2022 - Week 8: Session End & Recap
This was the last week of the General Assembly, which is set to officially adjourn (“known as Sine Die”) on tomorrow, Saturday, March 12th. This week, legislators took final action on bills that needed to be negotiated between each chamber as well as the state’s 2022-2024 biennium budget. More information on the next steps are listed below, but for now, we must say that we are very proud of the bills that we were able to defeat in both the House and Senate this session, and we are excited about the progress made. To see some of those highlights on both sides, check out our recap-highlights below:
Bad Worker Bills that were Defeated:
Attacks on Public Employee Organizing/Bargaining Rights (HB 336/ HB 337/ HB 341/ HB 790/ HB 883/ SB 374/ SB 721)
Attacks on Minimum Wage Increases (HB 296/ HB 320/ HB 1040/ SB 173)
Attacks on Prevailing Wage (HB 58/ HB 883/ SB 374)
Attacks on PLAs (HB 883/ HB 1091/ SB 374)
Attacks on Domestic Workers' Rights (SB 179)
Attacks on Public Education: Teachers' Due Process Rights (HB 9/ SB 178)
Attacks on Public Education: Funding & Bad Charter School Bills (HB 294/ HB 356/ HB 1024/ SB 608/ SB 635)
Bill to make it easier to misclassify workers (HB 529)
Bills that would have hurt union self-insured health plans (HB 560/ HB 943)
Attacks on Freedom to Vote (SB 118/ SB 127/ SB 162/ SB 167/ SB 168/ SB 133/ SB 234/ SB 235/ SB 236/ SB 390/ SB 552/ SB 605/ HB 46 plus several other House bills that threaten access to absentee voting, voting by mail and add obstacles like discriminatory photo ID requirements)
Good Bills That Passed:
Buy Virginian- Buy American preference for PPE/ study of additional products (SB 416)
School Construction Funding (SB 473)
Payment of wages- subcontractor payments (SB 550)
Correctional Officer Study on treatment and staffing (HJ 61)
Workforce Board- comprehensive study of apprenticeship needs (HB 718/ SB 661)
Workers’ Compensation- extends time to file for certain cancer presumptions (HB 1042/ SB 562)
The Budget. Although session is scheduled to conclude tomorrow, session will go into overtime because of ongoing budget negotiations. Our friends at the Commonwealth Institute have put together a terrific side-by-side budget comparison. As you'll see, there is a gulf of difference between the two budgets and huge disparities in the priorities reflected in spending. We are not sure of the reconvening session date as of yet as the Governor must call a special session in order for the budget to be discussed further and to be voted on.
Veto Session/ Governor's Amendments. We will monitor amendments made by Gov. Youngkin along with the veto session later this spring. On April 27, the General Assembly will come back together to act on bills the Governor has vetoed or made recommendations on. In order to overrule a veto, both the House and the Senate will need to pass the bill with a 2/3 vote.
Educating/Mobilizing Union Members After Session. We will be busy preparing a one-pager, more in depth session review, sample letters to the editor and of course the voting record to help with this education and mobilization. We are a resource for locals in this department, but feel free to use our weekly news recaps to help create your own.
After Session Meetings with Legislators to discuss votes and issues that came up during session. We recommend locals take action now and hold legislators accountable and/or thank them for things they have or did not do during session.
We know we've said this a lot but we really can't thank the labor activists enough who lobbied with us throughout session. It was a true team of union members from dozens of locals who together held the line on SO many important worker and voter issues. We are still working, again as we anticipate a special session and the veto session, so stay with us for updates and let's get ready to mobilize together again!