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The ongoing "special session" of the Virginia legislature can best be described as "the inmates are in charge of the asylum."  A couple of weeks ago HB5130  was introduced as follows:

following the declaration by the Governor of a state of emergency pursuant to § 44-146.17 that includes or is followed by any additional executive order in furtherance of such declaration that includes a stay at home or shelter in place order, employers shall (i) compensate its essential workers at a rate not less than one and one-half times the employee's regular rate of pay for any hours worked during the closure order.

We were originally overjoyed that our trade was considered essential, but this bill, if passed could be the death knell for business as we know it. I responded to our legislators with this:

 

I strongly urge you to vote AGAINST HB5130.

My family and I own and operate a business defined as essential during the pandemic.  For six months we have struggled to keep our trained, experienced staff employed and paid in an uncertain market.  Labor is the largest expense we incur and every labor dollar paid to the employee costs $1.25 when you account for additional expenses for taxes, insurance, etc.  Employers can not absorb increases in labor costs and survive, rather, they pass them on to the consumer, but the consumer has no one to pass these costs to.  Instead, at some point they stop purchasing goods and services that have been priced out of their reach. The essential employees that this bill hopes to help could soon find themselves unemployed in a market that can no longer afford their services.

Researching the background of the eight sponsors for this bill (all D), I found that it doesn't appear that any of them has ever held a real job, much less owned and operated a business with employees.  Almost all of them began their political ascent by first being elected to local school boards, then city council and on to state legislature.  I am guilty of never having paid much attention to school board races because my kids have long since been grown up and gainfully employed.  Believe me, I will research future races and eye each candidate as a potential legislator and beyond.

If any of you live in Virginia, I urge you to contact our legislators and tell them how you feel about this  Here are key email addresses:

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]house.virginia.gov
[email protected]
[email protected]

Thanks,

Mark Anderton

First Landing Autocare

Virginia Beach

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