Governor Bob McDonnell ceremonially signed 20 pieces of government reform legislation today at the first Governor's Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring meeting of 2011, which was held at the State Capitol in Richmond. During the meeting the governor also signed Executive Order #32, which officially begins phase II of the Government Reform Commission. Governor McDonnell was joined at today's meeting and signing ceremony by Commission Chairman Fred Malek, Speaker of the House William J. Howell, vice chairman of the commission, members of the General Assembly and commission members.
Speaking about the legislation signed today, Governor McDonnell commented, "Government must work well for its owners, the taxpayers. Over the last year, our Government Reform Commission has worked to identify ways to make government work more efficiently and effectively, streamline government functions, and make government more transparent. Many of the recommendations they made at the end of last year resulted in legislation for the 2011 General Assembly session. It included: legislation eliminating 49 boards and commissions; ending, for the first time in 10 years, two unfunded mandates on localities; increasing transparency and ease of use in the accessing of state spending information; and, establishing an Inspector General to investigate waste and inefficiencies in state government. We are also going to implement a number of recommendations from the Government Reform Commission administratively, by issuing an executive directive. Those recommendations are still being finalized and will be announced in the near future."
Governor McDonnell continued, "We are committed to making state government smaller, more innovative and transparent. There is much more work to be done. That is why today I signed Executive Order #32 which will begin phase II of the Government Reform Commission. This commission produced great results last year and identified many ways to reform government both legislatively and administratively. I hope that over the next year we will see more great suggestions and direction on ways we can refocus our government on its core functions to save taxpayers money and make government work better."
Government Reform Commission Chairman Fred Malek added, "I applaud Governor McDonnell's continued effort to reform state government. Now is the time to continue to propose dynamic ideas that consolidate state functions, make greater use of technology and eliminate programs and practices that don't work. Government must return to delivering core services and do it in a cost efficient manner, the way all Virginians expect."
Speaker of the House William J. Howell, vice chairman of the Government Reform Commission, concluded, "In this still slowly rebounding economy and with energy prices taking a bigger bite out of people's paychecks, Virginians are having to make do on less, and their state government must do the same. It must live within its means and be made smaller, smarter, more efficient, easier to access and less burdensome to taxpayers. As vice chair of the Governor's Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring, I strongly support improving the delivery of government services, maximizing the return on taxpayer investments and minimizing the costs of government wherever possible. With Governor McDonnell's leadership, we made real progress reforming government this past session and I look forward to continuing our efforts this year because it's what people expect and deserve."
Government Reform Legislation Signed Today:
HB1592 (Iaquinto) -- Requires all state agencies and regional bodies to put requests for proposal and invitations to bid on the Virginia Department of General Services' website.
* The bill encourages, but does not require, local public bodies to likewise
HB1842 (Cole)/ SB1280 (McWaters) -- Boards, commissions, and councils requiring policy improvement
* Establishes staggered terms for non-legislative citizen members appointed by the governor
* Clarifies the governor's authority when provided lists of nominees by non-governmental entities
* Standardizes the terms of chairmen of entities appointed by the governor to two years and limiting such appointees to two consecutive terms as chair. The bill contains technical amendments
SB1276 (Ruff) Local disability services boards
* Eliminates the Disability Services Council
* Eliminates the State Rehabilitative Services Incentive Fund
* Eliminates the requirement that localities establish 40 local disability services boards
* Eliminates the authority of localities to establish local rehabilitative services incentive funds
HB2058 (Poindexter) -- Consolidation of water quality project reports concerning Virginia's impaired waters.
* Consolidates several reports on the progress in cleaning up Virginia's impaired waters into semiannual and annual reports submitted by the Secretary of Natural Resources to the legislative committees of oversight
SB1477 (Stosch)/ HB2076 (Landes, Chief Co-Patron; Brink) -- Establishment of a State Inspector General
* Consolidates disparate positions into one central, independent agency and transforms the State's Internal Auditor into an Inspector General with enhanced authority to proactively pursue complaints concerning fraud, waste and abuse in state government
HB2201 (Comstock) -- Consolidating Payroll Services
* Provides that the Department of Planning and Budget, in consultation with the Virginia Department of Accounts, shall require all executive branch agencies of the Commonwealth to participate in the Payroll Service Bureau operated by the Virginia Department of Accounts
HB2277 (Keam) -- Efficiency in Reimbursement Plans
* Provides that citizen members of boards, committees, councils, or other collegial bodies, who are appointed at the state level, who receive three or more travel reimbursements annually shall be required to participate in the Electronic Data Interchange Program administered by the Virginia Department of Accounts as a condition of accepting such appointment
HB 2197 (Comstock) -- Creates a telework tax credit
* Provides a $1,200 per teleworking employee tax credit to employers for expenses incurred in allowing employees to telework pursuant to a signed telework agreement for taxable years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2012, but before Jan. 1, 2014. The total credit amount any one employer may take for 2012 and 2013 is $50,000.
HB2319 (Byron)/SB 1382 (Stanley) -- Assessment of Efficiency of Mandates
* Provides that the assessment of mandates imposed on local government currently required include a detailed cost-benefit analysis and utilization of performance-based metrics to determine the value of the mandate in relation to the required or intended output or desired result
HB2337 (Garrett)/ HB2338 (Garrett) -- Notice by Certified Mail
* Provides that whenever a state agency or local government sends any mail or notice by certified mail then any additional mail or notice that is sent by such state agency pertaining to the same subject matter and purpose may be sent by regular mail
HB2376 (Habeeb) -- Removes Virginia Department of Social Services agency mandates related to office space of local social services.
* Directs the Department of Social Services to eliminate mandates related to office space and facility requirements imposed on local departments of social services
HB2435 (Habeeb) -- Directs the Virginia Department of Corrections to eliminate mandates related to contract inmate classification reporting requirements imposed on localities.
* This mandate has been recommended for elimination by the department
SB1471 (Martin)/ HB2520 (Peace) -- Eliminates certain advisory boards and commissions.
* This legislation eliminates nine advisory boards and commissions as recommended by the Governor's Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring
SB1001 (Watkins) -- Changes the authorities of the Virginia Board of Corrections.
* Repeals the board's authority to ensure the development of long-range programs and plans for corrections services provided at the state and local level; review and comment on all applications for federal funds and all budget and appropriations requests for the Virginia Department of Corrections prior to submission to the governor; and monitor the activities of the department and its effectiveness in implementing standards and goals of the board
SB1057 (McDougle) -- Authorizes state executive branch agencies to develop one consolidated report for submission instead of multiple reports.
* Authorizes state entities required to submit a report to multiple legislative branch entities to develop a consolidated report containing all required information that clearly delineates each legislative branch entity for which specific information is provided