follow this link:

 

Who is my legislator?

 Please feel free to forward this message and future updates to your list.

 

 

Caleb Taylor

Director of Policy and Operations

Tertium Quids

ctaylor@tertiumquids.org

 

We try to keep price lists up to date. Price list of our pharmacies are updated daily - go to pharmacy online : Announcements of new drugs. Shares. Best price.

Posted by editor on Friday, February 17 @ 11:46:49 MST (32 reads)
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 Department of Environmental Quality Small Renewable Energy Project Henrico Count

Virginia Regulatory Town Hall Department of Environmental Quality
Small Renewable Energy Project
Henrico County Snow Job?

General Notice
General Notice - Briel Farm Solar, LLC - Notice of Intent - Small Renewable Energy Project (Solar)
Date Posted: 2/16/2017
Expiration Date: 3/20/2017
Submitted to Registrar for publication: YES
No comment forum defined for this notice.

Briel Farm Solar, LLC, has provided the Department of Environmental Quality a notice of intent to submit the necessary documentation for a permit by rule for a small renewable energy project (solar) in Henrico County pursuant to Virginia Regulation 9VAC15-60. The project is located in eastern Henrico County, immediately northeast of the I-295 and I-64 interchange. The project will have a Maximum Capacity of 20 Megawatts Alternating Current. The solar panels will be sited across multiple parcels of land totaling approximately 230 acres. Proposed improvements include solar arrays and related infrastructure, access roads, fencing, possible storm water management BMPS, and temporary erosion controls. The site is currently agricultural land and was previously rezoned to M-1c by the property owner.


Contact Information
Name / Title: Mary E. Major 
Address: 629 East Main Street
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, 23218
Email Address: mary.major@deq.virginia.gov
Telephone: (804)698-4423    FAX: (804)698-4510    TDD: ()-   


Posted by editor on Friday, February 17 @ 10:26:17 MST (24 reads)
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 Virginia General Assembly Legislative Update 2-16-2017

Virginia General Assembly Updates New Page 1

Legislative Update 2-16-2017

 

**********************************************************

 

SUPPORT

 

HB 1566 (active supervision of regulatory boards) is on the Senate floor for its second reading today, 2/16/17. Please contact your Senator TODAY and support this important regulatory reform.

 

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HB 2024 (“Quick Take” proceedings) is on the calendar to be readdressed by the House today. Please contact your Delegate and support the Senate substitution to HB 2024.

 

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HB 2108 (removal of FOIA exemptions for government owned broadband networks) is on the Senate’s regular calendar for its third reading, and final passage today, 2/16/17. Please contact your Senator NOW and support this bill removing FOIA exemptions for local broadband authorities.

 

To find your legislator, please follow this link:

 

Who is my legislator?

 

 

**********************************************************

 

OPPOSE

 

SB 1195 (general farm inspections) is on the House calendar for its second reading today, 2/16/17. Please contact your Delegate TODAY and oppose this obvious attack on local competition in agriculture.

 

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HB 1766 (zoning exemptions for utility lines) is on the calendar for its third and final reading on the floor of the Senate today, 2/16/17. Please contact your Senator and ask for a no vote on broad allowances for utilities.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

SB 1110 (zoning exemptions for utility lines) is on the House calendar for its second reading today, 2/16/17. Please contact your Delegate TODAY and oppose SB 1110.

 

To find your legislator, please follow this link:

 

Who is my legislator?

 

 

**********************************************************

 

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.  An agenda has not yet been posted for tomorrow’s meeting, 2/17/17.

 

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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, seemingly representing only minor adjustments in the bills language. The Courts of Justice committee meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 1/2 hour after adjournment in House Room C. An agenda has not yet been posted for tomorrow’s meeting, 2/17/17.

 

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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)

02/14/17 Senate: Passed Senate with substitute (40-Y 0-N)

02/16/17 House: Placed on Calendar

 

HB 2024 has been placed on the calendar to be readdressed by the House, today. Please contact your Delegate NOW and support the Senate substitution to this bill. Although it is weaker than we would like, it is stronger than the House version. To find your Delegate, click the link below or in the notice above.

 

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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)

02/15/17 Senate: Reported from Finance with amendment (10-Y 6-N)

 

HB 1566 has been reported from finance 10-6, and is on the House floor today for its second reading. Please contact your Delegate TODAY and support this important regulatory reform. To find your Delegate click the link below or in the above posted notice.

 

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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)

02/15/17 Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N)

 

HB 2108 is on the Senate’s regular calendar for its third reading and final passage today, 2/16/17. Please contact your Senator NOW and support this bill removing FOIA exemptions for local broadband authorities. To find your Senator click the link below or in the notice above.

 

 

**********************************************************

 

 

II.  WE OPPOSE THESE BILLS

 

  • Farm Inspections and Penalties

 

SB 1195 Produce safety; farm inspections; Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund; penalties.

 

Prohibits certain farms from violating the federal regulations that set minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables. The bill authorizes the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt regulations to carry out the purposes of the law and gives the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services free access at all reasonable hours to any farm to inspect the farm and take samples. The Commissioner also is authorized to seize certain produce that he believes to violate the federal regulations or state law. The bill makes the act of obstructing an inspector a Class 2 misdemeanor and of violating any other provision of the law or a Board regulation a Class 1 misdemeanor. In lieu of a criminal penalty, the Board is authorized to levy a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation, to be deposited in an Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund that is created by the bill.

 

SB 1195 permits the Commissioner of Agriculture to surprise inspect any small farmer, defined in Federal Code as any farm producing more than $25,000 and less than $500,000 annually. During these inspections, an inspector may confiscate produce without due process and levy a fine of up to $1,000 per violation. Per the substituted language of SB 1195, the proceeds from the civil penalties will be deposited into the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund.

 

Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/26/17 Senate: Reported from Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources with substitute (12-Y 1-N 1-A)

02/01/17 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (25-Y 15-N)

02/03/17 House: Placed on Calendar

02/03/17 House: Read first time

02/03/17 House: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources

02/06/17 House: Assigned ACNR sub: Agriculture

02/13/17 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (7-Y 0-N)

02/15/17 House: Reported from Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources with substitute (19-Y 3-N)

 

SB 1195 has passed the House ANCR Committee and is on the House Calendar for its second reading today, 2/16/17. Please contact your Delegate TODAY and oppose this attempt to restrict competition in local agriculture. To find your Delegate, click the link below or in the above posted notice.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

  • Short Term Rental Registration

 

SB 1578 Short-term rental of property; registration of persons offering property for rental.

 

Authorizes a locality to adopt an ordinance requiring the registration of persons offering property for short-term rental. The bill defines "short-term rental" as the provision of a room or space suitable for sleeping or lodging for less than 30 consecutive days. Persons and entities already licensed related to the rental or management of property by the Board of Health, the Real Estate Board, or a locality would not be required to register. The bill authorizes localities to impose fees and penalties on persons who violate the registry ordinance or who offer short-term rentals that have multiple violations of state or federal laws or ordinances, including those related to alcoholic beverage control. The bill amends the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Act to clarify that certain property rented on a short-term basis is considered a bed and breakfast establishment for purposes of ABC licensing and that the exception from ABC licensing for serving alcoholic beverages to guests in a residence does not apply if the guest is a short-term lessee of the residence.

 

SB 1578 requires the registration and permits the regulation by local governments of “short-term rental properties” such as those vacation rentals accessed through applications like Airbnb, VRBO, and Home Away. This is in direct contrast to last year’s Airbnb Law, which restricted localities ability to regulate the private use of an individual’s property. This law opens the gate to the increasingly restrictive ordinances by local governments using general land use and zoning authority powers to keep local property owners from making the best use of their personal property, thereby potentially causing an increase in unused capital (implying possible sunk costs which must be absorbed by the property owner) throughout the Commonwealth.

 

SB 1579 has also been incorporated into SB 1578. SB 1579 establishes the requirement of a minimum of $500,000 in liability insurance as well as a $10,000 fine for property owners who operate short-term rentals without the express permission of their local government.

 

Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/27/17 Senate: Rereferred from Rehabilitation and Social Services (13-Y 1-N)

02/02/17 Senate: Reported from Local Government with substitute (11-Y 2-N)

02/02/17 Senate: Incorporates SB1579 (Stanley)

02/06/17 Senate: Committee substitute agreed to 17105130D-S1

02/07/17 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (36-Y 4-N)

02/09/17 House: Referred to Committee on General Laws

02/14/17 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 0-N)

02/14/17 House: Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Appropriations

 

SB 1578 has passed the House Sub-Committee on General Laws and has been recommended to the Appropriations Committee. SB 1578 has not yet been taken up by Appropriations, which meets Monday, Wednesday, Friday, shortly after adjournment in the 9th Floor Appropriations Room. An agenda has not yet been released for tomorrow’s meeting, 2/17/17.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

  • Local Zoning Ordinances for Utilities

 

HB 1766 Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.

 

Provides that the issuance by the State Corporation Commission of a certificate of public convenience and necessity for construction of an electrical transmission line of 138 kilovolts and any associated facilities shall be deemed to satisfy local comprehensive plan requirements and all local zoning ordinances with respect to the transmission line and associated facilities. The measure defines "associated facilities" as including any station, substation, transition station, and switchyard facilities to be constructed in association with the 138-kilovolt transmission line.

 

This issue is a tough one, and one we considered very carefully. HB 1766, and its companion SB 1110, essentially remove zoning restrictions for the installation of electrical facilities that Dominion Power wants to put in. We want to be crystal clear: in opposing this bill we are not in support of zoning laws in any shape, form, or by any other name. Zoning laws are, by their very nature, anathema to private property rights. In opposing this bill, we are opposing any further special privilege allotted to Dominion Power (or any other government supported power company) as a supposedly private organization which has often misused the power of eminent domain (a power which it should never have been permitted to use), and has essentially been maintained for years as a government mandated monopoly in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If Dominion Power were being granted this privilege by way of the elimination of local zoning ordinances for all Virginia property owners, then we would stand in passionate support. However, this is not that bill, so we must OPPOSE.

 

Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/17/17 House: Reported from Commerce and Labor (18-Y 1-N)

01/24/17 House: VOTE: PASSAGE (67-Y 30-N 1-A)

01/25/17 Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed

01/25/17 Senate: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor

02/13/17 Senate: Reported from Commerce and Labor (10-Y 2-N)

 

HB 1766 passed the Senate Commerce and Labor committee 10-2.  The bill is on the Senate Floor calendar for its third reading and final passage today, 2/16/17. Please contact your Senator NOW, and oppose this broad exemption from local zoning regulations. To find your Senator click the link below or in the above notice.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

SB 1110 Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.

 

Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/09/17 Senate: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor

01/30/17 Senate: Reported from Commerce and Labor (12-Y 2-N 1-A)

02/03/17 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (30-Y 9-N)

02/14/17 House: Reported from Commerce and Labor (18-Y 3-N)

 

SB 1110 has passed the House Commerce and Labor Committee, 18-3. The bill is on the House floor for its second reading today, 2/16/17. Please contact your Senator TODAY and oppose HB 1766’s companion bill. To find your Senator, click the link below or in the above posted notice. 

 

 

**********************************************************

 

 

To find your legislator, please follow this link:

 

Who is my legislator?

 

 

Please feel free to forward this message and future updates to your list.

Caleb Taylor

Director of Policy and Operations

Tertium Quids

ctaylor@tertiumquids.org

 

We try to keep price lists up to date. Price list of our pharmacies are updated daily - go to pharmacy online : Announcements of new drugs. Shares. Best price.

Posted by editor on Thursday, February 16 @ 11:55:30 MST (35 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 0)

  Water Quality Certification of Norfolk District Army Corps of Engineers 2017 Na

Virginia Regulatory Town Hall New Page 1
Department of Environmental Quality
Board
State Water Control Board
email
General Notice
General Notice - Notice of Intent Regarding Section 401 Water Quality Certification of Norfolk District Army Corps of Engineers 2017 Nationwide Permits
Date Posted: 2/15/2017
Expiration Date: 3/17/2017
Submitted to Registrar for publication: YES
No comment forum defined for this notice.

Pursuant to Virginia Water Protection (VWP) Permit Regulation 9 VAC 25-210-130 H, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), under the authority of the State Water Control Board (Board), is giving notice of its intent to provide Section 401 Water Quality Certification, as detailed in this notice, for activities authorized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Norfolk District Regional 2017 Nationwide Permits (NWPs) listed in this notice, after considering public comment for a 30-day period starting February 15, 2017.

On January 6, 2017, the USACE Norfolk District published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the reissuance of all 50 existing nationwide permits (NWPs), general conditions, and definitions with some modifications. The Corps also issued two new NWPs, one new general condition, and five new definitions. The 2017 NWPs will go into effect on March 19, 2017, and will expire on March 18, 2022.

DEQ, under the authority of the Board, may only issue final Section 401 Certification decisions on a Nationwide or Regional USACE permit if the permit meets the requirements of the VWP regulation, as well as having advertised and accepted public comment for 30 days on its intent to provide, deny, or condition the certification.  Therefore, DEQ will issue its final Section 401 Water Quality Certification decision on the NWPs at the end of the public comment process.

Written comments, including those by email, must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. on March 17, 2017, and should be submitted to Steven Hardwick at the address given below.  Only those comments received within this period will be considered by DEQ.  Written comments shall include the name, address, and telephone number of the writer, and shall contain a complete, concise statement of the factual basis for comments.

The details of the DEQ's preliminary decision are: 

Nationwide Permit

Tentative §401 Certification

(* indicates a change from existing certification)

Conditions (underline indicates a change)

NWP 1 – Aids to Navigation

Unconditional

 

NWP 2 – Structures in
Artificial Canals

Unconditional

 

NWP 3 – Maintenance

Conditional*

provided that: (1) the deviations from the original configuration or filled area do not change the character, scope, or size of the original design or DEQ-approved alternative design; (2) the discharge does not: a) include changes to water withdrawal structures, such as the maintenance of an intake, weir, or water diversion structure, that could increase the withdrawal; b) increase the capacity of an impoundment; or c) alter instream flows; (3) any compensatory mitigation meets the requirements in the Code of Virginia, Section 62.1-44.15:23 A through C, except in the absence of same river watershed alternatives in Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) 02040303 and 02040304, single family dwellings or locality projects may use compensatory mitigation in HUC 02080102, 02080108, 02080110, or 02080111 in Virginia.

NWP 4 – Fish and Wildlife
Harvesting, Enhancement, and Attraction Devices and Activities

Unconditional

 

NWP 5 – Scientific
Measurement Devices

Unconditional

 

NWP 6 – Survey Activities

Unconditional

 

NWP 7 – Outfall Structures
and Associated Intake
Structures

Conditional

provided that: (1) the structure or maintenance is not associated with intake structures; (2) any compensatory mitigation meets the requirements in the Code of Virginia, Section 62.1-44.15:23 A through C, except in the absence of same river watershed alternatives in Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) 02040303 and 02040304, single family dwellings or locality projects may use compensatory mitigation in HUC 02080102, 02080108, 02080110, or 02080111 in Virginia.

NWP 8 – Oil and Gas Structures on the Outer Continental Shelf

Unconditional

 

NWP 9 – Structures in
Fleeting and Anchorage
Areas

Unconditional

 

NWP 10 – Mooring Buoys

Unconditional

 

NWP 11 – Temporary
Recreational Structures

Unconditional

 

NWP 12 – Utility Line
Activities

Conditional

provided that: (1) the activities are not associated with a surface water withdrawal or the transport of non-potable raw surface water, except for the purpose of hydrostatic testing and when the associated discharges are authorized by a VPDES permit, if required; (2) any compensatory mitigation meets the requirements in the Code of Virginia, Section 62.1-44.15:23 A through C, except in the absence of same river watershed alternatives in Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) 02040303 and 02040304, single family dwellings or locality projects may use compensatory mitigation in HUC 02080102, 02080108, 02080110, or 02080111 in Virginia; (3) temporary diversions of surface water associated with “pump arounds” during the construction of utility crossings are specifically allowed.

NWP 13 – Bank Stabilization

Conditional*

provided that: (1) the stabilization activities do not permanently impact more than 1,500 linear feet of any type of nontidal stream bed, regardless of any waiver decision made by the USACE; (2) any compensatory mitigation meets the requirements in the Code of Virginia, Section 62.1-44.15:23 A through C, except in the absence of same river watershed alternatives in Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) 02040303 and 02040304, single family dwellings or locality projects may use compensatory mitigation in HUC 02080102, 02080108, 02080110, or 02080111 in Virginia.

NWP 14 – Linear
Transportation Projects

Conditional

(1) unless otherwise covered under of the Norfolk District State Program General Permit SPGP-01, or other subsequent SPGPs; (2) provided that any compensatory mitigation meets the requirements in the Code of Virginia, Section 62.1-44.15:23 A through C, except in the absence of same river watershed alternatives in Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) 02040303 and 02040304, single family dwellings or locality projects may use compensatory mitigation in HUC 02080102, 02080108, 02080110, or 02080111 in Virginia.

NWP 15 – U.S. Coast Guard
Approved Bridges

Unconditional

 

NWP 16 – Return Water
From Upland Contained
Disposal Areas

Conditional

provided that: (1) the associated dredging does not otherwise require issuance of an a Virginia Water Protection Individual permit or General Virginia Water Protection Permit permit coverage from VDEQ; (2) any compensatory mitigation meets the requirements in the Code of Virginia, Section 62.1-44.15:23 A through C.

NWP 17 – Hydropower
Projects

Denied

 

NWP 18 – Minor Discharges

Conditional

provided that: (1) the discharge does not include water withdrawals, such as the construction of an intake structure, weir, or water diversion structure, or other structure transporting non-potable raw surface water; (2) a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit is obtained prior to the placement of any alternative septic system discharging into Virginia Department of Health (VDH) designated shellfish waters; (3) any compensatory mitigation meets the requirements in the Code of Virginia, Section 62.1-44.15:23 A through C, except in the absence of same river watershed alternatives in Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) 02040303 and 02040304, single family dwellings or locality projects may use compensatory mitigation in HUC 02080102, 02080108, 02080110, or 02080111 in Virginia.

NWP 19 – Minor Dredging

Conditional

provided that: (1) the dredging is not used to create a deep space for water withdrawal; (2) any compensatory mitigation meets the requirements in the Code of Virginia, Section 62.1-44.15:23 A through C, except in the absence of same river watershed alternatives in Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) 02040303 and 02040304, single family dwellings or locality projects may use compensatory mitigation in HUC 02080102, 02080108, 02080110, or 02080111 in Virginia.

NWP 20 – Response
Operations for Oil or
Hazardous Substances

Unconditional

 

NWP 21 – Surface Coal
Mining Activities

Conditional

(1) unless otherwise covered under of the Norfolk District State Program General Permit SPGP-01, or other subsequent SPGPs; (2) provided that any compensatory mitigation meets the requirements in the Code of Virginia, Section 62.1-44.15:23 A through C.

NWP 22 – Removal of
Vessels

Unconditional

 

NWP 23 – Approved
Categorical Exclusions

Conditional*

provided that: (1) the discharge does not include water withdrawals, such as the construction of an intake structure, weir, or water diversion structure; (2) any compensatory mitigation meets the requirements in the Code of Virginia, Section 62.1-44.15:23 A through C, except in the absence of same river watershed alternatives in Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) 02040303 and 02040304, single family dwellings or locality projects may use compensatory mitigation in HUC 02080102, 02080108, 02080110, or 02080111 in Virginia.

NWP 24 – Indian Tribe or
State Administered Section
404 Program

Not Applicable in VA

 

NWP 25 – Structural
Discharges

Conditional

provided that: (1) the discharge does not include structures such as pilings to construct a platform to mount a pump for water withdrawals; (2) any compensatory mitigation meets the requirements in the Code of Virginia, Section 62.1-44.15:23 A through C, except in the absence of same river watershed alternatives in Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) 02040303 and 02040304, single family dwellings or locality projects may use compensatory mitigation in HUC 02080102, 02080108, 02080110, or 02080111 in Virginia.

NWP 27 – Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Enhancement, and Establishment Activities

Conditional

provided that: (1) when used to permit a wetland or stream mitigation bank or in-lieu fee mitigation site, compensation for any surface water impacts shall be debited from the bank or in-lieu fee credits; (2) natural stream channel design shall be used for stream restoration projects; (3) monitoring for performance of these sites shall be conducted including submittal of as-built plans, surveys, and photographs and reports submitted at the as-built and post-construction monitoring years, at a frequency and duration adequate to observe performance according to project objectives.  If there is no monitoring schedule otherwise specified, then an as-built and a minimum of five years of post-construction monitoring will be required.  The as-built report may include final grade topographic surveys (plan, profile, and cross sections, as appropriate), final location of all planted riparian buffer vegetation (as appropriate), site photographs, and a discussion of project design versus as-built conditions.  Each post-construction monitoring report may include comparison of as-built to monitoring year surveys and (plan, profile, and cross sections, as appropriate), vegetation surveys (as appropriate), site photographs, and a discussion of project performance; (4) Dam removal for those dams meeting the following limits:  a) less than 25 feet in height with a maximum impoundment capacity of less than 15 acre-feet or b) lesss than six feet in height with a maximum impounding capacity less than 50 acre-feet, or c) dams operated primarily for agricultural purposes which are less than 25 feet in height or which create a maximum impoundment capacity smaller than 100 acre-feet.  temporary diversions of surface water associated with “pump arounds” during the construction of stream or wetland restoration and/or creation areas are specifically allowed; (5) any compensatory mitigation meets the requirements in the Code of Virginia, Section 62.1-44.15:23 A through C.

NWP 28 – Modifications of
Existing Marinas

Unconditional

 

NWP 29 – Residential
Developments

Conditional

(1) unless otherwise covered under of the Norfolk District State Program General Permit SPGP-01, or other subsequent SPGPs; (2) provided that any compensatory mitigation meets the requirements in the Code of Virginia, Section 62.1-44.15:23 A through C, except in the absence of same river watershed alternatives in Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) 02040303 and 02040304, single family dwellings or locality projects may use compensatory mitigation in HUC 02080102, 02080108, 02080110, or 02080111 in Virginia.

NWP 30 – Moist Soil
Management for Wildlife

Unconditional

 

NWP 31 – Maintenance of Existing Flood Control Facilities

Unconditional

 

NWP 32 – Completed
Enforcement Actions

Conditional

provided that: (1) the impact does not exceed 2 acres of wetlands or 1,500 linear feet of stream bed and only past unauthorized impacts are addressed; (2) any compensatory mitigation meets the requirements in the Code of Virginia, Section 62.1-44.15:23 A through C, except in the absence of same river watershed alternatives in Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) 02040303 and 02040304, single family dwellings or locality projects may use compensatory mitigation in HUC 02080102, 02080108, 02080110, or 02080111 in Virginia.

NWP 33 – Temporary
Construction, Access, and
Dewatering

Unconditional

 

NWP 34 – Cranberry
Production Activities

Unconditional

 

NWP 35 – Maintenance
Dredging of Existing Basins

Unconditional

 

NWP 36 – Boat Ramps

Unconditional

 

NWP 37 – Emergency
Watershed Protection and
Rehabilitation

Unconditional

 

NWP 38 – Cleanup of
Hazardous and Toxic Waste

Unconditional

 

NWP 39 – Commercial and
Institutional Developments

Suspended for use in VA

 

Posted by editor on Thursday, February 16 @ 04:45:21 MST (22 reads)
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 Virginia General Assembly Legislative Update 2-15-2017

Virginia General Assembly Updates New Page 1

Legislative Update 2-15-2017

 

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SUPPORT

 

HB 1566 (active supervision of regulatory boards) is on the agenda for today’s meeting, 2/15/17, of the Senate Finance Committee (9:00 a.m. in Senate Room B). Please contact the committee members NOW and support this constructive regulatory reform.

 

Senate Finance Committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HB 2108 is on the Senate’s regular calendar for its second reading today, 2/15/17. Please contact your Senator TODAY and support this bill removing FOIA exemptions for local broadband authorities.

 

To find your legislator, please follow this link:

 

Who is my legislator?

 

 

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OPPOSE

 

SB 1195 (general farm inspections) is on the agenda for today’s 8:30 a.m. meeting, 2/15/17, of the House ANCR Committee. Please contact the committee members NOW to OPPOSE this restriction of competition against Virginia’s small farmers.

 

House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HB 1766 (zoning exemptions for utility lines) is on the calendar for its second reading on the floor of the Senate today, 2/15/17. Please contact your Senator and ask for a no vote on broad allowances for utilities.

 

To find your legislator, please follow this link:

 

Who is my legislator?

 

 

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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 today’s meeting has not yet been posted, so it is a possibility that today’s meeting was cancelled.

 

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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 today’s meeting, 2/15/17, has not yet been posted.

 

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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 passed the Senate with substitute in a block vote 40-0. This is not the bill that it started off being, and not necessarily the bill we wanted; however, this is a bit better than what it was before this bill, we can count it as a win. This being said, we cannot allow the establishment to suggest that this issue is now closed. “Quick-take” proceedings are still a thorn in the side of Liberty, decency, and property rights that will again need to be addressed. When fighting a battle one must not settle for the minor successes of the day nor capitulate to the minor defeats, preferring instead to fight on until the battle is won.

 

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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 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 on the docket for tomorrow’s meeting of Senate Finance. Please contact the committee members NOW and support this very constructive regulatory reform. Contact information is posted in the above notice.

 

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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 is on the Senate’s regular calendar for its second reading today, 2/15/17. Please contact your Senator TODAY and support this bill removing FOIA exemptions for local broadband authorities. To find your Senator click the link below or in the notice above.

 

 

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II.  WE OPPOSE THESE BILLS

 

  • Farm Inspections and Penalties

 

SB 1195 Produce safety; farm inspections; Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund; penalties.

 

Prohibits certain farms from violating the federal regulations that set minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables. The bill authorizes the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt regulations to carry out the purposes of the law and gives the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services free access at all reasonable hours to any farm to inspect the farm and take samples. The Commissioner also is authorized to seize certain produce that he believes to violate the federal regulations or state law. The bill makes the act of obstructing an inspector a Class 2 misdemeanor and of violating any other provision of the law or a Board regulation a Class 1 misdemeanor. In lieu of a criminal penalty, the Board is authorized to levy a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation, to be deposited in an Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund that is created by the bill.

 

SB 1195 permits the Commissioner of Agriculture to surprise inspect any small farmer, defined in Federal Code as any farm producing more than $25,000 and less than $500,000 annually. During these inspections, an inspector may confiscate produce without due process and levy a fine of up to $1,000 per violation. Per the substituted language of SB 1195, the proceeds from the civil penalties will be deposited into the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund.

 

Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/26/17 Senate: Reported from Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources with substitute (12-Y 1-N 1-A)

02/01/17 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (25-Y 15-N)

02/03/17 House: Placed on Calendar

02/03/17 House: Read first time

02/03/17 House: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources

02/06/17 House: Assigned ACNR sub: Agriculture

02/13/17 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (7-Y 0-N)

 

SB 1195 is on the agenda for today’s 8:30 a.m. meeting, 2/15/17, of the House ANCR Committee. Please contact the committee members NOW to OPPOSE SB 1195. Contact information is posted in the notice above.

 

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  • Short Term Rental Registration

 

SB 1578 Short-term rental of property; registration of persons offering property for rental.

 

Authorizes a locality to adopt an ordinance requiring the registration of persons offering property for short-term rental. The bill defines "short-term rental" as the provision of a room or space suitable for sleeping or lodging for less than 30 consecutive days. Persons and entities already licensed related to the rental or management of property by the Board of Health, the Real Estate Board, or a locality would not be required to register. The bill authorizes localities to impose fees and penalties on persons who violate the registry ordinance or who offer short-term rentals that have multiple violations of state or federal laws or ordinances, including those related to alcoholic beverage control. The bill amends the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Act to clarify that certain property rented on a short-term basis is considered a bed and breakfast establishment for purposes of ABC licensing and that the exception from ABC licensing for serving alcoholic beverages to guests in a residence does not apply if the guest is a short-term lessee of the residence.

 

SB 1578 requires the registration and permits the regulation by local governments of “short-term rental properties” such as those vacation rentals accessed through applications like Airbnb, VRBO, and Home Away. This is in direct contrast to last year’s Airbnb Law, which restricted localities ability to regulate the private use of an individual’s property. This law opens the gate to the increasingly restrictive ordinances by local governments using general land use and zoning authority powers to keep local property owners from making the best use of their personal property, thereby potentially causing an increase in unused capital (implying possible sunk costs which must be absorbed by the property owner) throughout the Commonwealth.

 

SB 1579 has also been incorporated into SB 1578. SB 1579 establishes the requirement of a minimum of $500,000 in liability insurance as well as a $10,000 fine for property owners who operate short-term rentals without the express permission of their local government.

 

Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/27/17 Senate: Rereferred from Rehabilitation and Social Services (13-Y 1-N)

02/02/17 Senate: Reported from Local Government with substitute (11-Y 2-N)

02/02/17 Senate: Incorporates SB1579 (Stanley)

02/06/17 Senate: Committee substitute agreed to 17105130D-S1

02/07/17 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (36-Y 4-N)

02/09/17 House: Referred to Committee on General Laws

02/14/17 House: Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 0-N)

02/14/17 House: Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Appropriations

 

SB 1578 has passed the Sub-Committee on General Laws and has been recommended to the Appropriations Committee. SB 1578 has not yet been taken up by Appropriations, which meets Monday, Wednesday, Friday, shortly after adjournment in the 9th Floor Appropriations Room. An agenda has not yet been released for today’s meeting, 2/15/17.

 

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  • Local Zoning Ordinances for Utilities

 

HB 1766 Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.

 

Provides that the issuance by the State Corporation Commission of a certificate of public convenience and necessity for construction of an electrical transmission line of 138 kilovolts and any associated facilities shall be deemed to satisfy local comprehensive plan requirements and all local zoning ordinances with respect to the transmission line and associated facilities. The measure defines "associated facilities" as including any station, substation, transition station, and switchyard facilities to be constructed in association with the 138-kilovolt transmission line.

 

This issue is a tough one, and one we considered very carefully. HB 1766, and its companion SB 1110, essentially remove zoning restrictions for the installation of electrical facilities that Dominion Power wants to put in. We want to be crystal clear: in opposing this bill we are not in support of zoning laws in any shape, form, or by any other name. Zoning laws are, by their very nature, anathema to private property rights. In opposing this bill, we are opposing any further special privilege allotted to Dominion Power (or any other government supported power company) as a supposedly private organization which has often misused the power of eminent domain (a power which it should never have been permitted to use), and has essentially been maintained for years as a government mandated monopoly in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If Dominion Power were being granted this privilege by way of the elimination of local zoning ordinances for all Virginia property owners, then we would stand in passionate support. However, this is not that bill, so we must OPPOSE.

 

Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/17/17 House: Reported from Commerce and Labor (18-Y 1-N)

01/24/17 House: VOTE: PASSAGE (67-Y 30-N 1-A)

01/25/17 Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed

01/25/17 Senate: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor

02/13/17 Senate: Reported from Commerce and Labor (10-Y 2-N)

 

HB 1766 passed the Senate Commerce and Labor committee 10-2.  The bill is on the Senate Floor calendar for its second reading today, 2/15/17. Please contact your Senator TODAY, and oppose this broad exemption from local zoning regulations. To find your Senator click the link below or in the above notice.

 

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Tell Us About the Horrors of Your Divorce

the horrors you faced in family court

Tell us about the horrors you faced in family court.   Tell us about the problems you had with property settlement, child support, alimony   and custody issues as it related to your separation or divorce.  

A fit parent''s right to his children and a person''s right to private property are two of the oldest-recognized natural or unalienable rights.  These rights protect individuals from government intrusion in their most intimate relationships (parent-child) and possessions (home).  They preserve the sanctity of the family and the home.
 
Unfortunately, the American family and the American home are both under government assault.  When the United States Supreme Court announced its Kelo decision just a few years ago, the public suddenly realized government has almost unbridled power to take their homes.  The public did not realize government has even greater power to take their children.  Because the United States Supreme Court (or any federal court) rarely hears family law cases, these cases get very little public or national attention, such as the Kelo case received.  With very little public scrutiny, family courts have slowly chipped away at parental rights to the point where these once-sacred rights are now nothing more than a mere government-privilege.  Parents often see their children only as much as a judge will permit and make child-rearing decisions only to the extent a judge allows.
 
The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution undoubtedly protect the rights to life, liberty, and property, including parental rights.  While all courts admit the Fourteenth Amendment protects parental rights, they typically follow this admission by dismantling or ignoring this right.  Each parent has equal rights to their child, yet courts routinely reduce one parent to a mere visitor in their child''s life.  Courts are now the largest cause of fatherlessness (and sometimes motherlessness) in America.
 
As it now stands, a parent''s right to his or her children (supposed "fundamental" or natural rights) are subject to the whim of the child''s other parent and the unfettered discretion of a single judge.  If one spouse chooses to exit the marriage, a judge then decides how much time each parent may see the child.  Instead of recognizing the equal rights of each parent, judges generally issue lopsided custody orders which allow the child to see one parent for only 20%-30% of the child''s life.  The typical every other weekend scenario removes the non-custodial parent from their child''s life for nearly 80% of the child''s life--all in the "best interests of the child."
 
Unbeknownst to many, the state has great incentive to separate a parent and child.  Under Title IV(D) of the Social Security Act, the state receives federal money based on the creation of a non-custodial parent and the number of child support dollars that flow through the state''s courts.  The longer the state keeps the child from one parent, the more child support the non-custodial parent must pay and thus the more federal money the state gets.
 
This situation is not only perverse and immoral but also unconstitutional.  Two, fit parents have equal rights to their children.  Most importantly, children have a fundamental right to a meaningful relationship with each parent.  Yet, family courts have converted children into a mere creature of the state which now decides the relationship the child may have with each parent, despite the fact that both parents may be fit and pose no threat of harm to the child. 
 
If you have experienced the horrors of family court, please contact us at general.counsel@uarf.us .  We are compiling data for research purposes and are looking into taking action to stop the family court''s impermissible intrusion into the American family, as well as the family courts'' destruction of the United States Constitution.

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The Foundation will work with the press, government investigators, and other public interest groups to make sure that these peoples'' stories are heard. In the process, Foundation will build a non-partisan investigative alliance that transcends specific issues. Our aim is to encourage officials to be open about their values and to act based upon their honest and best assessment of the public interest.

As we do this, over time Foundation will develop a network of public interest groups, sympathetic government investigators and media contacts ... a far-reaching, more mainstream version of the conservative league of individuals that has been so effective. We will work with that network to focus public attention on government integrity and to educate the public about dishonest or disingenuous government officials. If history is any indication, this type of network can have a substantial impact on public opinion.

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