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Americans for Prosperity-Virginia Cheers the End of a Successful Session with 16 Policy Victories and Budget Compromise  

May 15, 2024 by AFP

Richmond, VA – Americans for Prosperity-Virginia (AFP-VA) applauds the legislative victories secured and the budget compromise that concludes the General Assembly 2024 session. AFP-VA’s legislative agenda was well received in the General Assembly. Overall, 16 policy victories were secured for Virginians: 12 bills acted on and four priority victories secured, including defeating donor disclosure, overcoming efforts to create a prescription drug price control board, refuting tax hikes, and scrapping the job killing minimum wage increase.

AFP-VA State Director Matt Davison released the following statement:

“With inflation remaining a major obstacle for most Virginians, AFP-VA prioritized the economy during this year’s General Assembly. Not only were several economic reform bills passed in both chambers and signed into law, AFP-VA saw Governor Youngkin sign a dozen bills that will help Virginians pay lower taxes, receive affordable healthcare, and more. 

“A key priority for AFP-VA this session, we applaud the defeat of efforts to increase taxes on Virginians by nearly $1.5 billion dollars, as well as the defeat of top-down wage mandates on businesses that will kill jobs. We are happy to see this session conclude with a budget that doesn’t raise taxes or incorporate the Regional Greenhouse and Gas Initiative, in turn lowering energy bills and reducing red tape for modular nuclear energy reactors to provide affordable, reliable, clean energy to our grids.  

“From the budget compromise to our 16 policy victories across several of our priority policy initiatives, we are thrilled with the outcome of this session and celebrate that the actions taken this session will be instrumental in helping Virginians recover from the arduous effects of Bidenomics.”  

See below for the policy victories secured by AFP-VA:

Economic Progress

Nurse Practitioner Autonomous Practice HB 983: This bill lowers from five years to two years the amount of full-time clinical experience required before an advanced practice registered nurse may practice without a practice agreement. This bill was signed into law.

Modular Nuclear Energy Recovery HB1491: This bill cuts red tape for a utility to propose a development plan for constructing a modular nuclear reactor for the State Corporation Commission to review. This bill was signed into law.

Foreign Medical Professional Temporary Licensure HB995: Permits the Board of Medicine to issue a provisional license to a physician licensed in a foreign country for no more than two years, then a subsequent renewable two-year license if the physician practices in a medically underserved area. After two years of practice under the renewable license, a physician licensed in a foreign country is eligible to apply for a full, unrestricted license to practice medicine. This bill passed the House and Senate unanimously and was signed into law.

Transparency in Taxation HB639/SB677: This requires localities to provide notice by mail to property owners of certain information prior to adopting a tax rate that would increase the amount of real property tax collected. The bill requires the notice to include the dollar and percentage amount of increase that the proposed tax rate would levy on the owner’s particular property compared to the previous year’s tax levy. This bill passed the House and Senate unanimously and was signed into law.

Car Tax Flexibility Sunset HB1502: Eliminates sunset allowing localities to lower property taxes. This bill was signed into law.

Universal Teacher Licensure Recognition HB632/SB352: This bill created a universal licensure recognition for teachers from outside the commonwealth to get their license recognized in Virginia to teach. This bill was signed into law.

Housing Affordability

Unified Building Code—Single Stair HB368/SB195: This bill originally would empower construction of more family-size residential structures throughout Virginia by allowing for single exit stairway construction up to six stories in height. This bill was amended to create a unified single stair policy for next session.

Shot Clock SB296: Requires a locality to act on a proposal within a set amount of time or the project is automatically approved. This ensures that local governments cannot stonewall proposals for housing by endlessly delaying its consideration. This bill was signed into law.

Air BnB Protection Act SB544 Prohibits localities from banning Air BnB property rentals. This bill passed with bi-partisan support and was signed into law.

Public Safety

Ombudsman Codification HB555/SB456: This bill codifies the 2023 budget amendment for an independent ombudsman who can investigate and provide reform recommendations to the DOC and the General Assembly – ensuring a wiser use of taxpayer dollars and preserving the integrity of the DOC. This bill was signed into law.

Surveillance Registry HB1496: This bill will, effectively, audit all use of surveillance technology at the state and local level. The purpose of this is to create a registry and report for the General Assembly who will then consider proposed regulatory and legislative proposals to preserve civil liberties – while still permitting the technology to be leveraged in emergency situations. This bill is expected to be signed into law.

Fair Market Communications in Prisons HB801: This bill ensures contracts are fair market value for e-mail and phone calls to family members while a person is incarcerated. This bill was signed into law.