Jim Dyke Comments on Impact of Virginia’s 2021 Legislative Session

July 1, 2021

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Virginia lawmakers passed landmark legislation during the 2021 session, tackling the death penalty, marijuana, minimum wage, labor laws, education and more. Jim Dyke, senior advisor with McGuireWoods Consulting, commented on the impact of these bills in a June 30 article for Virginia Business.

Pandemic-related relief measures made up a large part of the legislative session, including a bill to help stabilize child care centers. The legislation provides quality care to every Virginia student and puts in place an investment in child care and early childhood education.

“To me, that’s the most important investment we can make, not only from an educational but a business perspective,” Dyke said. “That’s when kids really form their minds. That’s the time you need to get them on the right track so that they’re able to perform at their top potential.”

The General Assembly passed additional legislation to impacting businesses, including relief for the hospitality industry and the creation of tourist improvement districts. New labor laws raise the minimum wage, ban non-compete clauses for low-wage employees and outlaw company policies that would prevent employees from discussing pay with each other.

Despite partisan fighting, business leaders should pay attention to legislative changes on the state level. Dyke added, “to  keep Virginia moving forward, state lawmakers should instead be seeking opportunities to collaborate.”

“We cannot have in Virginia what we’re seeing at the national level. We need to be focused on Virginia solutions for Virginia problems. That means working across the aisle and businesses can play a crucial role in bridging the gap,” he said. “The business community is well-positioned to advocate that those people for governor and the General Assembly commit to working for the ends of people in Virginia. People need to focus on that and not get themselves in partisan corners.”