August 1, 2016 Newsletter

This weekend, August 5-7, 2016, is Virginia’s Sales Tax Holiday weekend. Legislation enacted by the 2015 General Assembly, Senate Bill 1319,  combined Virginia’s three sales tax holidays into one three-day holiday beginning the first Friday in August at 12:01 a.m. and ending the following Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

During the sales tax holiday period, consumers can purchase qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items, and Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ products without paying sales tax. This includes qualifying items purchased online, by mail or over the phone. 

In addition to the specific items exempted, retailers may also choose to offer other items “tax-free” by paying the sales tax themselves during the holiday. You can find more pertinent information on the tax holiday weekend here:  www.tax.virginia.gov/content/sales-tax-holiday.

In 2016 and subsequent years, there will be no separate Hurricane Preparedness holiday held in May, nor a separate Energy Star or WaterSense tax holiday in October, as it has been in the past. 

The Appomattox County Sherriff’s Office recently held an event I was proudly able to attend, Sherriff’s Night Out held at the Appomattox High School.  There was an astounding number of attendants, about 600 people.

This event was great for the community, and I think the police dog demonstration was a highlight for many. There were several Appomattox businesses that donated items, including 131 backpacks and four bicycles raffled off to the children and the food and picnic tables.  

I want to thank Sheriff Letterman and his crew for the job that they did planning this event. Thank you to the Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority and all of the sponsors who helped make this happen. At the time of heightened tensions around the nation, this was the perfect event to bring the small community of Appomattox together.

Beginning July 18th, Legislators can start pre-filing bills for the 2017 Virginia General Assembly Session.  Republicans in the state legislature have re-filed three bills that Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed this year, dealing with health care, school security officers and labor unions. The measures will be up for consideration in the General Assembly session that starts in January.

Earlier this year, Governor McAuliffe vetoed a number of common-sense bills that would have strengthened our commonwealth. Among those vetoes were bills to keep our schools safe, increase access to health care and protect small businesses from overreaching labor unions. These are good ideas that will make Virginia a better place, and we are going to keep fighting for them.

Delegate Steve Landes, R-Augusta, filed House Bill 1393, which seeks to protect direct primary agreements between doctors and patients from burdensome insurance regulations. Direct primary care agreements are insurance-like contracts. A patient pays a previously set amount for future medical services.

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, R-Prince William, filed House Bill 1392. It seeks to allow school security officers to carry firearms in the performance of their duties under certain conditions. This bill is a well-crafted and prudent measure that permits a local school board to hire retired police officers and arm them to protect our children and teachers where they learn and work.  

Del. Christopher T. Head, R-Botetourt, filed House Bill 1394, which would protect small business franchises from overreaching labor unions. The legislation says franchisee employees cannot be considered employees of the franchisor for purposes of labor status, notwithstanding any labor union agreement. This legislation protects employees from the overreaching federal government and overzealous labor unions. This bill is consistent with Virginia’s proud history as a right-to-work state.

If you have any concerns, questions, comments or issues that I or my Aide, Jenna, can help you with, please contact us at (434) 821-5929 or email at Delmfariss@house.virginia.gov. You can also keep up with me on my facebook page at www.facebook.com/DelegateMattFariss.

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