As has previously been detailed in Capitol Contact as well discussed as at the recent VACo Legislative Day, Governor Northam introduced several funding initiatives in his 2021-2022 budget that are critical to the environmental goals of localities.
Two of the most important proposals are as follows:
- Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (SLAF)
- $182 million in Virginia Public Building Authority bond funding was included in the budget for SLAF. Given that SLAF is a 50-50 cost-share program for local governments, this historic level of funding in the budget equates to $364 million in projects.
- Water Quality Improvement Fund (WQIF)
- $120 million in Virginia Public Building Authority bond funding was included in the budget for WQIF. This cost-share program will substantially assist localities with wastewater treatment plant upgrades.
Members on the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee and the House Appropriations Committee have expressed concerns about how large these investments are, particularly as they rely on the Commonwealth’s debt capacity.
With the Senate Finance and House Appropriations official budget recommendations set to be released this Sunday, February 16, VACo members are encouraged to speak with Delegates and Senators, particularly those on the money committees – Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee and House Appropriations Committee – to express support for these funding levels.
VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.