As the General Assembly turns its attention to preparation for the 2018 session, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) met on May 8 to approve its work plan for 2017. In addition to its statutorily-mandated oversight of the Virginia Retirement System and the Virginia College Savings Plan, among other responsibilities, JLARC undertakes studies at the request of the General Assembly or by direction of Commission members.
JLARC plans to issue reports in 2017 on several issues of interest to local governments. A report on the regulation and use of biosolids and industrial residuals as fertilizer is scheduled to be presented on October 10. JLARC staff will brief the Commission on state early childhood programs on December 11. A briefing on the Virginia Community College System, to include “outcomes and affordability of the academic and workforce programs provided by community colleges,” is scheduled for September 11. All of these reports were directed by study resolutions passed by the General Assembly in 2016.
A major new area of study this year is state employee compensation, a topic JLARC agreed to undertake at the recommendation of the Commission on Employee Retirement Security and Pension Reform last year. State leaders have expressed concern about problems with employee turnover and recruitment in the state workforce; JLARC staff will work with a consultant to compare total state employee compensation to compensation packages offered by large employers for similar positions. State employee groups have advocated for compensation increases to be more integrated into the state’s budget development process, rather than being funded out of available revenues on an ad-hoc basis. This report is due to be presented on November 13.
JLARC staff will also issue reports on areas of ongoing oversight, including economic development incentives (November 13), state spending (October 10), funding for the Standards of Quality (December 11), and VRS (July 10 and December 11).
JLARC’s 2017 workplan, which includes a full calendar of briefings, is available on its website.
VACo Contact: Katie Boyle