2021 General Assembly Session

Finance, Purchasing and Food Services Related Legislation

2021 General Assembly Summary – Final Report
Finance Related Legislation
Fairfax County Public Schools, Office of Government Relations

This report describes the Finance related legislation considered during the 2021 General Assembly Regular, Special, and Reconvened Sessions.  Bills are listed as having Passed or Failed.  Any legislation labeled as Passed was signed by the Governor and will go into effect on July 1, 2021 unless otherwise specified in the legislation itself.

Summaries are linked to the Division of Legislative Services’ web pages for text, up to date summary information, and fiscal impact statements. If a bill of interest is not found in one category, please check another as legislation often can fit under multiple categories.

UPDATED: 04/26/2021

PASSED

Apprenticeship Training Programs, Report HB 1849 (Simonds) directs the Virginia Board of Workforce Development (the Board), the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI), and the Department of General Services (DGS) to review the availability of registered apprenticeship programs in the Commonwealth and evaluate the capacity to build a program that requires contractors engaged in construction contracts with public bodies to participate in apprenticeship training programs for each trade or classification of employees engaged in the construction contract. The bill also requires the Board, DOLI, and DGS to evaluate whether a requirement to limit public procurements to bidders with registered apprenticeship programs will assist the construction industry in meeting its workforce needs. The bill permits the Board, DOLI, and DGS to convene a stakeholder advisory group as part of its review. The bill requires the Board, DOLI, and DGS to complete its review and complete any advisory group meetings by September 1, 2021, and to submit to the Governor and the General Assembly an executive summary and a report of its findings and recommendations no later than December 1, 2021.

Budget Bill HB 1800 (Torian) the following provides a policy-focused summary of key Pre-K through 12 education related items included in the final Conference report for HB 1800, the biennial budget bill.  Note that SB 1100 (Howell) was incorporated into HB 1800.

  • Compensation – provides in FY 2022 the state share of an up to a 5% salary increase for SOQ-recognized instructional and support staff, subject to provision of required local matching funds.  To access funds school divisions have to provide at least a 2.0% salary increase over the biennium, and funding is prorated for school divisions providing increases between 2.0% and 5.0%.
  • Cost of Competing Adjustment (COCA) – provides funding in FY 2022 to increase COCA rate for support positions in Northern Virginia from 10.6% to 18.0%. Partial COCA for outlying Northern Virginia localities will increase from 2.65% to 4.5%.
  • Additional School Counselors – retains Governor’s proposed funding in FY 2022 to provide one counselor per 325 students as provided in 2020 legislation.
  • Additional Specialized Student Support Positions – provides funding in FY 2022 requiring school divisions to provide three specialized support positions per 1,000 students as required by SB 1257.  These positions include school nurses, school social workers, school psychologists, and behavioral analysts.
  • Student Growth Assessments – provides funds in FY 2022 from federal ESSER II funds to begin implementing a growth assessment system in fall 2021 as directed by HB 2027.  These assessments replace grade 3-8 End-of-Year Standards of Learning assessments.
  • School Nurse Workgroup – directs the Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a workgroup to make recommendations to the General Assembly on the required qualifications and training for school personnel providing health services in schools.
  • Extended Special Education Eligibility – includes funding in FY 2022 from ESSER II funds to require school divisions to permit certain special education students to attend high school for an additional year to aid with post-secondary transition impacted by school closures.
  • Plan for Monitoring School Division Compliance with State Standards – directs the  Department of Education to develop and implement a pilot program to more comprehensively supervise school division compliance with a subset of key standards by requiring (i) the submission of more comprehensive compliance information, (ii) selective independent verification of compliance, (iii) monitoring of corrective action implementation, and (iv) analysis of compliance trends and issues.
  • Learning Loss Supplemental Payments – supports local efforts in FY 2021 to address COVID-19 learning loss with no local match required.  Funding will be available for extended school year, summer school, tutoring, remediation and recovery, counseling and student supports, certain facility modifications.  School divisions will be permitted to carryover funds from FY 2021 to FY 2022.
  • Prioritize VPI Flexible Funding for Four-Year-Old Children – requires the Department of Education to prioritize serving at-risk four-year-old children when reallocating funds among components of the Virginia Preschool Initiative, such as the community provider add-on, and the at-risk three-year-old pilot program.
  • Publish Academic Year Governor's Schools Diversity Planning and Progress Information Online – requires each Academic Year Governor's School to post their diversity goals and implementation plans, and related annual progress reports to their websites. In 2020, language was added to the Appropriation Act requiring Academic Year Governor's Schools to: (i) establish diversity goals for its student body and faculty; (ii) to develop a plan to meet such goals; and (iii) provide an annual progress report to the Governor including information about admissions processes, outreach and demographics; however, no requirement is included to make such information easily accessible to the public.
  • Expanded Child Care Subsidy Eligibility – provides funds from federal CCDF funds to implement HB 2206, which will temporarily expand family eligibility for child care subsidy program.
  • CTE Resource Center Database Replacement – provides funds to replace Virginia's Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum database and content management system managed by the Virginia CTE Resource Center.
  • Remediation and Recovery Grants – includes funding in FY 2022 from federal ESSER II state set-aside to support competitive grants to support innovative COVID-19 learning loss programs aligned with best practices.
  • Infrastructure & Operations Per Pupil Payments – includes funding to increase these payments to meet the House’s goal to distribute 40% of lottery proceeds through these funds.
  • JLARC Special Education Recommendations – will include funding to support training modules for IEP team members, training modules for teachers on special education matters, and special education teacher recruitment and retention efforts.
  • Fully Restore 2020 Session Early Childhood Initiatives – provides in the second year funding to increase Virginia Preschool Initiative per pupil amount from $6,326 in FY 2021 to $7,655 in FY 2022.  Funding is provided in the second year to restore Early Childhood Educator Recruitment/Retention Incentives.  Additionally, funding is provided to expand Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Assessment to Pre-K.
  • VRS Benefits – retains Governor’s funding for the final phase of the repayment of deferred contributions to the public-school teacher’s retirement plan, covering both the state and school divisions’ shares.
  • Note that the General Assembly adopted a Governor’s amendment which extended the authority of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s authority to grant temporary flexibility or issue waivers of deadlines and requirements through the 21-22 school year.

Federal Afterschool Meal Program Participation HB 2135 (Roem) requires each school board that governs a local school division that has a student population that qualifies for free and reduced-price meals at a minimum percentage of 50 percent in the prior school year and simultaneously offers educational or enrichment activities and is consequently eligible to participate in the Afterschool Meal Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Child and Adult Care Food Program to apply to the Department of Education to participate in the Afterschool Meal Program for each such school to subsequently and simultaneously serve federally reimbursable meals and offer an afterschool education or enrichment program, pursuant to FNS guidelines and state health and safety standards. The bill will require the Department of Education to administer the Afterschool Meal Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The bill provides that the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall issue a waiver to this requirement upon determination that participation is not financially viable for a school or group of schools. The bill requires the Department of Education to develop a process and criteria for evaluating such waivers. The bill will have a delayed effective date of July 1, 2022.

School Meal Debt; Enforcement HB 2013 (Roem) will require each school board to adopt a policy that prohibits the board from filing a lawsuit against a student or the student's parent because the student cannot pay for a meal at school or owes a school meal debt.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Construction Contracts; Requirement to Submit List of Subcontractors HB 2288 (Graves) requires bidders or offerors on contracts for construction of $250,000 or more to submit along with their bid or proposal a list of all subcontractors, regardless of tier, that the bidder or offeror intends at the time of submitting the bid or proposal to use on the contract to perform work valued at $50,000 or more, including labor and materials. The bill requires such list to include certain information about each contractor. The bill also requires the bidder or offer to submit a statement declaring that the bidder or offeror has reviewed the qualifications and performance history of each subcontractor and found such qualifications and performance history to be sufficient to qualify the subcontractor to perform the subcontract work and a statement indicating that the bidder or offeror has received a written statement from each subcontractor verifying that such subcontractor has not defaulted on any projects within the last three years is not currently suspended or disbarred by any public body, and is not currently in bankruptcy. The bill allows the public body to disqualify any listed subcontractors but requires the public body to notify the bidder or offeror of such disqualification and allow the bidder or offeror reasonable time to find a qualified replacement. The bill provides that any bidder or offeror that does not submit the required list and statements may have its bid or proposal disqualified, and any bidder or offeror that is found to have knowingly provided false information pursuant to this section shall be debarred from contracting with any public body for a period of up to one year. The bill requires compliance with its provisions for bids or offers on contracts for construction of $250,000 or more with localities with a population in excess of 50,000, but provides that compliance is optional for bids or offers on contracts for construction of $250,000 or more with any other locality. The provisions of this bill will not become effective unless reenacted by the 2022 Session of the General Assembly.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Preference for Energy-Efficient and Water-Efficient Goods HB 1811 (Helmer) provides that in the course of procuring goods, if a public body receives two or more bids for products that are Energy Star certified, meet Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) designated efficiency requirements, appear on FEMP's Low Standby Power Product List, or are WaterSense certified, such public body may only select among those bids.

FAILED

Public School Assistance Fund and Program Created SB 1106 (Stanley) would have created the Public School Assistance Fund and Program, to be administered by the Department of Education, for the purpose of providing grants to school boards to be used for the purposes of repairing or replacing the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical, or plumbing systems or the roofs of public elementary and secondary school buildings in the local school division, including financing costs for such repairs and replacements. The bill would have permitted any school board in the Commonwealth to apply for Program grants but would have required the Department of Education to give priority in the award of grants to school boards that demonstrate the greatest need based on the condition of existing school building roofs and the ability to pay for the repair or replacement of such roofs.

Required Local Effort for Basic Aid; Debt Service on Projects in Certain School Divisions HB 1924 (Kilgore) would have permitted any local school board that governs a school division in which the locality is designated as fiscally at-risk or fiscally distressed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in the most recent fiscal year or is determined to have above-average fiscal stress or high fiscal stress by the Virginia Commission on Local Government in its most recent "Report on Comparative Revenue Capacity, Revenue Effort, and Fiscal Stress of Virginia Counties and Cities" and for which the composite index of local ability to pay is less than or equal to 0.2000 to expend up to 25 percent of the required local effort for basic aid for debt service on school building capital renovation or construction projects.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Construction Contracts; Subcontractor Workforce Requirements SB 1305 (McPike) would have required all public bodies in a locality with a population in excess of 25,000 and covered institutions, defined in the bill, to include in every construction contract of more than $500,000 certain provisions related to the outsourcing of subcontracted work, which a contractor shall agree to during the performance of such contract. Such provisions would have mandated that a contractor shall only utilize subcontractors that certify in writing to the contract that they will outsource no more than 10 percent of the cost of the work subcontracted for, excluding the provision of materials, with specified exceptions.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Contract Clause Requiring Subcontractor Reporting of Payments to Employees and Independent Contractors HB 1741 (Campbell) would have required any contract awarded by a state agency or an agency of local government to require the contractor to include in each of its subcontracts a provision requiring the subcontractor to report to the contractor on a monthly basis payroll records for all of the subcontractor's employees; records of all payments made by the subcontractor to individuals classified as independent contractors; and the total number of individuals on the jobsite, including the number classified as employees and the number classified as independent contractors. The bill would have required the contractor to compile such information and submit it in a monthly report to the Department of Labor and Industry.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Determination of Responsibility; Local Option to Include Criteria in Invitation to Bid HB 1996 (Murphy) would have allowed localities to include in the Invitation to Bid criteria that may be used in determining whether any bidder, not just any bidder who is not prequalified by the Virginia Department of Transportation as under current law, is a responsible bidder.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Local Arbitration Agreements SB 1384 (Surovell) would have allowed a participating locality, for any procurement solicitation or contract exceeding $10,000 for goods and nonprofessional services, to require the bidder or offeror to disclose certain information regarding pre-dispute arbitration clauses, defined in the bill, in employment and civil rights disputes, and provide that a locality may consider the policies and practices related to arbitration of each bidder and offeror. The bill also would have provided that a participating locality shall require the bidder or offeror to provide written or electronic submissions to allow the locality to ascertain (i) whether the bidder or offeror requires persons with whom it is in a work relationship or prospective work relationship to sign or otherwise enter into a contract containing a pre-dispute arbitration clause that could require arbitration for an employment or civil rights dispute and (ii) whether the bidder or offeror requires end users, in carrying out the contract, to sign or otherwise enter into a contract containing a pre-dispute arbitration clause as a condition of downloading a mobile application or using a website, if the subject of the contract is to allow such end user to use such mobile application or website to pay a school district for goods or services related to education. If the bidder or offeror does require such clauses, the bidder or offeror would have been required to provide additional information including a copy of its pre-dispute arbitration clauses and information arising out of employment or civil rights disputes for the past five years. The bill would not have applied to arbitration provisions in certain contracts, as identified in the bill. The bill would authorize a participating locality to cancel, terminate, or suspend, in whole or in part, the contract of any contractor that has violated a provision of the bill and to declare the contractor ineligible for further contracts with such locality for up to five years, if the contractor does not cure any such violation within 30 days of being notified.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Purchase of Personal Protective Equipment SB 1222 (DeSteph) would have required a state agency, whenever purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) for public use, to purchase such PPE from a Virginia-based company or manufacturer or a manufacturer that uses materials made in the United States. The bill would have provided that if a state agency is unable to purchase PPE from such company or manufacturer, it may purchase from another company or manufacturer, pending the results of independent laboratory testing of the PPE.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Determination of Responsibility; Local Option to Include Criteria in Invitation to Bid HB 1996 (Murphy) would have allowed localities to include in the Invitation to Bid criteria that may be used in determining whether any bidder, not just any bidder who is not prequalified by the Virginia Department of Transportation as under current law, is a responsible bidder.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Local Arbitration Agreements SB 1384 (Surovell) would have allowed a participating locality, for any procurement solicitation or contract exceeding $10,000 for goods and services, to require the bidder or offeror to disclose certain information regarding pre-dispute arbitration clauses, defined in the bill, in employment, civil rights, and consumer disputes, and provides that a locality may consider the policies and practices related to arbitration of each bidder and offeror. The bill would also have provided that a participating locality shall require the bidder or offeror to provide written or electronic submissions to allow the locality to ascertain whether the bidder or offeror requires persons with whom it is in a work relationship or prospective work relationship to sign or otherwise enter into a contract containing a pre-dispute arbitration clause that would cover an employment or civil rights dispute and whether the bidder or offeror requires consumers to sign or otherwise enter into a contract containing a pre-dispute arbitration clause that would cover a consumer or civil rights dispute as a condition of purchasing products or services, downloading mobile applications, or using websites. The bill would authorize a participating locality to cancel, terminate, or suspend, in whole or in part, the contract of any contractor that has violated a provision of the bill and to declare the contractor ineligible for further contracts with such locality for up to five years.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Purchase of Personal Protective Equipment SB 1222 (DeSteph) would have required a state agency, whenever purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) for public use, to purchase such PPE from a Virginia-based company or manufacturer or a manufacturer that uses materials made in the United States. The bill would have provided that if a state agency is unable to purchase PPE from such company or manufacturer, it may purchase from another company or manufacturer, pending the results of independent laboratory testing of the PPE.