SJR 91: Joint Subcommittee Studying
Economic Incentives to Promote the Growth and Competitiveness of Virginia's
November 26, 2002
The joint subcommittee held
its final meeting of the year on November 26. The subcommittee heard legislative
recommendations for the 2003 Session of the General Assembly from representatives
of Virginia's shipyard industries.
Labor Needs of Virginia's Shipyards
As has been stated in prior
joint subcommittee meetings, there is a short supply of skilled labor
that is trained to immediately step in and fill vacant positions in Virginia's
shipyards. Shipyard representatives requested that the joint subcommittee
seek legislation to fund scholarships for shipyard workers attending an
apprenticeship program at Tidewater Community College.
The apprenticeship program
was created during the 2001 Session of the General Assembly (HB 2121).
The legislation establishing the program made funding of scholarships
contingent upon an appropriation in the budget bill. Virginia's shipyards
believe that funding of the scholarships will increase the number of students
who may enroll in the apprenticeship program. As more students enroll
in the program, there will be an increase in the number of skilled workers
who can immediately fill employment needs in the shipyards.
Shipyard representatives asked
for annual funding of $100,000 $200,000. There was much discussion
on alternatives for funding the scholarships that would not result in
an increase in general fund appropriations.
Tax on Piers Situated above the Waters
of the Commonwealth
Concern was expressed that
the Commonwealth would begin to assess a tax on shipyard piers that extend
over the waters of the Commonwealth. While not making a recommendation
for legislation in regard to this possibility, shipyard representatives
communicated their opposition to such a tax to the joint subcommittee.
Shipyard representatives also
expressed concern that legislation may be introduced assessing a per tonnage
fee on solid wastes deposited at Virginia's landfills. Legislation
before the 2002 Session of the General Assembly (SB 592) would have assessed
a $5 per ton fee on solid waste disposed of at Virginia's landfills.
The bill was continued to 2003. Shipyard representatives expressed concern
over the financial impact on the industry if such a tipping fee were established.
Continuation of the Joint Subcommittee
Recognizing the results achieved
so far by the work of the subcommittee, shipyard representatives asked
that legislation be introduced continuing the joint subcommittee.
The joint subcommittee took
into consideration the recommendations presented. As a quorum was not
present, no vote was taken on the recommendations.
The Hon. Thomas K. Norment, Jr.
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