Economic Development Partnership Authority, Virginia

§ 2.2-2234. Short title; declaration of public purpose; Authority created

A. This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Virginia Economic Development Partnership Act."

B. The General Assembly has determined that there exists in the Commonwealth a need to encourage, stimulate and support the development and expansion of the economy of the Commonwealth through economic development.

C. To achieve the objective of subsection B, there is created a political subdivision of the Commonwealth to be known as the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority. The Authority's exercise of powers and duties conferred by this article shall be deemed the performance of an essential governmental function and matters of public necessity for which public moneys may be spent and private property acquired.

1995, c. 638, §§ 2.1-548.26, 2.1-548.28; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-2235. Repealed

Repealed by Acts 2017, cc. 804 and 824, cl. 2, effective April 5, 2017.

§ 2.2-2236. Powers and duties of the Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer shall employ or retain such agents or employees subordinate to the Chief Executive Officer as may be necessary to fulfill the duties of the Authority conferred upon the Chief Executive Officer, subject to the Board's approval. Employees of the Authority shall be eligible for membership in the Virginia Retirement System and participation in all of the health and related insurance and other benefits, including premium conversion and flexible benefits, available to state employees as provided by law. The Chief Executive Officer shall also exercise such of the powers and duties relating to the direction of the Commonwealth's economic development efforts conferred upon the Authority as may be delegated to him by the Board, including powers and duties involving the exercise of discretion. The Chief Executive Officer shall also exercise and perform such other powers and duties as may be lawfully delegated to him or as may be conferred or imposed upon him by law.

1995, c. 638, § 2.1-548.32; 1996, cc. 590, 598; 1998, c. 359; 2001, c. 844; 2010, c. 869.

§ 2.2-2237. Powers of Authority

The Authority is granted all powers necessary or convenient for the carrying out of its statutory purposes, including, but not limited to, the power to:

1. Sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, complain and defend in all courts;

2. Adopt, use, and alter at will a common seal;

3. Acquire, purchase, hold, use, lease or otherwise dispose of any property, real, personal or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein necessary or desirable for carrying out the purposes of the Authority, and to lease as lessee, any property, real, personal or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, at such annual rental and on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Board and to lease as lessor to any person, any property, real, personal or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, at any time acquired by the Authority, whether wholly or partially completed, at such annual rental and on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Board and to sell, transfer or convey any property, real, personal or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, at any time acquired or held by the Authority on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Board, provided that the terms of any conveyance or lease of real property shall be subject to the prior written approval of the Governor;

4. Fix, alter, charge and collect rates, rentals, fees, and other charges for the use of property of, the sale of products of, or services rendered by the Authority at rates to be determined by it for the purpose of providing for the payment of the expenses of the Authority;

5. Make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties, the furtherance of its purposes, and the execution of its powers under this article, including agreements with any person or federal agency;

6. Employ, at its discretion, consultants, researchers, attorneys, architects, engineers, accountants, financial experts, investment bankers, superintendents, managers, and such other employees and agents as may be necessary, and to fix their compensation to be payable from funds made available to the Authority. The Authority may hire employees within and without the Commonwealth and the United States without regard to whether such employees are citizens of the Commonwealth. Legal services for the Authority shall be provided by the Attorney General in accordance with Chapter 5 (§ 2.2-500 et seq.);

7. Receive and accept from any federal or private agency, foundation, corporation, association or person, grants or other aid to be expended in accomplishing the objectives of the Authority, and receive and accept from the Commonwealth or any state, and any municipality, county or other political subdivision thereof or from any other source, aid or contributions of either money, property, or other things of value, to be held, used, and applied only for the purposes for which such grants and contributions may be made. All federal moneys accepted under this section shall be accepted and expended by the Authority upon such terms and conditions as are prescribed by the United States and as are consistent with state law; and all state moneys accepted under this section shall be expended by the Authority upon such terms and conditions as are prescribed by the Commonwealth;

8. Render advice and assistance and to provide services to state agencies, local and regional economic development entities, private firms, and other persons providing services or facilities for economic development in Virginia;

9. Develop, undertake, and provide programs, alone or in conjunction with any person, for economic research, industrial development research, and all other research that might lead to improvements in economic development in Virginia;

10. Adopt, alter, and repeal bylaws, rules, and regulations governing the manner in which its business shall be transacted and the manner in which the powers of the Authority shall be exercised and its duties performed;

11. Do all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers granted to it by law, and perform any act or carry out any function not inconsistent with state law that may be useful in carrying out the provisions of this article; and

12. Administer any program established under the Virginia Jobs Investment Program described in § 2.2-2240.3.

1995, c. 638, §§ 2.1-548.33, 2.1-548.34, 2.1-548.35; 2001, c. 844; 2014, cc. 41, 464; 2016, c. 32.

§ 2.2-2238. Economic development services

A. It shall be the duty of the Authority to encourage, stimulate, and support the development and expansion of the economy of the Commonwealth. The Authority is charged with the following duties and responsibilities to:

1. See that there are prepared and carried out effective economic development marketing and promotional programs;

2. Make available, in conjunction and cooperation with localities, chambers of commerce, industrial authorities, and other public and private groups, to prospective new businesses basic information and pertinent factors of interest and concern to such businesses;

3. Formulate, promulgate, and advance programs throughout the Commonwealth for encouraging the location of new businesses in the Commonwealth and the retention and growth of existing businesses;

4. Encourage and solicit private sector involvement, support, and funding for economic development in the Commonwealth;

5. Encourage the coordination of the economic development efforts of public institutions, regions, communities, and private industry and collect and maintain data on the development and utilization of economic development capabilities;

6. Establish such offices within and without the Commonwealth that are necessary to the expansion and development of industries and trade;

7. Encourage the export of products and services from the Commonwealth to international markets;

8. Advise, upon request, the State Board for Community Colleges in designating technical training programs in Virginia's comprehensive community colleges for the Community College Incentive Scholarship Program pursuant to former § 23-220.4;

9. Offer a program for the issuance of export documentation for companies located in Virginia exporting goods and services if no federal agency or other regulatory body or issuing entity will provide export documentation in a form deemed necessary for international commerce; and

10. Establish an Office of Education and Labor Market Alignment (the Office) to coordinate data analysis on workforce and higher education alignment and translate data to partners. The Office shall provide a unified, consistent source of information or analysis for policy development and implementation related to talent development. The Office shall partner with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, institutions of higher education, the Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia Employment Commission, GO Virginia, and other relevant entities to offer resources and expertise related to education and labor market alignment.

B. The Authority may develop a site and building assessment program to identify and assess the Commonwealth's industrial sites of at least 100 acres. In developing such a program, the Authority shall establish assessment guidelines and procedures for identification of industrial sites, resource requirements, and development oversight. The Authority shall invite participation by regional and industry stakeholders to assess potential sites, identify product shortfalls, and make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly for marketing such sites, in alignment with the goals outlined in the Governor's economic development plan.

C. The Authority may encourage the import of products and services from international markets to the Commonwealth.

1995, c. 638, § 2.1-548.29; 1996, cc. 590, 598; 1997, cc. 437, 448; 1999, c. 542; 2001, cc. 483, 557, 844; 2004, cc. 650, 872; 2009, cc. 374, 569; 2015, c. 342; 2016, c. 315; 2017, cc. 13, 19; 2020, c. 591; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 502.

§ 2.2-2238.1. Repealed

Repealed by Acts 2020, c. 591, cl. 2.

§ 2.2-2239. Planning and research

It shall also be the duty of the Authority to:

1. Assist in the development of the comprehensive economic development strategy for the Commonwealth, starting the first year of each new gubernatorial administration, consistent with the provisions of Article 3 (§ 2.2-204 et seq.) of Chapter 2;

2. Report annually to the Governor on the status of the implementation of the comprehensive economic development strategy and recommend legislative and executive actions related to the implementation of the comprehensive economic development strategy; and

3. Conduct such studies and research, in collaboration with state agencies, baccalaureate institutions of higher education, local and regional industrial authorities and organizations, and other persons within and without the Commonwealth, as the Board deems necessary, to assist in the development of the comprehensive economic strategy and the development of recommendations and advice on the improvement of economic development and related programs and strategies across the Commonwealth.

1995, c. 638, § 2.1-548.30; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-2240. Nonstock corporation to assist economic development

The Board may establish nonprofit, nonstock corporations under Chapter 10 (§ 13.1-801 et seq.) of Title 13.1 as public instrumentalities exercising public and essential governmental functions, to assist the Board and the Authority in (i) promoting Virginia's economic development and tourism promotion efforts in the national and international corporate community; (ii) raising money in the corporate and nonprofit community to pay for advertising and promotion of the Commonwealth; (iii) raising nonstate dollars to complement state and local economic development activities; or (iv) conducting or undertaking other activities useful in carrying out the provisions of this article.

The board of directors of any such corporation shall be composed of the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority and eight members appointed by the Board of the Authority. However, any such corporation established to promote the tourism industry in the Commonwealth shall be composed of the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, six members appointed by the Board of the Authority, and six members who represent the tourism industry appointed by the Governor. The terms of the members of any corporation established to promote the tourism industry in the Commonwealth appointed by the Governor shall be four years.

The Board shall require any such corporation to report to it at least annually on its activities.

1995, c. 638, § 2.1-548.43; 1996, cc. 590, 598; 2001, c. 844; 2010, c. 869.

§ 2.2-2240.1. Grants paid to the Authority to promote research, development, and commercialization of products

A. The General Assembly may appropriate grants to the Authority for use by a nonprofit, public benefit research institute that (i) conducts research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses, foundations, and other organizations and (ii) commercializes technology.

B. The Authority is hereby authorized to create a nonprofit, nonstock corporation to receive such grants and to oversee the administration of the payment of the grants. As a condition to the payment of any grants to the Authority under this section, the General Assembly may require that such nonprofit, nonstock corporation be created.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 2.2-2240, the Board of Directors of the nonprofit, nonstock corporation shall consist of nine voting members as follows: (i) the president of the University of Virginia, or his designee, (ii) the president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, or his designee, (iii) the president of James Madison University, or his designee, (iv) the president (or the designee of such president) of Virginia Commonwealth University, Christopher Newport University, the University of Mary Washington, Radford University, Virginia State University, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, George Mason University, or Longwood University, as appointed by the Governor, with appointments to this position rotated equally among such baccalaureate public institutions of higher education, (v) one citizen member who shall have substantial experience in research and development in the fields of pharmaceuticals, engineering, energy, or similar sciences, appointed by the Governor, (vi) a representative of a nonprofit, public benefit research institute that has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Commonwealth, (vii) the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, or his designee, (viii) the Secretary of Administration, or his designee, and (ix) a representative of a local government that has concluded a Memorandum of Agreement with such research institute. Citizen members appointed by the Governor shall serve for four-year terms, but no citizen member shall serve for more than two full successive terms. A vacancy for a citizen member shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired term.

D. The Board is authorized to make grant payments only to those nonprofit, public benefit research institutes described in subsection A that have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Commonwealth. The MOA shall, at a minimum, (i) require the research institute to perform research, development, and commercialization activities that improve society and facilitate economic growth; (ii) require research to be conducted collaboratively with Virginia public and private institutions and that such collaborative research benefit the capabilities, facilities, and staff of all organizations involved; (iii) require the research institute to develop protocols for the commercialization efforts of the institute, including protocols addressing intellectual property rights; (iv) require the Board to evaluate fulfillment of key milestones for the research institute, which shall include but not be limited to milestones relating to job creation, research institute reinvestment goals, research proposals submissions, and royalties, and to annually evaluate the Commonwealth's investment in the research institute by reporting on the institute's progress in meeting such milestones; and (v) establish relationships and expectations between the research institutes and public institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth, including opportunities for principal investigators to serve as adjunct faculty and the creation of internships for students and postdoctoral appointees.

E. The maximum amount of grants awarded by the Board shall not exceed a total of $22 million per recipient through June 30, 2013.

F. The Board of any nonprofit, nonstock corporation created under this section shall be established in the executive branch of state government. The records of the corporation, its Board members, and employees that are deemed confidential or proprietary shall be exempt from disclosure pursuant to subdivision 3 of § 2.2-3705.6 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

2007, c. 693; 2020, c. 738.

§ 2.2-2240.2. Repealed

Repealed by Acts 2022, c. 83, cl. 2.

§ 2.2-2241. Moneys of Authority

All moneys of the Authority, from whatever source derived, shall be paid to the treasurer of the Authority. Such moneys shall be deposited in the first instance by the treasurer in one or more banks or trust companies, in one or more special accounts. All banks and trust companies are authorized to give such security for such deposits, if required by the Authority. The moneys in such accounts shall be paid out on the warrant or other orders of such persons as the Authority may authorize to execute such warrants or orders.

1995, c. 638, § 2.1-548.39; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-2242. Forms of accounts and records

The accounts and records of the Authority showing the receipt and disbursement of funds from whatever source derived shall be in a form prescribed by the Auditor of Public Accounts. The Auditor of Public Accounts or his legally authorized representatives shall annually examine the accounts and books of the Authority.

1995, c. 638, § 2.1-548.40; 2001, c. 844; 2004, c. 650; 2020, c. 591.

§ 2.2-2243. Exemptions from taxes or assessments

The exercise of the powers granted by this article shall be in all respects for the benefit of the people of the Commonwealth, for the increase of their commerce and prosperity, and for the improvement of their living conditions, and as the undertaking of activities in the furtherance of the purposes of the Authority constitutes the performance of essential governmental functions, the Authority shall not be required to pay any taxes or assessments upon any property acquired or used by the Authority under the provisions of this article or upon the income therefrom, including sales and use taxes on the tangible personal property used in the operations of the Authority. The exemption granted in this section shall not be construed to extend to persons conducting on the premises of any property of the Authority businesses for which local or state taxes would otherwise be required.

1995, c. 638, § 2.1-548.41; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-2244. Exemption of Authority from personnel and procurement procedures

The provisions of the Virginia Personnel Act (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.) of and the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) of this title shall not apply to the Authority in the exercise of any power conferred under this article.

1995, c. 638, § 2.1-548.38; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-2245. Appropriations by any government

Any government may make appropriations for the acquisition, construction, improvement, maintenance or operation of any property acquired, constructed, improved, maintained or operated by the Authority.

1995, c. 638, § 2.1-548.36; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-2246. Conveyance, lease or transfer of property by a city or county to the Authority

Any city or county within the Commonwealth in order to provide for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair or management of any property, or in order to accomplish any of the purposes of this article may, with or without consideration or for a nominal consideration, lease, sell, convey or otherwise transfer to the Authority any real, personal or mixed property located within such city or county.

1995, c. 638, § 2.1-548.37; 2001, c. 844.