3 Tech Takeaways from the 2019 General Assembly
March 4, 2019
The General Assembly closed last week and I’m pleased to report that this was a very successful session for RVATECH! The following items represent our most significant efforts related to RVATECH members and the technology community:
1. Procurement Reforms for IT Projects
We took the lead on procurement reforms related to vendor liabilities in IT procurement. After many years of trying to address the issue, our legislation was approved in the House and Senate. The bill effectively prohibits agencies from placing unlimited liability on vendors in IT contracting and implements a standard limit of twice the value of a contract. We hope the governor will look favorably upon it and we intend to work with his administration to request his support. Thank you to Delegate Chris Peace, Delegate Betsy Carr, and Senator Frank Ruff for championing these bills.
Update: On March 19, 2019, Governor Ralph Northam signed the bill into law which limits liability in major IT contracts to 2X the value of the contract. This legislation will protect the Commonwealth’s interests while helping increase vendor participation and bring more highly qualified vendors to the table and reduce costs to taxpayers.
2. Innovative Internship Fund & Pilot Program
Senator Siobhan Dunnavant’s SB1628 was approved to create an Innovative Internship Fund and Pilot Program at the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia. This program, which is similar to a program RVATECH advocated for in 2018, will include $700,000 of funding in the final budget to support and expand paid or credit-bearing student internships and other work-based learning opportunities in collaboration with Virginia employers. The agency will collaborate with organizations like RVATECH to identify programs that meet a number of criteria for effectiveness and that meet workforce and economic development needs. $300,000 of this funding is specifically from
The General Assembly advanced a number of other bills to support our industry this session. That includes incentive packages for Amazon HQ2 and Micron to expand in Virginia, including a higher education
The governor will now have the next 30 days to act on the more than 800 bills that were sent to him, and then the legislature will reconvene on April 3rd to vote on his actions. The governor can sign, veto, or recommend amendments to any legislation. If the governor signs a bill, it will become law on July 1, 2019 unless otherwise stated in the legislation. If the governor vetoes a bill, the legislature can pass the bill notwithstanding the veto with the support of 2/3 of both the House and Senate. If the governor would like to recommend an amendment to a bill that was passed by the General Assembly, he may return it to them with the amendment for their consideration at the reconvened session. In order for the amendment to be adopted, a majority of each chamber must support the amendment. If his amendments are adopted, the bill will become law as amended. If any of the governor’s proposed amendments are rejected, the bill returns to him for a final action — he again has the option of signing or vetoing the legislation.
We will communicate with the governor on the remaining priorities and work with the administration and the legislature to finish the work of this year’s legislative session. Please let us know if you have any questions and we will continue to keep you informed.