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Virginia HB1445

Thank you to those of you who contacted your Virginia Representative to share the impact of Virginia HB1445 on your employer. Luckily for VA employers, this bill died in committee... this time.

This bill would have restricted an employer’s right to pay wages via pre-paid pay card without first obtaining employee consent. For employers who have intentionally moved away from the use of live pay checks to the use of pay cards as an alternative to direct deposit, this bill could have considerable consequences.

A big thanks to our partners at the VA Chamber for gathering employer support to let our Representatives know how employers could be impacted by HB1445. If you happen to chat with your Representatives in the future, it still wouldn't hurt to mention how such a bill could possibly negatively impact your employer.

Click HERE for more information.

Central Virginia Chapter Legislative Director Speaks at Town Hall

L-R, Tim McConville, VASHRM Legislative Director, and Central<br>
VA SHRM board members: Curtis Crews, Legislative director; Colleen McLaughlin, President-elect; and Donn Schnarr, President
L-R, Tim McConville, former VASHRM Dir, Legislative, and Central VA SHRM
board members: Curtis Crews, Dir, Legislative; Colleen McLaughlin, President-
Elect; and Donn Schnarr, President

Curtis Crews, legislative director for the Central Virginia Chapter, spoke at a town hall meeting held by Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA-5). Crews made a passionate plea for the provision that allows up to $5,250 per year in tax-free employer-provided educational assistance. He urged Rep. Perriello to co-sponsor and support H.R. 5600, a pending bi-partisan bill that would permanently renew Section 127. For more information, check out http: www.shrm.org/Advocacy/GovernmentAffairsNews/HRIssuesUpdatee-Newsletter/Pages/101410_2.aspx

Federal Legislative Action Alert

As Congress gets ready to adjourn for the month of October, be sure to urge your Representative to support H.R. 5600, the Employee Educational Assistance Act of 2010, which would make permanent the tax free status of employer provided education assistance.

Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code allows an employee to exclude from income up to $5,250 per year in assistance provided by their employer for any type of educational course at the associate, undergraduate and graduate level. Section 127 will expire at the end of this year unless Congress acts to renew it or make it permanent.

Providing tax-free educational assistance is an important tool for employers. Section 127 helps to build and maintain an increasingly skilled workforce, and positions the United States to remain competitive in the global economy. Almost 20 percent of Section 127 recipients are pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees. According to the National Postsecondary Student Aid study of the most recent data on the use of this benefit, utilization of Section 127 has doubled since 1994. Today, more than 1 million employees use Section 127 benefits.

On June 24, 2010, Representative Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and Representative Sam Johnson (R-TX) introduced H.R. 5600, the Employee Educational Assistance Act of 2010. This bill would make Section 127 a permanent part of the U.S. tax code. This bill will likely be incorporated into broader tax legislation that will extend some or all of the Bush 2001 tax cuts.

SHRM Position
SHRM co-chairs the Coalition to Preserve Employer Provided Education Assistance, a broad-based collection of groups representing business, labor and education. SHRM strongly supports the permanent extension of Section 127 for associate, undergraduate and graduate degrees. We believe that providing tax-free educational assistance is an important tool for employers to attract and retain the best employees, build a skilled workforce, and position the U.S. economy to compete globally. Furthermore, with the current economic downturn, both employees and employers benefit from this tax provision. Through re-skilling and professional development, organizations invest in their most precious resource – their employees.

Action Needed
Urge your Representative to support H.R. 5600, the Employee Educational Assistance Act of 2010. To write your elected official in the U.S. House of Representatives, follow these simple steps:

1. Log onto the SHRM Advocacy Action Center by clicking here.
2. Sign in using your Member ID and last name.
3. Once you have completed the HR Advocacy e-list form and / or been directed to the SHRM Advocacy Center homepage, click the "Take action here" tab at the bottom of the featured federal alert highlighted in blue and to the left.

For questions regarding Section 127, please contact Kathleen Coulombe, SHRM's Manager, Tax and Benefits, at Kathleen.Coulombe@shrm.org.

If you encounter any problems with this site, please contact David Lusk, SHRM's Senior Associate, Member Advocacy, at David.Lusk@shrm.org.

Want to know what is hot or pending with our government?

Check out SHRM’s new Pending U.S. and State Legislation Report. You can check by the HR subject areas listed whether legislation is pending in the U.S. Congress or in Virginia. Just click on the subject area. When the "US Fed" tab at the right of the map is highlighted in blue, legislation is also pending before Congress relating to that subject area.

To see all legislation pending in your state (or in Congress) relating to these subject areas, click HERE.

Looking to get involved on the local level?

Participate in a Day inside the District or Day inside the Beltway. If you are looking to do joint events with sister chapters, this is an excellent way to get a few involved.

Day Inside the Beltway (DITB)
Day Inside the District (DITD)

Other Helpful Government Websites:
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
The White House
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of the Treasury
National Labor Relations Board
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
U.S. Supreme Court
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Virginia’s Voice of the HR Profession

Elaine Hogan, Esquire
VA SHRM State Council
Director, Legislative

Get Involved: HR Voice

1. Go to http://www.shrm.org

2. Sign in using your member number and last name.

3. Click “Advocacy," then “Get Involved”

4. Then “HR Voice: Write your Elected Official”

5. Then click on one of the actions.

Click here to download the 2009 HR Voice Brochure
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