The Local Government Recovery Task Force held its first virtual meeting on June 8 to discuss issues related to the near-term reopening of the state’s economy, as well as local government priorities for the upcoming special session this summer and long-term issues for consideration in the Governor’s December 2020 budget and the 2021 legislative session. VACo is grateful for the service of President-Elect Jeff McKay, Immediate Past President Sherrin Alsop, Past President Mary Biggs, Past President William Kyger, and Region 2 Director Ruth Larson on the Task Force, which was convened to serve as a resource for the Administration and to provide a perspective from local governments as the state works through the recovery process. Five representatives from the Virginia Municipal League join VACo’s members in serving on the Task Force.
Key areas discussed at the June 8 meeting include the importance of regular communication with localities as the state moves through its phased reopening plan, the need for joint advocacy for additional federal assistance that can be used to replace lost revenues, and the need for discussion with localities about the plan for reopening schools in the fall. Members also discussed priorities for this summer’s special session, stressing the importance of preserving state aid to localities, avoiding permanent, structural cuts in state support, and protecting local revenue sources. Task Force members updated Governor Northam and his staff on the conversation during the Governor’s biweekly call with VACo’s Board of Directors and VML leadership last week.
The Task Force plans to continue its work over the coming months and will discuss proposed solutions to long-term issues identified by members. Initial areas for discussion included access to child care, mental health issues, and long-term economic impacts to areas of the state that are reliant on tourism.
VACo Contact: Katie Boyle