The Governor’s Task Force for Local Government Mandate review met on December 10 and agreed upon several priorities to put forward to the Governor and General Assembly in advance of the 2015 session. The interim report focused on three themes: (1) protecting local government revenue sources; (2) discouraging the practice of shifting state financial responsibilities to local governments; and (3) implementing legislative process improvements to better inform the legislature and administration of the impacts of proposals on localities.
The task force put forward the following six priorities:
- Protect local government authority to raise revenue.
- Eliminate the state capture of local fines and fees.
- Eliminate the return of local aid to the state.
- Fully fund the Line of Duty Act Program and look to efficiencies that can be implemented from the December 2014 JLARC study.
- Fully fund the Health Insurance Credit for Retired Teachers.
- Reinstate the First-Day Introduction for local fiscal impact legislation.
The interim report includes specific facts and figures about the impact of these current big ticket mandates on Virginia’s localities. The priorities of the task force mirror many of the issues identified in VACo’s 2015 Legislative Program. VACo will continue to partner with the task force to bring these issues forward in the 2015 General Assembly session.
The task force plans to meet again in May of 2015 and will turn its attention to mandates and potential process improvements at specific state agencies. The Department of Planning and Budget (DPB) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are likely to be the first agencies to speak to and receive feedback from the task force.
Click here for a link to the task force web page.
VACo Contact: Erik Johnston