Proposed 2006 Legislative Priorities
Land Use and Growth Management Priorities
● Growth Management: Request legislation to provide high-growth jurisdictions with growth management tools such as adequate public facilities ordinances, impact fees and transfer of development rights (TDR’s). Continue to provide statewide funding (ex. Virginia Land Conservation Foundation) for open space and natural resources, such as Purchase of Development Rights programs in localities that establish and locally fund such a program (ex. ACE Program in Albemarle County).
● Transient Occupancy Tax: Retain the flexibility currently available in transient occupancy tax legislation so that these funds can continue to be used to support the protection of valuable open-space and resources of historical, cultural, ecological and scenic value that attract tourism.
● Scenic Protection and Tourist Enhancement: Request enabling legislation to provide for a scenic protection and tourist enhancement overlay district. As the County pursues options to protect the visual quality of land as an aesthetic and economic resource, this legislation would provide localities with a method to ensure full consideration of visual resources and scenic areas when the County or State makes land use decisions in designated areas.
● Transportation Funding: Request the state increase funding for transportation so that the present and future transportation needs of the state can be achieved.
● Passenger Rail Service: The County continues its support for and endorses the provision of passenger rail service from Bristol, VA to the Richmond, VA and Washington, DC areas with links to communities along the way.
Health and Human Services Priorities
● Comprehensive Services Act (CSA): Request the state fully fund CSA mandates including obligations for administrative overhead and children, both of which have been shifted to localities in recent years.
● Local Eligibility and Federal Families and Children's Review Requirements Funding: Request the state provide state general funds for appropriate staffing of local departments of social services to determine eligibility for Virginia residences seeking social services, such as, Medicaid, Food Stamps, TANF certain foster children under title IV-E, State local hospital medical program, Auxiliary Grant, General Relief, in a timely manner. Also request the state provide additional general funds to meet the requirements of the Federal Family and Children's Review Requirements.
● Reauthorization of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program: Request the state take advantage of the federal reauthorization of TANF by streamlining eligibility requirements and providing maximum flexibility to localities so that counties can implement the TANF program that best meets local needs.
● Domestic Violence: Request legislation that will prevent convicted domestic abusers from being allowed to possess a gun. Virginia law should be consistent with Federal law.
Public Safety Priorities
● Quality E-911 Systems and Service Delivery: Request the state support local governments in the delivery of emergency services by ensuring that telecommunication systems (including Private Branch Exchanges and Multi Line Telephone Systems) provide optimal information to adequately address emergency situations.
Local Government Administration/Laws Priorities
● Full Funding of State Mandates: Request the state provide full funding for its mandates in all areas of local government. These mandates have been shifted to localities in recent years.
● Local Control of Personal Property Taxation: Request the legislature take no action to restrict or limit the local control of real property taxation.
● E-911 and Telecommunications Taxation: Support the administrative streamlining of telecommunication taxation so long as local dollars remain in or are fairly redistributed to localities.
● Amend Va. Code section 15.2-1507 (Composition of Panel Hearings): Request an amendment to authorize localities at their option to utilize an administrative hearing officer in lieu of the 3-member panel in all cases, similar to the method established for state employee grievances in Va. Code Section 2.2-3005. This should help ensure consistency in applying policies.
● Virginia Retirement System (VRS): Request the state undertake long term planning in establishing VRS rates so that localities are not burdened with significant year-to-year rate changes.
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