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Virginia Public Policy

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2018 General Assembly Updates (January 10, 2018 – March 15, 2018; April 23, 2018 Reconvene (estd.)

2017 General Assembly Updates (January 11– February 25 2017; April 5, 2017 Reconvene)

2016 General Assembly Updates (January 13 – March 12 2016; April 20, 2016 Reconvene) 

Virginia Bio helps state policy makers interact with our members,

and understand our industry and the implications of existing and proposed new laws and regulations.


We work year- round to maintain relationship with executive and legislative leaders and staff in Virginia as a trusted source of accurate and complete information and sound public policy opinions on matters of bioscience R&D and commercialization in the Commonwealth.  We work for policies that:

  Promote research & development and innovation in the biosciences;

  Enable entrepreneurship; 
  Enable and facilitate investment in emerging bioscience companies;

Continue to make Virginia the top state to start and grow a business;
Provide adequate support for our world class research institutions, and enable and encourage our research institutions to effectively translate research to the marketplace and clinic;

Provide safe and appropriate access to medications and devices to those who can benefit from them, and fair reimbursement to those who provide them; and,

Promote bio-STEM education and workforce development, to build the most important condition for future success – the education, sills and interests of the next generation.

Over the years, Virginia Bio has had a significant hand in proposing and seeing through the passage of many of the incentives which are law today, including the Angel Investor Tax Credit, the Research and Development Tax Credit, and the Capital Gains exclusion for early investors in technology companies.  Virginia Bioscience Incentives page.

Every year during the Legislative Session, Virginia Bio facilitates meetings and communications among Virginia Bio members and members of the General Assembly, including a reception for policymakers and members in Richmond.  Year round, we encourage members to be in touch with their elected representatives, to make known their positions and those of the industry.

Each year during the General Assembly Virginia Bio tracks bills and resolutions of potential impact introduced in the state legislature and updates members on the website and via webinars. 

Virginia Bio also makes known the industry’s position in hearings and the halls of the General Assembly.  

Virginia Bio has led the development of a Bioscience Caucus in the General Assembly, a bi-partisan, bi-cameral group of approximately 60 state legislators who share a common interest in the development of the bioscience industry in Virginia.  Co-Chairs of the caucus are:

        Senator Janet Howell

                  Delegate Ron Villanueva

We work closely with other state associations like ourselves through the national Council of State Bioscience Associations and the Council of State Government Relations, as well as national organizations including BIO, PhRMA, AdvaMed and MDMA, to identify issues before they arise, to find best practices, and to provide state policy makers the comparative information they require to determine how best for Virginia to compete and excel.  

We work with ally groups across the state, such as local and regional tech councils and the We Work for Health Coalition, to champion issues of common interest that are important to promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and investment in the Commonwealth, the diversification and strengthening of the economy and the well-being of patients.

The Virginia General Assembly and your legislators

The Virginia General Assembly dates from the establishment of the House of Burgesses at Jamestown in 1619. It is heralded by Virginians as the "oldest continuous law-making body in the New World.” The 1776 Virginia Constitution confirmed our bicameral legislature, which consists of the House of Delegates and Senate of Virginia.  The House of Delegates consists of 100 members and the Senate 40 members.  The terms of office are two years for members of the House and four years for members of the Senate. Members may not hold any other public office during their term of office. The General Assembly’s chief responsibilities are to represent citizens in the formulation of public policy, enact laws of the Commonwealth, approve the budget, levy taxes, elect judges and confirm appointments by the Governor.

Virginia’s general election cycle is based on odd numbered years, and statewide office elections are one year off the national Presidential cycle.  Thus, general elections are scheduled for November 5 2017, at which time the three statewide officeholders will be up for election:  Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General, as will all 100 seats in the House of Delegates.  No Senate seats will be up for election; rather all 40 will be up at the next general election in November 2019.   

For more information on your legislators:

       Click here to find out who represents you in the state legislature.

                  Click here to contact your Senator

                  Click here to contact your Delegates

                  Click here to find out who are the current GA 2017 Budget Conferees 

Help us Shape Virginia Bio’s State Policy Agenda,

 and the future of bioscience in Virginia


Virginia Bio’s positions on matters of state policy are driven by our members.  Throughout the year we look to hear from our members about their experiences, successes and frustrations with existing state policies and laws, and ideas for improvements.   

Please help us, and let us know issues of state policy you are concerned about or believe may help you succeed and our industry grow and greater impact.

Click here to submit ideas or questions, or call CEO Jeff Gallagher, at 804-643-6360  

Highlights of Virginia Bio Public Policy Accomplishments in recent years

2017:   General Assembly preserves $1.25 M additional funding per year for VBHRC and enlarges the scope of its programs to achieve its mission.

2016:  General Assembly creates Virginia Research Investment Fund (“VRIF”), GoVirginia economic development structure, and a new “large company” R&D Tax Credit; increases funding and scope of authority for Virginia Bioscience Health Research Corporation (VBHRC, the “Catalyst”) and increases funding for refundable (small company) R&D tax credit; approves $1B Bonding authority, with hundreds of millions of dollars supporting capital projects impacting biomedical R&D.  Governor McAuliffe wins BIO’s Governor of the Year Award in San Francisco.

2015:  General Assembly Approves Increased Funding for refundable R&D Tax Credit

2014: Virginia Bioscience Health Research Corporation (“VBHRC”) created to promote collaboration among research universities and industry with grants for commercialization projects begins operations.

2013:  General Assembly Approves Increased Funding for Angel Investor Tax Credit

2012: $47 Million for Technology Initiatives in Governor’s Proposed Budget

2011: Virginia General Assembly Approves $15M in R&D Initiatives

          Virginia Refundable R&D Credit Passes State Legislature

          R&D Credit Top Legislative Priority for VA Bioscience Industry

2010: VABIO Agenda Passes 2010 State Legislature

          Virginia State Senator Mark Herring Wins BIO’s National State Legislator of the Year Award

          Virginia Biotechs Win $45 Million in Federal Awards

2009: VABIO Advocacy for "Founders’ Credit

          VaBIO Victory at Legislature Delivers Bioscience Tax Credit 

more Events

Webinar: State-Sponsored IP Theft Threats and Countermeasures

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