Farrell’s bill would give localities right to establish retirement plans

Del. Peter Farrell, R- Henrico, is sponsoring legislation that would give local governments the option to establish and maintain a defined retirement plan for its employees in lieu of other retirement plans. Farrell said this bill was part of his priority to give local governments the option of having more power to govern its own citizens.

“Respecting [local governments’] ability to self-govern in a measured way is important,” Farrell said. “They have the right and capability to make decisions on their own.”

The bill, HB 1331, is also supported by Del. Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg.

Cole said he did not see the bill as placing more responsibilities with local governments, but rather as giving them more options to help their employees.

“It does not require any localities to provide such a plan,” Cole wrote in an email. “But just allows them to do so if they wish.”

The legislation provides that each locality may establish a local retirement system that provides a service retirement allowance to each employee who retires at age 65 or older.

The allowance must equal or exceed two-thirds of the service retirement allowance to which the employee would have been entitled to under the defined benefit plan of the Virginia Retirement System.

The bill, which is currently awaiting a vote in the Appropriations Committee, would affect employees hired on or after July 1.
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New law paves way for delivery robots

Having your groceries delivered by a robot sounds like something out of The Jetsons, but that prospect is not as futuristic as you may think.

For the second year in a row, the Virginia General Assembly has passed a law to legalize the operation of autonomous vehicles. Beginning July 1, “electric personal delivery devices” will be allowed to operate on sidewalks and other shared-use paths throughout Virginia.

> Read more.

Virginia schools must soon test for lead in water

With the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, safe drinking water is a high priority nationwide, especially for children. Beginning July 1, schools in Virginia will be required to test their potable water for lead.

Senate Bill 1359, which Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed into law on March 20, seeks to ensure that local school boards test the drinking water in schools and that it meets federal guidelines. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that the level of lead not exceed 15 parts per billion. > Read more.

Business in brief


The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) has announced its officers and Board of Directors for the 2017–18 fiscal year. At-large Board members include: Anne B. Hagen, CPA, of Masonic Home of Virginia in Henrico. The officers and directors were sworn in at the VSCPA’s annual business meeting on May 16 in Williamsburg. > Read more.

Free weekly 5k coming to Henrico

The Richmond metro area is no stranger to 5k races and events. To participate in most 5k events, runners must register and pay a fee. But the Parkrun organization will be providing Henrico County with a free 5k every Saturday at Deep Run Park starting June 3.

Parkrun began in England in 2004 and eventually found its way to the U.S.

The Deep Run Parkrun program will be the 10th one in the U.S., said Darrell Stanaford, the country manager for Parkrun USA. > Read more.

State Police urge motorists to #MoveOver during Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day signifies the official start of summer, and Virginia State Police officials are urging motorists to "do what’s right when they see lights" and move over.

The “Move Over” law is a lifesaving law intended to protect public safety professionals and highway workers who help to maintain the safety of the Commonwealth’s roads. State Police are using the #MoveOver hashtag on social media to promote the law. > Read more.

Henrico Business Bulletin Board

May 2017
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The 2016 film “Mother’s Day” (rated PG-13) will play at 7 p.m. May 5 and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. May 6 at the Henrico Theatre, 305 E. Nine Mile Rd. Tickets are $1 and can be purchased at the door. For details, call 328-4491. Full text

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