In addition to the requests made by VACo, VML, and partner organizations that were discussed in the January 21 edition of County Connections, a number of helpful budget amendments have been introduced that address county priorities. VACo appreciates the work of legislators in introducing these proposals and encourages members to contact their legislators, especially those legislators who serve on the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, to support items of particular interest.
Item 75 #1h (Bulova)/Item 75 #1s (Norment)/Item 75 #2s (Petersen) provides $1.4 million GF in FY 2023 and $2.5 million GF in FY 2024 to restore state support for 154 Compensation Board allocated positions in offices of Commissioners of the Revenue that were previously de-funded due to previous budget reductions. This funding will support the restoration of 65 percent of unfunded positions in FY 2023 and 100 percent of unfunded positions in FY 2024.
Item 78 #2s (Lucas) provides $744,176 GF in FY 2023 and $1.6 million GF in FY 2024 to restore 226 unfunded deputy treasurer positions in treasurers’ offices, the state share of which has not been fully funded since 2002.
Item 89 #5h (Webert) would provide $500,000 GF per year to reimburse localities for the costs of providing prepaid postage for the return of absentee ballots.
Item 89 #10h (Kilgore) would provide $2.2 million GF in FY 2023 for the state to provide notice to all registered voters regarding changes to elections districts as a result of redistricting. Due to the renumbering of House and Senate districts, all voters will need to receive this notice, and if the state does not assume this responsibility, localities will be responsible for these mailing costs.
Item 98 #9h (McQuinn)/Item 98 #2s (McClellan) would provide $1 million GF per year for the Virginia Food Access Investment Program, which provides loans or grants to assist grocers, farmers markets, and other retailers in high-need areas to expand or commence the operations of their facilities.
Commerce and Trade
Item 115 #5s (Edwards) is a language amendment directing the Department of Housing and Community Development to give priority to Virginia Telecommunication Initiative proposals from public broadband authorities for department awards in connection with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA, to use criteria consistent with ARPA and associated U.S. Treasury guidance, and not to require private sector participation in these proposals.
Item 137 #6h (Bourne)/Item 137 #12h (Kory)/Item 137 #21h (Reid)/Item 137 #9s (Barker)/Item 137 #15s (McClellan) provides $419.2 million GF in FY 2023 and $430.5 million GF in FY 2024 to eliminate the cap on recognition of support positions in the Standards of Quality.
Item 137 #2h (Reid)/Item 137 #10s (Bell) would provide $50 million GF in FY 2023 and $52.5 million GF in FY 2024 to increase the Cost of Competing Adjustment (COCA) for support positions in the school divisions in Planning District 8 (from 18 to 39 percent), and for certain adjacent divisions specified in the Appropriation Act (from 4.5 to 9.75 percent). Item 137 #4h (Delaney)/Item 137 #11s (Marsden) would provide $15.6 million GF in FY 2023 and $16.6 million GF in FY 2024 to restore the historic Cost of Competing Adjustment (COCA) rate for support positions in the school divisions in Planning District 8 (from 18 to 24.61 percent) for the adjacent school divisions (from 4.5 to 6.16 percent).
Item 240 #2h (Carr) would provide $2.5 million GF per year in aid to local public libraries. Item 240 #1s (Locke) and Item 240 #2s (Norment) would provide the $2.5 million GF per year and also state that it is the objective of the Commonwealth to fully fund the state formula for state aid to local public libraries, with the FY 2023 and FY 2024 funding representing the first two years of a four-year phase-in of full funding, with the goal of completing the phase-in in FY 2026.
Item 277 #1s (Stuart) would provide $1 million GF per year in state funding to subsidize local real estate tax relief for disabled veterans and surviving spouses of servicemembers killed in action when more than one percent of a locality’s tax base is exempt pursuant to these mandatory exemptions.
Health and Human Resources
Item 313 #3h (Coyner) expands the eligibility of the existing $3.7 million annual appropriation for discharge planning at jails for individuals with serious mental illness to also include emergency client assistance resources, and expands the number of jails eligible to receive the funds. Current budget language limits receipt of the funds to five jails. Item 313 #3s (Deeds) similarly expands the number of jails eligible to receive the funds.
Item 313 #5s (Favola) provides $9.3 million GF each year to implement the mental health awareness response and community understanding services (MARCUS) alert system programs and community care teams for CSBs located in Region 2.
Item 313 #7s (Ebbin) would provide $11 million GF in FY 2024 to expand Crisis Intervention Team Assessment Centers or Crisis Stabilization Units into crisis receiving centers. Item 486 #23s (Ebbin) is intended to provide an additional $11 million in ARPA funding for this purpose in FY 2023.
Item 345 #3s (Mason) would provide $180,000 GF/$60,000 NGF in FY 2023 and $360,000 GF/$120,000 NGF in FY 2024 to add slots to the Child Welfare Stipend Program, which assists local departments of social services in recruiting and retaining staff.
Item 404 #10h (Wachsmann) would remove current budget language which exempts the Department of Corrections from the payment of service charges levied in lieu of taxes by local governments and would provide $1.4 million GF each year to fund these service charges.
Item 404 #22h (Runion) provides $5 million GF per year for the Department of Corrections to reimburse local and regional jails for the costs of incarcerating state-responsible inmates; this amendment is a placeholder for related legislation that would provide for compensation at a rate of $12 per inmate per day for the first 60 days, at the rate of $40 per inmate per day during the period of more than 60 but not more than 90 days, and for the actual cost of incarceration as calculated in the jail report prepared annually by the Compensation Board for more than 90 days.
VACo Contact: Katie Boyle