The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) met on May 3 to approve its plan of work for the remainder of the calendar year. In addition to its ongoing oversight responsibilities, JLARC staff will undertake several study projects that were directed by JLARC members last fall, as well as one additional study that was directed by General Assembly action this year.
JLARC’s planned studies include several of interest to local governments; an overview is provided below.
Review of Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) staffing and funding: This study will review whether VITA is effectively structured and appropriately staffed to carry out its mission of providing information technology infrastructure and oversight of state agency IT functions, including IT projects, security, and risk management, and strategic planning. (Planned report date: September 2021)
Virginia’s Court-Appointed Guardian and Conservator System: This study will review the guardianship and conservatorship process in Virginia, as well as the adult protective services system to determine whether it provides adequate protection for individuals under guardianship and other adults who have suffered abuse, neglect, and exploitation. (Planned report date: October 2021)
Virginia Employment Commission (VEC): This study will review VEC’s handling of unemployment insurance claims, to include its staffing resources, funding levels, modernization of its IT system, and management of the unemployment insurance trust fund. (Planned report date: November 2021)
Adequacy of Virginia’s transportation infrastructure and funding: This study will assess the state’s transportation funding system, to include the sustainability of revenues in light of trends such as the transition to electric vehicles and increases in telework, and the effectiveness of current planning processes in prioritizing needs. (Planned report date: November 2021)
Virginia’s Juvenile Justice System: JLARC staff will review the state’s juvenile justice system, including demographic analyses, an assessment of the number, size, and location of locally-operated detention centers, and a review of education provided within the juvenile justice system as well as diversion and probation services. (Planned report date: December 2021).
Virginia’s Housing Needs: This study, which will conclude in 2022, will focus its first portion on housing affordability, including efforts to increase the development of affordable housing units and to provide direct financial assistance to homeowners and renters. JLARC’s workplan notes that the study team will “identify barriers to expanding supply, such as local zoning and land use ordinances that disincentivize or prevent affordable housing expansions.” The second portion of the study will examine the effectiveness of Virginia Housing in financing affordable housing. (Planned report dates: December 2021 and June 2022)
Progressivity of Virginia’s Individual Income Tax System: This study was directed by the 2021 General Assembly; the study resolution notes that Virginia has not adjusted its income tax brackets and rates since 1990 and requires JLARC to “evaluate the fiscal impact of amendments to tax brackets, tax rates, credits, deductions, and exemptions, as well as any other factors it deems relevant to making Virginia’s individual income tax system more progressive and fair in response to economic dynamics.” At JLARC’s meeting, Senate Finance and Appropriations Chair Janet Howell noted that a related effort is being undertaken by the money committees in response to budget language included in the 2021 Appropriation Act. (Planned report date: 2022, with a status update planned for September 2021)
JLARC’s 2021 work plan may be found at this link.
VACo Contact: Katie Boyle