On January 17, by a unanimous vote of 15-0 and a request of the patron, the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee voted to strike SB 264 (Hashmi). This bill would have imposed mandatory collective bargaining for local governments if a minority of their employees petitioned to form a bargaining unit, among other provisions.
SB 264 was identical to HB 582 (Guzman) from the 2020 General Assembly session, which was strongly opposed by VACo. As a result of the 2020 session, compromise legislation from Senate Commerce and Labor Chair Senator Saslaw removed the ban on collective bargaining for local governments in Virginia, but ensured that the decision as to whether or not to engage in collective bargaining remained a local government option. Given that this has only been enacted law since May of 2021 and several have adopted ordinances in collaboration with labor groups allowing collective bargaining to proceed, VACo reached out to the patron to share our concerns. We are grateful to Senator Hashmi and the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee for heeding our concerns.
VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett