Kemper Consulting Named Tier 1 Government Relations Firm

Norfolk, VA – Today Kemper Consulting was again named a top tier government relations firm in the U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2019 Edition. These two publications have issued the law firm rankings for the sixth consecutive year.

Firms included in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

Kemper Consulting Principal again named to Best Lawyers in America

Norfolk, VA – John-Garrett Kemper has once again been selected by his peers to be included in the 25th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Government Relations Practice by BestLawyers.com. Joining him this year is Fred Helm, also in the Government Relations Practice.

The oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession, Best Lawyers, is widely regarded as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. They have, over more than three decades, been respected as an unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.

Congratulations to John-Garrett and Fred on their honors. The team at Kemper Consulting is a widely respected Virginia Government Relations firm with offices in Norfolk and Richmond.

Kemper Consulting Principal again named to Best Lawyers in America

Norfolk, VA – John-Garrett Kemper, Vice President and Counsel, at Kemper Consulting has been selected by his peers to be included in the 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Government Relations Practice by BestLawyers.com.

The oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession, Best Lawyers, is widely regarded as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. They have, over more than three decades, been respected as an unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.

Congratulations to John-Garrett on this honor. The team at Kemper Consulting is a widely respected Virginia Government Relations firm with offices in Norfolk and Richmond.

Virginia’s Fiscal Year End Update

On August 26, Governor Terry McAuliffe presented his fiscal year end address to a joint meeting of the General Assembly’s “money committees” (the committees of House Appropriations, House Finance and Senate Finance). As foreshadowed, the revenue news is disappointing. State general fund revenues rose by only 1.7 percent in fiscal year 2016 or $268.9 million short of the adopted forecast of 3.2 percent growth. Coupled with a $10.4 million decrease in transfers, the total FY 2016 shortfall is $279.3 million.

The revised interim forecast of today reduces FY 2017 revenues from 3.2 percent to 1.7 percent for a decrease of $564.4 million, and FY 2018 revenues from 3.9 percent to 3.6 percent for a reduction of $632.7 million. The total 2017-2018 biennial budget shortfall is just under $1.2 billion, but the combined budget shortfall is $1.476 billion (when factoring in the FY 2016 reduction).

Unlike the FY 2014 revenue shortfall that was driven largely by a fall in capital gains earnings, this downturn is driven by lower than expected payroll withholding and state sales tax revenues. These two sources combined account for the lion’s share of the current shortfall.

The good news is in the Commonwealth’s rate of job growth. More than 86,000 jobs were created in FY 2016. After five straight years of job growth hovering at one percent, Virginia saw a 2.3 percent gain last budget year, the strongest rate since FY 2005. And Virginia’s growth is above the national average of 2.0 percent.

While more jobs were created, state tax revenues have not increased. 47.6 percent of the new jobs are considered “low wage” with an average weekly salary range of $267 to $940. Comparatively, 15.1 percent of the new jobs are considered “high wage” with an average weekly salary wage range of $1,514 to $2,087. This wage trend translates to a budget problem.

Since actual FY 2016 revenues were more than one percent below the forecasted estimate, the Governor was required to revise the official 2017-2018 biennial budget revenue estimate. As required, the Commonwealth’s Joint Advisory Board of Economists met on July 15 to discuss the economic outlook, and the Governor’s separate Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates (GACRE) met just last week. Relying on available data, counsel from his budget team and the advisory groups, the Governor chose a “standard forecast” rather than a more pessimistic one. (The difference between the standard and the gloomy estimates is approximately $700 million.)

As a result of the revenue downturn, the Governor announced that the previously authorized FY 2017 state, teacher and state-local employee raises are on hold. This action saves more than $125 million the first year. Additionally, the Governor indicated that up to $378 million is available from the Rainy Day Fund to help shore up FY 2017. These two actions, if adopted by the General Assembly, would address 89 percent of the FY 2017 shortfall.

Moving forward, the Governor will immediately start to identify and implement budget actions. Consequently, state agencies may reduce spending upwards of 15 percent.

Over the next three months, significant revenue milestones will be incorporated into the fall forecasting process culminating with the GACRE review of state revenues through FY 2020. In December, the Governor will unveil an updated revenue forecast and introduce his amended biennial budget. His proposals will suggest implemented savings for the 2017-2018 biennial budget. The General Assembly will convene on January 11, 2017.

Kemper Consulting will continue to keep you apprised of major budget events or actions. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kemper Consulting Principal again named to Best Lawyers in America

Norfolk, VA – John-Garrett Kemper, Vice President and Counsel, at Kemper Consulting has been selected by his peers to be included in the 23nd Edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Government Relations Practice by BestLawyers.com.

The oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession, Best Lawyers, is widely regarded as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. They have, over more than three decades, been respected as an unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.

Congratulations to John-Garrett on this honor. The team at Kemper Consulting is a widely respected Virginia Government Relations firm with offices in Norfolk and Richmond.

Kemper Consulting Announces that Former Senator Marty Williams will join the firm as a Senior Affiliated Consultant

Untitled

For Immediate Release
Contact: Marianne Radcliff, 804-649-7945

RICHMOND, VA (December 4, 2015) — Kemper Consulting is pleased to announce that former Senator Marty Williams, President of River City Strategies LLC, has joined the firm as a Senior Affiliated Consultant.

Mr. Williams served in the Virginia Senate for twelve years, chairing the Senate Transportation Committee and the Joint Republican Caucus. Prior to serving in the Virginia Senate, he served on the Newport News City Council where he was Vice Mayor. Currently, Mr. Williams serves as President of River City Strategies LLC, a Richmond based consulting firm specializing in private sector development services. Mr. Williams also currently serves on the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

Mr. Williams will continue in his primary role as President of River City Strategies while providing strategic, targeted assistance to Kemper Consulting and its clients. Mr. Williams will play a similar role as past senior affiliated consultants at Kemper Consulting such as former Delegate Glenn R. Croshaw and former Senator Wiley F. Mitchell.

Kemper Consulting is a full service government relations firm with offices in Hampton Roads and Richmond. Kemper Consulting provides government relations services to Fortune 500 companies, private corporations, large trade associations, and local governments.

Kemper Consulting Named Top Tier Government Relations Firm by US News & World Report

Norfolk, VA – Today Kemper Consulting was again named a top tier government relations firm in the U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2016 Edition. These two publications have issued the law firm rankings for the sixth consecutive year.

Firms included in the 2016 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

“For thirty years, U.S. News has provided consumers with accurate, in-depth information and rankings of a wide range of institutions,” says Tim Smart, Executive Editor of U.S. News & World Report. “Law firms are an integral part of our rankings and a natural accompaniment to the law school rankings.”

The 2016 “Best Law Firms” rankings can be seen in their entirety by visiting www.bestlawyers.com

Kemper Consulting is a full service government relations firm with offices in Hampton Roads and Richmond. Kemper Consulting provides government relations services to Fortune 500 companies, private corporations, large trade associations, and local governments.

Kemper Consulting Named Top Small Lobbying Firm in Virginia

RICHMOND, VA (October 8, 2015) —Southern Political Report Magazine (SPR) has named Kemper Consulting the number one small lobbying firm in Virginia. The SPR rankings are divided into two categories for each state: large law firms and small lobbying firms.

John-Garrett Kemper, Vice-President and Counsel, Kemper Consulting, said, “It is a privilege to be named among the top lobbying firms in the South. This honor is a credit to the hard work and ethics of the entire Kemper Consulting team in both of our Virginia offices.”

Phil Kent, SPR Publisher, said, “Rating top government affairs firms and lobbyists in order of distinction is a thorny enterprise. But The Southern Political Report believes it is a service to our readers to attempt to rank the top government affairs firms and lobbyists who labor diligently in the legislative vineyards. After all, these men and woman shape public policy all over the South. That’s why we regularly talk to various movers-and-shakers in 13 Southern states ‘in the know.’ Some are accomplished lobbyists themselves, or they are the clients big and small that they serve. They know who the best are and, with this issue, now you will know who they are!”

Kemper Consulting is a full service government relations firm with offices in Hampton Roads and Richmond. Kemper Consulting provides government relations services to Fortune 500 companies, private corporations, large trade associations, and local governments.

SPR is a leading political magazine based in Atlanta, GA that compiles lobbyist rankings in all southern states and featured the current rankings in their Summer 2015 issue.

Kemper Consulting Principal Named to Best Lawyers in America

Norfolk, VA – John-Garrett Kemper, Vice President and Counsel, at Kemper Consulting has been selected by his peers to be included in the 22nd Edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Government Relations Practice by BestLawyers.com.

The oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession, Best Lawyers, is widely regarded as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. They have, over more than three decades, been respected as an unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.

Congratulations to John-Garrett on this honor. The team at Kemper Consulting is a widely respected Virginia Government Relations firm with offices in Norfolk and Richmond.

Virginia General Assembly Adjourns Sine Die

This evening the General Assembly adjourned the 2015 session early for the first time in recent memory. While the session overall was fairly uneventful from a headline perspective, a number of significant policy items were addressed.

First, a budget agreement was reached last weekend and passed both chambers yesterday with overwhelmingly bi-partisan majorities. The agreement includes $129.5 million in rainy-day fund pre-payment for FY17, eliminates $11.7 million in fees from the introduced budget, and provides $153.5 million in funding for a comprehensive compensation package for state employees, state police officers, state-supported local employees, teachers, and college faculty.

Second, comprehensive sexual assault reform on college campuses was addressed including mandatory reporting requirements and support services. Schools are required to establish a memorandum of understanding with an unaffiliated sexual assault support service to make sure every victim can get support and advice from an unbiased group. All decisions regarding public safety will be made by a review team and every charge of felony sexual assault will either be released immediately to the police or sent for review to the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Third, two major transportation reform initiatives, championed by Governor McAuliffe, passed. HB 1887 creates a new formula to allocate transportation dollars, replacing the current $500 million CTB and 40-30-30 formulas, becoming effective in 2020. Some dollars will transition through the new formula starting next year. The new formula allocates 45 percent of transportation construction dollars to a new “state of good repair” program, 27.5 percent to a newly established “high priority” projects program, and 27.5 percent to a highway construction district grant program. HB 1886 requires that a finding of public interest be made before procurement on all projects undertaking pursuant to the PPTA.

Fourth, two bills created a regulatory framework for the operation of Transportation Network Companies (TNC) like Uber and Lyft. While they have been operating in the Commonwealth since last summer, this legislation provides a permanent solution to their ongoing operations.

Fifth, legislation increasing the regulations on family day homes passed both chambers. The bill increases the background screening required of day home care providers plus adds additional barrier crimes to those who are not permitted to provide care. Homes providing care for five or more children, not including children that reside in the home, must be licensed by the Department of Social Services. The bill also requires the department develop additional regulations to implement these safeguards.

Finally, as their last action before adjourning members agreed on a comprehensive ethics reform bill. The annual lobbyist registration fee was increased from $50 to $100. All gifts to elected officials, both tangible and intangible, were capped at $100. Due to the new gift ban, the bill added an exemption for “widely attended events” where at least 25 people have been invited. Last, the Council was given the power to approve travel paid for by certain third parties. In doing so, the Council must consider how the travel relates to the official duties of the requester.

These are just a few of the highlights from the last two months. Members will be returning on April 15th for the reconvened session where they will consider amendments and/or vetoes from the Governor. Lastly, with the members adjourning this evening we are officially in campaign mode. As a reminder, all 140 members of the General Assembly are up for reelection this November and with eight members already announcing they won’t return there is sure to be some turnover.