CHAMBER ACTION ALERTS
PRO ACT LEGISLATION:
The United States Senate will soon be considering a bill that would strike down Virginia’s status as a Right to Work state. The House of Representatives has already passed this bill.
Right to Work, which prevents an employee from being compelled to join a union as a condition of employment, is a major factor in Virginia’s ranking as a top state to do business. The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act would have many other negative effects on our business climate, so please ask your members to reach out to Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine today and ask them to vote NO on the PRO Act.
Dear Senator _____,
I am a business leader in Virginia, and I ask that you oppose the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act if it should come before you for consideration. The PRO Act, among other concerning items, would invalidate Virginia’s Right to Work law. Right to work is a cornerstone of Virginia’s status as a top state in the country to do business, and the PRO Act would certainly jeopardize our business climate. In addition to repealing Right to Work, the PRO Act would, among other things:
Each of these items on their own would have a negative impact on our economy, and taken as a whole there will be a major disruptive effect on hiring and employee recruitment.
Businesses are currently navigating their way out of the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 and enhanced health and safety regulations. Some may be forced to close their doors permanently. Congress should devote its time to defeating COVID-19 and ensure that businesses stay open and continue to grow so that greater economic opportunity is afforded to employees. The PRO Act is detrimental to those goals, so I ask you to strongly oppose it.
Business (if applicable)
Background from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce:
Virginia’s right-to-work law is the single most important pro-business, pro-job creating policy being considered this General Assembly Session and SB426 puts right-to-work in jeopardy. When we miss out on economic development opportunities, when businesses choose to leave the state, and when companies decide to expand elsewhere, that will hurt kitchen tables of Virginians across the Commonwealth.
Contrary to some of the misleading information, right-to-work does NOT prohibit unions from organizing in Virginia, but it does protect workers free choice to decide if they want to join a join or pay union fees. Right-to-work means an employee cannot be fired simply for refusing to join the union or refusing to pay the union dues or fees.
The General Assembly adjourned sine die from their Special Session on Monday, March 1. There were several pro-business bills that have already been signed into law or are currently awaiting the Governor’s signature to become law. Below you will find a list of some of these legislative items.
Below you will find a list of other bills of interest to the business community that have passed and are awaiting the Governor’s signature to become law.
Finally, during the 2021 General Assembly Session and Special Session, there were many bills proposed that, if enacted, would threaten Virginia’s business and legal climates. Below you will find a list of some of the anti-business bills, including the proposed legislation to repeal Virginia’s Right-to-Work law, that was defeated or amended to reduce the negative impact on Virginia's business climate.
The General Assembly will return to Richmond (in person and virtual) on Wednesday, April 7 for the Reconvened Session. This is a one-day session when the legislature meets to consider and act on Governor amendments and vetoes.
CONTACTING YOUR LEGISLATOR(S)
You can find your legislator at https://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov and you will see the contact information for your representative. When calling or emailing your legislator in support or opposition to a bill, always state your name, your address, and that you are a chamber representative or business owner serving his or her district. Again, it is important to share your thoughts early and often.
Read the 2021 Legislative Agenda here.
VA West is a business and legislative coalition comprised of 16 chambers in central, southside, Shenandoah valley, and western Virginia, representing over 4,500 businesses and covering over 8,000 square miles. VA West supports public policies that strengthen free enterprise and regional collaboration efforts that promote economic development.
Your Board of Directors is aware of the increased flow of proposed legislation in both the State Senate and House that will impact businesses in Shenandoah County and the Commonwealth in 2021. As such, the Board has approved membership in VA WEST to monitor proposed legislation in order to keep you, our members, informed. In addition, we will monitor legislative releases from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and we plan to send routine legislative and action alerts during the legislative session to ensure our members have an opportunity to be engaged and give perspective.