Public Comments for 02/19/2021 Appropriations
HB5002 - Small Business & Women-owned & Minority-owned Business Procurement Enhancement Programs; establish.
During the discussion in previous subcommittee meetings, several Delegate's brought up the concern from their constituents “how does a small business break into public procurement?” Because the current “small business definition” allows companies to have up to 250 employees and UNLIMITED revenue, it leaves no opportunity for the real small businesses to be able to participate in public procurement. That is the “elephant in the room” that needs to be addressed if the Commonwealth is serious about expanding opportunities to small women-owned, small minority-owned, business. That was the recommendation from the JLARC study and the VCU study commissioned by the DSBSD. Respectfully, Chris Stone.
The two state teaching hospitals VCUHS and UVA Health, are both statutorily exempt from the VPPA due to the General Assembly’s long-standing recognition that we must compete in a largely private marketplace with hospitals that are not subject to state procurement requirements. For many years, these exemptions have afforded us flexibility and nimbleness in our ability to purchase necessary medical supplies. HB5002 would severely impact our procurement operations by: • Restricting the speed by which necessary purchases are made, and requiring significant redesign of current purchasing and data management programs to be compliant. Especially in the current COVID-19 pandemic, our procurement channels have been extremely limited, and we have had to acquire supplies swiftly, from whatever sources might be available. • Jeopardizing our GPO contracts, which are ubiquitous in the hospital industry and allow us to realize substantial savings that ultimately benefit our patients. • Impairing our ability to drive product standardization which would have implications on best practice quality outcomes and cost savings opportunities. • Limiting our ability to procure certain physician preference items (e.g., implants, screws, etc.). Our hospitals’ purchase selections are often driven by the preference of our physicians who have been trained using specific supplies and devices. In an effort to reduce our overall cost of care, we do aggressive strategic sourcing of physician preference items. Limiting purchase options would likely have a negative impact to the quality and safety of patient care, and would impact our ability to recruit and retain top physician talent to our AMCs • Limiting our ability to meet service level needs. With a limited number of SWaM firms in the health care industry we are concerned about the ability to meet the complex needs of an academic medical center in a highly regulated industry, including the ability to scale operations. • Limiting the progress of driving down the total cost of healthcare throughout VA and across the US. Traditionally, our total cost of care is higher than community hospitals due to our teaching missions and the complexity of patients treated, so limiting our ability to leverage national GPO contracts would put us at an even greater disadvantage with value based care and advanced payment models with government and commercial payors. • Negatively impacting our patients. VCUHS and UVA Health have worked for many years to arrive at focused efforts to reduce supply acquisition costs. We have in turn passed these savings to our patients in direct and indirect ways, and we are committed to continuing that effort towards more affordable healthcare. If HB5002 is implemented, VCUHS estimates the negative fiscal impact to its operations would be approximately $37M annually. This estimate is conservative as it only includes operating costs, and not additional human resource and technology expense that would be required to comply with the administrative requirements of the legislation. It also does not capture the impact to capital expenditures. UVA Health estimates the negative fiscal impact to its operations would be approximately $33.1M, and $99.3M over the average 3-year GPO contract term. This is a conservative estimate that only includes operating and capital contract expenditures, and not additional human resources and technology expenses associated with compliance.
Just writing to let you know that Sec. Ball (Sec of C&T), Fran Bradford (Dep Sec of Ed) and Sandra Gill (DGS), would welcome a chance to be in the "room" in case there are questions. And Secretary Ball is prepared to speak on the bill if desired. - Fran
HB 5002 codifies a requirement for all state agencies and universities to mandate a set aside program for certified small, woman owned and minority owned business. A key word in the requirements set forth is "certified". The Small Business Administration reports there are over 700K small businesses in Virginia. Yet in Commonwealth, there are only 13K small, woman owned and minority owned companies certified as such. The state has seen a 40% decrease in the number of certified SWaM firms in the Commonwealth since 2017. A set aside program will not be successful unless the number of certified small, woman owned and minority owned business matches the number of available firms. The disparity study reported out percentages based on all small, woman owned and minority owned businesses available and not based on state certified businesses. It is premature to require a set aside program for such a small fraction of small businesses in the Commonwealth. The Virginia Public Procurement Act is based on the maximum extent of competition available. This bill does this opposite. I recommend not passing a mandatory set aside but instead suggest proposing legislation that would fix the small, woman owned and minority owned certification process that will encourage more of these businesses to get certified. There is absolutely no incentive for a company to go through the intrusive certification process that is in place today required to get certified and it typically takes 3-6 months to get certified. You need to ask the SWaM eligible businesses about the certification process not the agency that certifies as you hear two different accounts of the process. And as more companies are certified, the Commonwealth needs to remove the current moratorium which disallows certifying small, woman owned and minority owned businesses from thirteen other states including the three most populous states in the country being Florida, Texas, California and also includes a moratorium on certifying SWaM businesses from Washington DC. I would support any bill that allows more state purchases to be awarded to small, woman owned and minority owned businesses but not when the Commonwealth is already excluding so many companies from being certified as such. See SBA reference noted above at: https://cdn.advocacy.sba.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/04144231/2020-Small-Business-Economic-Profile-VA.pdf
During the discussion this morning at the Subcommittee meeting, many of the members brought up the point “how does a small business break into public procurement?” Because the current “small business definition” allows companies to have up to 250 employees with unlimited revenue, it leaves no opportunity for the real small businesses to be able to participate in public procurement. That is the “elephant in the room” that needs to be addressed if the Commonwealth is serious about expanding opportunities to small women-owned, small minority-owned, business. That was the recommendation from the JLARC study completed in 2020.
I support the aspirational goals of HB5002, however, I respectfully ask that General Assembly consider updating the “small business definition” to more accurately reflect what a small business enterprise is in Virginia. • The current “small business” definition has not been updated since introduced in 1986. • The current “small business” definition is not “narrowly drawn” and lumps all business types into one category. • According to the current definition, any company can have “unlimited” revenue, and as long as they have less than 250 employees, they can be certified in Virginia as a “small business”. • DSBSD commissioned VCU to study the “small business definition”. Former Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones conducted a similar study. Last year JLARC completed a study. All concluded the definition was too broad and recommended changing it. • Under the current definition for a "small business", 99% of Virginia businesses can be certified as “small businesses” and 97% of Virginia businesses can be certified as "micro" having less than 25 employees, according to JLARC. • If the GOAL is to help small businesses grow, then the Commonwealth should update the “small business” definition so it is narrowly tailored and narrowly defined. Virginia currently defines a small business as having up to 250 employees OR up to $10 million in gross receipts averaged over the three previous years. Consequently, this definition allows companies with less than 250 employees to have UNLIMITED revenue, and still be a certified small business. If Virginia wants to support small business, small women-owned and small minority-owned business, then the Commonwealth should update the small business definition as recommended by the JLARC and VCU study. One option recommended by JLARC is “The General Assembly could amend §2.2-4310 and §2.2-1604 of the Code of Virginia to change the small business definition to businesses that have no more than 250 employees AND gross receipts of no more than $10 million.” It's time that Virginia supports "legitimate" small business, and changes the definition.
We are opposed to both SB 1305 and HB 5002.
The Heavy Construction Contractors Association (HCCA) represents 170 firms in Northern Virginia made up of 39,000 employees in road building and site development whom accumulate $1.65 billon pay roll. We are following SB1305 and HB5002 and would appreciate the opportunity to discuss the bills with you prior to tomorrow’s 7AM subcommittee meeting. Oppose SB1305 • Creates unnecessary complexity in the procurement process • Seeks to remedy a wage theft issues that is not present in the transportation construction industry (see attached for empirical data to this point) Oppose HB5002 • Goal is unattainable due to lack of small businesses in the transportation construction industry o Failure to meet compliance goals would result in debarment of essential general contractors • Artificially inflate the cost of transportation infrastructure projects
Speaking against this bill. This bill would codify the micro executive order. The micro order completely removes any opportunity for me to sell to the Commonwealth buyers. At the inception of the order I lost 1M in revenue which cost our company 4 jobs and cut the salary of 2 people in half. We have revenue above the 3M threshold yet we sell a low margin commodity. Our average order size is $250, far less than the $10,000 exemption. Our head count hovers around 28 people which is just above the 25 limit. This bill places our small business in the same category as billion dollar multinational companies. We are in favor of diversity procurement but not in favor of removing a seat at the table for small business as is the unintended consequence in this circumstance. If there were amendments that considered, inventories, equipment or actual profits that would be more telling of the actual size of the business. By SBA standards my company would be considered small at anything less than $35.5M. I am not asking for a free pass. Just asking to be allowed to sell when my small business is the best decision for the buyer. We served the Commonwealth for decades competitively against the non mandatory contract in our category. When the executive order was enacted we were completely locked out. This order has also caused a rise in third party billers that remain under 3M and assist larger companies in billing only. This process creates a higher cost to the Commonwealth. I ask that stake holders, including deserving small businesses have an opportunity to make sure companies are not locked out of the process. I am a 100% woman owned small business and at this time buyers are not allowed to buy their products from my company. Melissa Ball, Ball Office Products
I would like to speak briefly in support of the Bill.
The Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce represents more than 580 businesses with approximately 18,000 employees. We support HB5002 as it aligns with our wealth equity initiative, focused on workplace equity, as well as the objectives of the Dan River Region Entrepreneur Ecosystem, which convenes small business owners, entrepreneurs and service providers across the region.
HB 5002 Small Business & Women-owned & Minority-owned Business Procurement Enhancement Programs; Why is the bill only limited to all new capital outlay construction solicitations that are issued. How many Black women own construction companies? Why is it capped at 200K. I have an independent pharmacy in Norfolk Virginia and I have been waiting for this bill to come to committee. The bill has no bite. The state wasted money doing a diversity study , only to come up with this as a resolution. I have been consistently discriminated against in the state procurement process and I do not see where this bill is going to change anything. Dr. Anna Peoples
Hello My name is Usma Khan. I'm the owner of a Staffing and Recruiting business. Being an owner of a Small Business, this bill will allow me to have a larger footprint in the state of Virginia to conduct business.
VSC NAACP hope this bill will pass but be strengthened in the Senate.
I’m EJ Scott, Chair of the VSC NAACP Economic Development division. I’m here to speak in favor of HB5002. Although we are disappointed that the proposed substitute decreases the set asides for Women owned business and Minority businesses, we still believe there is merit to HB5002 that will advance business and supplier diversity and equity. The VSC NAACP asks that you vote to pass it. Thank you.
These comments are in support of HB5002. JMI supports HB5002 because the bill allows for state agencies and institutions to increase the inclusion of women-owned and minority-owned businesses for various contracting opportunities.
Please accept my full support of this Bill.
SB1258 - Solar projects; erosion and sediment control.
The pipeline for oil needs to be reopened but thanks to our corrupt president biden it got closed which put a lot of people out of work and raised gas prices.
Clean water matters.
SB1319 - Waste Diversion & Recycling Task Force; Department of Environmental Quality to continue Task Force.
Please support SB 1319 Waste Diversion and Recycling Task Force; Department of Environmental Quality to Continue Task Force (Hashmi). Virginia's Solid Waste Management system is broken. Our rural counties continue to be targeted and pressured to host large corporate multi-state landfills under the promise of economic salvation. These huge heavily industrialized facilities disrupt communities, displace residents, destroy landscapes and wildlife habitats and erase cultural and historical resources all in the name of free enterprise and corporate profit.. Virginia does not need additional disposal capacity. DEQ's 2020 Annual Solid Waste Management report reveals sufficient disposal capacity for at least the next 20 years. Virtually all of Virginia's 71 Solid Waste Planning Units report sufficient disposal capacity for the next 20 years with some indicating the existence of additional reserve capacity beyond the 20 year window. Landfilling is an outdated technology and needs to be replaced by more economically efficient, socially responsible, and environmentally sustainable solid waste management policies, practices, and methods. Thank you very much for taking the time to consider this important issue. Sincerely Kevin Halligan Powhatan, Virginia
Clean water matters.
SB1319 is an important step towards bringing Virginia's waste management into the 21st Century. The variety of technologies and approaches available to divert materials from landfills has proven to create more jobs, improve environmental outcomes, and save money for municipalities than continuing the status quo. Virginia's Universities are capable of assisting this task force in identifying best practice technologies, regulations, and business models to achieve better environmental, economic, and social justice outcomes for managing our waste, and I urge you to support this bill. Thank you.
SB1319 – Waste control and recycling; permits. I speak before you today representing Cumberland County Landfill Alert (CCLA). We have read and fully support SB1319 and encourage you to vote yes on this important legislation. The Waste Diversion and Recycling Task Force was created pursuant to SJ 42 in 2020 and this bill amends that resolution. The Task Force needs time to organize, research, hold meetings, and make recommendations in this vital area. The current methods of handling trash are not working and are harmful to our environment and changes are needed. The Waste Diversion and Recycling Task Force does not have an easy task before them, and it will take time to research and review various options to handle Virginia’s trash to find better methods that are not so harmful to our environment – it is doable! It is important for you, our lawmakers, to make sure adequate time is provided for this Task Force. It is time for you to stop fixing things with band aids when a major bandage is needed. Approve SB1319 and give the Task Force the needed time and resources to do a complete, thorough research and make recommendations to improve things for all Virginians. Does Virginia want to continue to be known as the State for Lovers or the Trash State? The decision is in your hands, we do not need more Charles Cities or other similar tragedies already present in Virginia. It is time for you to protect our environment! Thank You.
SB 1319 Waste Diversion and Recycling Task Force: Department of Environmental Quality to Continue (Hashmi) Madam Chairwoman and members of the Committee, my name is Kevin Halligan. I live in Powhatan County Virginia and am a member of the AMMD Pine Grove Project. I am here to speak in support of Senate Bill 1319. SB1319 directs the Waste Diversion and Recycling Task Force to study ways that organic material such as wasted food generated in and outside of Virginia can be diverted from Virginia landfills and either be composted or recovered and donated. Virginia's broken waste management system must be fixed, and it is time that more responsible, efficient, and environmentally sustainable policies and methods of waste management be established. The immediate formation of the Waste Diversion and Recycling Task Force is the first step in bringing needed changes to Virginia's ability to manage solid waste generated within and imported from outside of the Commonwealth. DEQ’s 2020 Annual Solid Waste Report estimates that Virginia Landfills have sufficient disposal capacity for the next 20 years. It should be noted that DEQ only requires that Virginia’s Solid Waste Planning Units project disposal needs for only the next 20 years. Virginia’s 71 Regional Solid Waste Planning Units are responsible for managing the waste generated in the counties and cities of Virginia. These Planning Units are each required to maintain current Solid Waste Management Plans projecting anticipated needs and disposal capacity for 20 years from the date of the plan. These plans must be updated every 5 years. Virtually every Solid Waste Management Unit that I have contacted and Plan that I have reviewed indicates sufficient disposal capacity to effectively manage the region’s waste stream for the Plan’s 20-year window. The plans from Virginia’s most populated Regional Planning Units, Fairfax County, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, and Central Virginia Waste Management Authority all indicate sufficient disposal capacity for at least 20 years or more. Virginia does not appear to have any pressing need for additional landfill capacity but instead needs to develop more socially responsible and environmentally sustainable waste management methods. Please vote yes to Senate Bill 1319. Thank you for the opportunity speak today. Kevin Halligan 6372 Haleford Drive Powhatan County Va. 23139 Kevin Halligan firstname.lastname@example.org
SB 1319 Waste Diversion and Recycling Task Force: Department of Environmental Quality to Continue (Hashmi) Madam Chairwoman and members of the Committee, my name is Kevin Halligan. I live in Powhatan County Virginia and am a member of the AMMD Pine Grove Project. I am here to speak in support of Senate Bill 1319. SB1319 directs the Waste Diversion and Recycling Task Force to study ways that organic material such as wasted food generated in and outside of Virginia can be diverted from Virginia landfills and either be composted or recovered and donated. DEQ’s 2020 Annual Solid Waste Report estimates that Virginia Landfills have sufficient disposal capacity for the next 20 years. It should be noted that DEQ only requires that Virginia’s Solid Waste Planning Units project disposal needs for no longer than 20 years. Virginia’s 71 Regional Solid Waste Planning Units are responsible for managing the waste generated in the counties and cities of Virginia. These Planning Units are each required to maintain current Solid Waste Management Plans projecting anticipated needs and disposal capacity for 20 years from the date of the plan. These plans must be updated every 5 years. Virtually every Solid Waste Management Unit that I have contacted and Plan that I have reviewed indicates sufficient disposal capacity to effectively manage the region’s waste stream for the Plan’s 20-year window. The plans from Virginia’s most populated Regional Planning Units, Fairfax County, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, and Central Virginia Waste Management Authority all indicate sufficient disposal capacity for at least 20 years or more. Virginia does not appear to have any pressing need for additional landfill capacity but instead needs to develop more socially responsible and environmentally sustainable waste management methods. Suspending Permits for new or existing landfills that accept huge volumes of waste will have no adverse impact on Virginia’s waste management needs but will instead prevent the unnecessary disruption of communities, dislocation of residents destruction of cultural and historic resources, wildlife habitats and landscapes. The permitting of huge heavily industrialized, multi-state corporate landfills should be suspended until such time as the General Assembly has had an opportunity to enact legislation that incorporates the findings and recommendations of the Waste Diversion and Recycling Task Force. Please vote yes to Senate Bill 1319. Thank you for the opportunity speak today. Kevin Halligan 6372 Haleford Drive Powhatan County Va. 23139 Kevin Halligan email@example.com
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, Please vote yes to SB 1319 Waste Control and Recycling:Permits. This bill directs the DEQ Waste Diversion and Recycling Task Force to study ways prohibit the disposal of wasted food, food residuals and other organic materials in Virginia's landfills. It also directs the task force study the development of a food donation and composting infrastructure to accept all food residuals and organic material. Organic waste accounts for 20-30% of waste disposed in landfills. Waste Diversion prpgrams will extend the life of existing landfills reduce the need to develop new landfills. Virginia must adopt more socially responsible and environmentally sustainable methods to manage the waste generated in and brought from outside of Virginia. As stated in its November 1, 2019 Report to the General Assembly, the Department of Environmental Quality concluded that "new paradigms need to be created to manage waste in Virginia and divert waste from landfills." Thank you for your consideration of SB 1319. Sincerely Kevin Halligan Powhatan County Va AMMD Pine Grove Project Member
SB1365 - Data Governance and Analytics, Office of; created.
SB1396 - Onsite Sewage Indemnification Fund; use of Fund for grants to certain property owners.
Virginia Conservation Network (VCN) and its coalition of 150 conservation organizations across the Commonwealth are in full support of SB1396. Please vote in SUPPORT of this legislation. Case for support: http://www.vcnva.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/SB1396-Onsite-Sewage-Fund.pdf
The James River Association strongly support SB1396, along with our colleagues at Wetlands Watch and Friends of the Rappahannock. Adequate wastewater treatment is an environmental and an equity issue. Aging septic systems across the Commonwealth, including those designed to meet out-of-date health and environmental regulations, can send pathogens and nutrient pollution into our communities and our waterways. This is a particular concern within our rural coastal regions, where climate change and recurrent flooding are already inundating these systems and significantly reducing their lifespan. SB1396 will help address these concerns as we work to ensure our wastewater infrastructure adequately protects the health and well-being of all Virginians.
The pipeline for oil needs to be reopened but thanks to our corrupt president biden it got closed which put a lot of people out of work and raised gas prices.