Public Comments for 02/08/2021 General Laws
SB1127 - Charitable gaming; conduct of instant bingo, network bingo, pull tabs, and seal cards.
Virginia charities are counting on you and your colleagues to say no. This bill has been submitted as a way to regulate charitable gaming, but there are major flaws with it. First, VDACS already regulates charitable gaming. Secondly, it requires nonprofit fraternals to obtain a license from VDACS. This in itself is not a problem, the problem is that under the license, the charity is required to show 10% charitable use of proceeds. Also, not a problem unless one understands what this really means. The 10% charitable use of proceeds is calculated from gross ticket sales, which exceeds cash purchases 100% of the time. With electronic pull tabs, the player wins free games and plays their winnings back in the game. This creates a large difference between the actual cash generated and gross ticket sales. I know it’s confusing, so here is a real life example: cash in (actual money feed into the machine) is $4800. The cash out (winnings collected by the players) is $3900. The difference in those two numbers is the profit, or “net amount” which is then shared 50/50 between the nonprofit fraternal and the game company. This amount is $900, or $450 each. Now, the actual gross ticket sales is $13,100. This is again due to free games and winnings played instead of cashed out. The problem is that 10% of this number is $1,310! The charity only made $450, but now has to outlay $1,310 in charitable donations. The end result is that this bill in its current form, kills charitable gaming. One example is at the Bedford Moose Lodge. The funds they raise are used to support the annual Wounded Warriors softball games held at the lodge, the Bedford Fire Department, Goode/Bedford/New London rescue squads, Bedford Humane Society and many other local organizations that count on our existence for donations. Without the money created through charitable gaming, not only would these important community events have to stop, but the lodge would likely have to close altogether. Please, please don’t allow this bill to become law.
SB1127 will harm the Charity dollars given to local communities. Last year the VEA gave $5.6 million to multiple charities in local communities. The VEA strongly opposes SB1127. Please vote it down in committee ThankYou Bob Conway Government Relations Chair Virginia Elks Association
SB1150 - Military Spouse Liaison; position created in Department of Veterans Services, report.
SB1171 - Conflict of Interests Act, State and Local Government; disclosure requirements.
SB1183 - Property Owners' Association Act/Condominium Act; use of electronic means for meetings and voting.
SB1215 - Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; tenant remedies for exclusion from dwelling unit.
SB1254 - Sports betting; clarifies certain procedures.
SB1271 - Virginia Freedom of Information Act; meetings held through electronic communication means.
SB1278 - Charitable gaming; regulations of operators of Texas Hold'em poker games.
SB1279 - Veterans Services, Department of; initiatives to reduce unemployment among veterans.
SB1287 - Charitable Gaming Board; regulations, electronic pull tabs.
SB1299 - Alcoholic beverage control; sale and delivery of mixed beverages and pre-mixed wine.
SB1305 - Virginia Public Procurement Act; construction contracts, subcontractor workforce requirements.
SB1314 - Education and Labor Market Alignment, Office of; established.
SB1318 - Interagency Environmental Justice Working Group; established, report.
Environmental Justice has been a problem in Virginia throughout our history. This bill is essential to address this problem effectively. It requires each of the Governor's Secretaries to designate at least one environmental justice coordinator to represent the secretariat as a member of the Working Group. The bill provides that the Working Group shall expire on July 1, 2031, preventing dissolution by the political whim of the governor.
SB1327 - Homeowners and tenants of manufactured home parks; housing protections, foreclosures, etc.
SB1343 - Virginia Freedom of Information Act; proprietary records and trade secrets.
SB1369 - Small Business and Supplier Diversity, Department of; redefines "small business."
SB1384 - Virginia Public Procurement Act; local arbitration agreements.
SB1389 - Real property; required disclosures for buyer to exercise due diligence, flood risk report.
SB1406 - Marijuana; legalization of simple possession, penalties.
Comments on S.B. 1406 Marijuana; legalization of simple possession, penalties. Submitted by: Milan Patel, Founder & CEO PathogenDx Thank you for the opportunity to comment on S.B. 1406, concerning the legalization and regulation of cannabis for adult use. We appreciate the House General Laws Committee holding a public hearing on this important issue. While we strongly support the legalization of cannabis for adults, we believe there are some improvements that could be made to the mandatory testing requirements in § 4.1-1401. Recommendation: Add aspergillus to the list of harmful microbes that marijuana products must be tested for. Suggested language: B. Mandatory testing of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products under this section shall include testing for: 1. Residual solvents, poisons, and toxins; 2. Harmful chemicals; 3. Dangerous molds and mildew; 4. Harmful microbes, including but not limited to Escherichia coli, ASPERGILLUS, and Salmonella; 5. Pesticides, fungicides, and insecticides; and 6. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) potency, homogeneity, and cannabinoid profiles to ensure correct labeling. Reasoning: Aspergillus is a genus of mold that can be incredibly harmful for some consumers. Inhaling aspergillus can be fatal in immunocompromised people, and is the leading cause of infection-related death among people who receive a stem cell transplant. Unfortunately, aspergillus is commonly found on marijuana flower sold on both the illicit market and in dispensaries. This has led regulators in many states to require testing for aspergillus. Most of those states forbid selling any product where aspergillus can be detected in a 1 gram sample, while some states allow a maximum of 1 CFU per gram. However, some states with marijuana programs do not include aspergillus on the list of required tests, exposing patients and consumers to greater risk. We hope that Virginia does not follow their example, but worry that regulators may not implement aspergillus testing if not required to by statute. Conclusion: To ensure that Virginia residents are protected from the harms of aspergillus, we respectfully request that aspergillus be added to the statutory list of mandatory tests. Thank you again for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like additional information. Milan Patel Founder & CEO PathogenDx https://pathogendx.com/ PathogenDx’s mission: To become the industry standard for DNA-based microbial testing technology in the cannabis, agriculture, food and beverage industries, promoting growing businesses, safer products and healthier lives.
SB1110 - Real estate settlement agents; duties.
When the law was enacted 23-24 years ago the requirements for title settlement agents to carry E&O coverage and a Surety Bond were put into place to provide protection for consumers. As a policy the Bureau has issued the surety bond information and E&O information to consumers who have a claim against an agent. It was suggested that the Bureau clarify the ability to release this information in the Code since we also have a section that very specifically states that our files are confidential. Basically, the bill just clarifies that the Bureau can provide consumer protection documents to consumers who may have a claim against an agent.