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Commonwealth's Counties

Support Needed for VACo Budget Amendments

Several budget amendments were introduced at VACo’s request. Budget amendments have begun to be heard in the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees in advance of the money committees reporting their respective budgets on February 5.

Calls are needed in support of the following amendments:

VRS Teacher Plan
Item 475 #1h (Kilgore) | Item 475 #2h (Kory) | Item 139 #3s (Carrico) | Item 475 #5s (Chafin) | Item 475 #6s (Saslaw) – Returns to the 2012 schedule for phasing in full funding of the actuarial rates for the Virginia Retirement System teacher plan, which would bring the rates to full funding in FY 2019, rather than the accelerated plan agreed to in 2016, which would bring the rates to full funding in FY 2018. This action would save the state approximately $50 million in FY 2018, and would save localities at least $76 million (for the SOQ-recognized positions).

Standards of Quality
Item 130 #1h (Sickles) | Item 130 #1s (Howell) – Requires the Secretaries of Education and Finance to work with key General Assembly committee chairs to develop a plan to phase in full funding of the recent Board of Education recommendations for the Standards of Quality, where those standards reflect prevailing practice (staffing standards for elementary school principals and assistant principals, and lifting the cap on support positions that was put in place during the recession).

Study the Adequacy of Resources to School Divisions
Item 137 #1h (O’Quinn) | Item 137 #1s (Chafin) – Requests $1 million for an adequacy study to determine the appropriate level of resources needed for school divisions to meet state accountability requirements. The study is to examine particular challenges for schools, such as the effect of concentrations of poverty and declining enrollment, and identify the funding required to meet the Standards of Learning, Standards of Accreditation, and Standards of Quality, including potential weighted funding for students with special needs, including economically disadvantaged students eligible for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program, students with limited English proficiency, and students eligible for special education services.

Local Representation in Mental Health System Evaluation
Item 284 #3h (Watts) | Item 284 #3s (Barker) – Ensures local government representation on the stakeholders group that will be developing the contract for a plan to redesign the community mental health system.

Children’s Services Act
Item 285 #1h (Hester) | Item 285 #1s (Hanger) – Eliminates the cap on funds for wraparound services for children in special education through the Children’s Services Act. The cap makes the process of requesting and using the funds cumbersome, but localities that make use of the funds appear to increase their ability to serve children in their neighborhood schools without resorting to out-of-school placements.

Children’s Services Act Fund Match Rate
Item 285 #2h (Hester) | Item 285 #2s (Hanger) – Reduces the match rate for special education wraparound services to the community-based rate rather than the base rate. This action would return these services to their original classification and was supported by the State and Local Advisory Team and the State Executive Council in fall 2016.

Remove Local Match in CSA for Residential Services
Item 285 #5h (Boysko) | Item 285 #3s (Barker) – Eliminates the local Medicaid match in the Children’s Services Act, which is currently required for residential treatment and treatment foster care.

Department of Corrections PILT
Item 394 #3s (Ruff) – Provides $1.4 million for the cost of service charges for Department of Corrections facilities and eliminates language that exempts the Department of Corrections from the requirement to pay service charges levied by a locality in lieu of taxes to cover the cost of services provided to state correctional facilities.

Police Department Funding
Item 400 #1h (James) | Item 400 #1s (Wagner) – Provides $5.7 million to increase “HB 599” funding (aid to localities with police departments) to match the growth in General Fund revenues, as required by statute.

Other Priority Amendments VACo Supports

Stormwater Assistance Fund
Item 370 #1h (Landes) | Item 370 #2h (Lingamfelter) – Provides $20 million in General Funds for the State and Local Assistance Fund for stormwater projects. Item C-48.10 #6h (Yancey) and Item C-48.10 #1s (Hanger) provide for $20 million in bond proceeds for the same purpose.

Water Quality Improvement Fund
Item 364 #6h (Landes) – Provides $8.2 million for agricultural Best Management Practices (BMP), $8.2 million in FY 2018. Item 364 #2s (Hanger) provides $8.2 million for agricultural BMPs, $8.2 million in FY 2018. Item 364 #4h (Lingamfelter) provides $10 million for agricultural BMPs, $10 million in FY 2018.

VACo Members – Please call members of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees to express support.

House Appropriations Members: Jones (Chairman), Landes (Vice Chair), Ingram, Cox, O’Bannon, Lingamfelter, Poindexter, Massie, Peace, Greason, Knight, Anderson, Garrett, Stolle, Rush, Torian, Hester, Sickles, James, Carr, McQuinn, Aird

Senate Finance Committee Members: Norment (Co-Chair), Hanger (Co-Chair), Howell, Saslaw, Lucas, Newman, Ruff, Wagner, McDougle, Vogel, Carrico, Obenshain, Barker, Dunnavant, Stuart, Dance

VACo Members – Share your thoughts on FlagPoll.

VACo Contact: Katie Boyle

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