Tuesday, February 11th was the deadline for the House to act on all House bills and the Senate to act on all Senate bills. By now, all bills that are still alive have crossed over to the opposite chamber for consideration prior to the scheduled adjournment date of March 7th. In total, the House of Delegates and Virginia Senate approved roughly half of the 2829 introduced bills.

The House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees will release their proposed budgets on Sunday afternoon, the 16th. The budgets will reflect the priorities of each chamber, and include a number of items of importance to our own policy agenda. We will update you following the release of the budget information.

The legislation to create the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority passed both chambers. HB1017 passed the House by a vote of 94-5. SB576 passed the Senate unanimously. The bills are slightly different, but it is likely that the administration and patrons can come to a consensus next week when the bills crossover to the other chamber and head to committees again. The only difference without agreement is the Board of Directors and their appointments - which considering the size of the bill is a great achievement. The next big milestone will be when the House and Senate release their budgets on Sunday, February 16.

RVATECH successfully opposed three different bills that were introduced this year that would require state IT vendors to use a third party monitoring system. Two bills were defeated in sub-committee and the other was stricken from the docket at the request of the patron.

Several bills were filed in both the House and Senate to look at data privacy protections. In the Senate, ultimately Sen. Dunnavant’s legislation to study the issue passed. Her legislation directs the Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS) to establish an advisory committee to study consumer data privacy in the Commonwealth. The advisory committee is directed to review and document prevalent means of data collection by both the public and private sector, identify uses of data that should be encouraged and incentivized, recommend how to best protect personal and consumer data from misuse, and develop potential legislative recommendations.

Another important item from the RVATECH policy agenda was legislation to raise the R&D tax credit, which passed both chambers. The legislation extends the sunset date for both the research and development expenses tax credit and the major research and development expenses tax credit from January 1, 2022, to January 1, 2027. Beginning with taxable year 2020, the bill increases the aggregate cap of the research and development expenses tax credit from $7 million to $10 million and increases the aggregate cap of the major research and development expenses tax credit from $20 million to $40 million. For both credits, the bill moves back the annual deadline for applications for the credit from July 1 to September 1. The House passed the legislation 91-8 and the Senate passed the bill 39-1.