Click the document for the link to the JLARC Report mentioned in the update
2020 Virginia General Assembly
OAV Legislative Report – January 30, 2020
We have now completed the first three and a half weeks of the 2020 Session of the Virginia General Assembly and no bills have been introduced as yet regarding deregulation of opticians or the practice of opticianry. In addition, no language has appeared in budget amendments introduced so far that would negatively impact the profession. The deadline for the regular introduction of bills, resolutions and budget amendments has now passed. For this, we are grateful.
At this point, the only way for new legislation to be introduced in either the House or Senate is by “unanimous consent”, which means a legislator must get permission from the entire body to introduce legislation after the regular introduction deadline. While this can be granted as a courtesy to a legislator, it is not always agreed to, especially if the subject matter is controversial. In addition, the Governor may send legislation to the General Assembly at any point during the Session.
So while we feel we have passed a significant hurdle this Session, we must still pay attention to any legislation that could possibly be amended in an unfavorable way, as well as keep an eye on any “unanimous request” introductions in either house, or anything that might come from the Governor. At this time, we do not anticipate action in this regard, so we do not want to unnecessarily alarm you. Should anything change, we are monitoring action here on a daily basis, so we can mobilize quickly if needed.
Several bills of interest have been introduced that may be of interest and we want to bring them to your attention belo
HB 982 (Webert) deals with licensure “by endorsement” of professions and occupations in general. As originally introduced, the summary of the bill is as follows:
“Establishes criteria for an individual licensed, certified, or having work experience in another state, the District of Columbia, or any territory or possession of the United States to apply to a regulatory board within the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation or the Department of Health Professions and be issued an occupational license or government certification if certain conditions are met.”
The original bill text is found here (new language in italics):
HB 982 was amended in subcommittee last week and the following substitute will be reported to the House General Laws Committee:
HB 601 (Freitas) deals with the review of occupational regulations through the Administrative Process Act. Its summary is as follows:
“Creates a procedure by which a person may petition an agency to review whether an existing occupational regulation is necessary for the protection or preservation of the health, safety, and welfare of the public and meets other statutorily enumerated criteria. The bill also creates a cause of action whereby any person who is adversely affected or aggrieved by an occupational regulation that such person believes is not necessary for the protection or preservation of the health, safety, and welfare of the public or does not meet other statutorily enumerated criteria may seek judicial review of such regulation. The bill provides that the burden of proof shall be upon the party complaining of the occupational regulation to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the challenged occupational regulation on its face or in its effect burdens the entry into or participation in an occupation and, thereafter, the burden shall be upon the agency to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the challenged occupational regulation is necessary to protect or preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the public and complies with certain other statutorily enumerated requirements. The bill provides that if the court finds in favor of the party complaining of the agency action, the court shall declare the regulation null and void.”
HB 601 was heard today in the House General Laws Committee Subcommittee on Professions/Occupations and Administrative Process. There was little support expressed for the legislation, which showed a significant potential fiscal impact. The directors of both DPOR and DHP expressed their concerns on the bill and it was subsequently “passed by indefinitely” (defeated) on a vote of 4-3. The full committee will likely ratify that action at its next meeting. We will continue to monitor this, but no further action will be necessary. A link to the full text of the bill is found here:
We encourage you to take a look at these two measures and give us any feedback you may have on them
Important remaining dates for the 2020 General Assembly:
- February 11th: Crossover – House and Senate must complete work on its own legislation, except the Budget Bill.
- February 16th: Budget Committees Report – Money committees for each house present their versions of the Budget
- February 20th: Budget Crossover – House and Senate must complete floor action on their versions of the Budget
- March 3rd: Last day for committee action on all legislation
- March 7th: Adjournment
- April 22: Reconvened Session (Veto Session)
We will keep you posted on any changes and alert you immediately should the need arise.