Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 2.2. Administration of Government
8/4/2020

Chapter 2. Governor's Secretaries.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 2.2-200. Appointment of Governor's Secretaries; general powers; severance.

A. The Governor's Secretaries shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly if in session when the appointment is made, and if not in session, then at its next succeeding session. Each Secretary shall hold office at the pleasure of the Governor for a term coincident with that of the Governor making the appointment or until a successor is appointed and qualified. Before entering upon the discharge of duties, each Secretary shall take an oath to faithfully execute the duties of the office.

B. Each Secretary shall be subject to direction and supervision by the Governor. Except as provided in Article 4 (§ 2.2-208 et seq.), the agencies assigned to each Secretary shall:

1. Exercise their respective powers and duties in accordance with the general policy established by the Governor or by the Secretary acting on behalf of the Governor;

2. Provide such assistance to the Governor or the Secretary as may be required; and

3. Forward all reports to the Governor through the Secretary.

C. Unless the Governor expressly reserves such power to himself and except as provided in Article 4 (§ 2.2-208 et seq.), each Secretary may:

1. Resolve administrative, jurisdictional, operational, program, or policy conflicts between agencies or officials assigned;

2. Direct the formulation of a comprehensive program budget for the functional area identified in § 2.2-1508 encompassing the services of agencies assigned for consideration by the Governor;

3. Hold agency heads accountable for their administrative, fiscal and program actions in the conduct of the respective powers and duties of the agencies;

4. Direct the development of goals, objectives, policies and plans that are necessary to the effective and efficient operation of government;

5. Sign documents on behalf of the Governor that originate with agencies assigned to the Secretary; and

6. Employ such personnel and to contract for such consulting services as may be required to perform the powers and duties conferred upon the Secretary by law or executive order.

D. Severance benefits provided to any departing Secretary shall be publicly announced by the Governor prior to such departure.

E. As used in this chapter, "Governor's Secretaries" means the Secretary of Administration, the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Finance, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, the Secretary of Natural Resources, the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs.

1972, c. 641, § 2.1-51.7; 1975, c. 390; 1976, cc. 729, 730, 732, 733, 734, 743, §§ 2.1-51.8:1, 2.1-51.13, 2.1-51.14, 2.1-51.16, 2.1-51.17, 2.1-51.26; 1984, c. 720, § 2.1-51.33; 1986, c. 492, § 2.1-51.39; 1998, c. 646; 1990, cc. 1, 317, §§ 2.1-51.41, 2.1-51.42; 1993, c. 699; 1996, cc. 500, 617; 1998, c. 793; 1999, cc. 412, 421, 433, §§ 2.1-51.44, 2.1-51.45; 2000, c. 937; 2001, c. 844; 2004, cc. 940, 963; 2006, c. 254; 2011, cc. 780, 858; 2014, cc. 115, 490; 2020, c. 738.

§ 2.2-201. Secretaries; general; compensation.

A. Each Secretary shall be considered an extension of the Governor in the management coordination and cohesive direction of the executive branch of state government ensuring that the laws are faithfully executed.

B. Each Secretary shall be paid the compensation fixed by law.

1972, c. 641, § 2.1-51.10; 1984, c. 720, § 2.1-51.10:1; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-202. Payment of expenses of office.

The expenses of the offices of the Governor's Secretaries shall be paid from funds provided for the purpose by law; however, in addition, the Governor may supplement such funds from appropriations made to his office for the executive control of the Commonwealth or for discretionary purposes.

1972, c. 641, § 2.1-51.12; 2001, c. 844.

Article 2. Secretary of Administration.

§ 2.2-203. Position established; agencies for which responsible.

The position of Secretary of Administration (the Secretary) is created. The Secretary shall be responsible to the Governor for the following agencies and boards: Department of Human Resource Management, Information Technology Advisory Council, Department of General Services, Compensation Board, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Virginia Information Technologies Agency, Virginia Geographic Information Network Advisory Board, and 9-1-1 Services Board. The Governor may, by executive order, assign any other state executive agency to the Secretary, or reassign any agency listed above to another Secretary.

1976, c. 743, §§ 2.1-51.25, 2.1-51.27; 1978, c. 84; 1980, c. 620; 1981, c. 315; 1984, cc. 720, 746; 1985, c. 447; 1988, cc. 424, 839; 1993, c. 542; 1994, cc. 4, 85; 1995, c. 837; 1997, c. 858; 1999, cc. 412, 421, 433; 2000, cc. 66, 657, 947, 1006; 2001, c. 844; 2002, c. 572; 2003, cc. 197, 657, 670, 884; 2006, c. 150; 2008, cc. 387, 689; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2020, c. 738.

§ 2.2-203.1. Secretary to establish telecommuting policy; duties.

A. The Secretary shall establish a comprehensive statewide telecommuting and alternative work schedule policy under which eligible employees of state agencies, as determined by state agencies, may telecommute or participate in alternative work schedules, and the Secretary shall periodically update such policy as necessary.

B. The telecommuting and alternative work schedule policy described in subsection A shall include, but not be limited to, model guidelines, rules and procedures for telecommuting and participation in alternative work schedules, and identification of the broad categories of positions determined to be ineligible to participate in telecommuting and the justification for such a determination. Such policy may also include an incentive program, to be established and administered by the Department of Human Resource Management, that may encourage state employees to telecommute or participate in alternative work schedules and that may encourage the state agencies' management personnel to promote telecommuting and alternative work schedules for eligible employees.

C. The Secretary shall have the following duties related to promoting the telecommuting and alternative work schedule:

1. Promote and encourage use of telework alternatives for public and private employees, including but not limited to appropriate policy and legislative initiatives. Upon request, the Secretary may advise and assist private-sector employers in the Commonwealth in planning, developing, and administering programs, projects, plans, policies, and other activities for telecommuting by private-sector employees and in developing incentives provided by the private sector to encourage private sector employers in the Commonwealth to utilize employee telecommuting.

2. Advise and assist state agencies and, upon request of the localities, advise and assist localities in planning, developing, and administering programs, projects, plans, policies, and other activities to promote telecommuting by employees of state agencies or localities.

3. Coordinate activities regarding telework with, and regularly report to, a panel consisting of the Secretaries of Commerce and Trade, Finance, and Transportation. The Secretary of Administration shall serve as chair of the panel. Additional members may be designated by the Governor. Staff support for the panel shall be provided by the offices of the Secretaries of Administration and Transportation, and the Governor shall designate additional agencies to provide staff support as necessary.

4. Report annually to the General Assembly on telework participation levels and trends of both private and public-sector employees in the Commonwealth.

2001, c. 405, § 2.1-51.31:1; 2004, cc. 701, 755; 2005, c. 421; 2009, c. 86; 2020, c. 738.

§ 2.2-203.2. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2009, c. 180, cl. 2.

§ 2.2-203.2:1. Secretary to report state job elimination due to privatization.

On or before November 30 of each year, the Secretary shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly on the number of state jobs eliminated in the immediately preceding fiscal year due to the privatization of commercial activities to a commercial source.

As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Commercial activities" means an activity performed by or for state government that is not an inherently governmental activity and that may feasibly be obtained from a commercial source at lower cost than the activity being performed by state employees.

"Commercial source" means any business or other concern that is eligible for a contract award in accordance with the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.).

2005, c. 476; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 2.2-203.2:2. Promotion of alternative dispute resolution procedures.

The Secretary may convene ad hoc working groups to promote alternative dispute resolution procedures.

2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 2.2-203.2:3. Policy of the Commonwealth regarding the employment of individuals with disabilities; responsibilities of state agencies; report.

A. As used in this section, "state agency" means any agency, institution, board, bureau, commission, council, or instrumentality of state government in the executive branch.

B. It shall be the policy of the Commonwealth to promote and increase the employment of individuals with disabilities directly employed at all levels and occupations by state agencies, institutions, boards, and authorities of the Commonwealth. To assist in achieving this policy, it shall be the goal of the Commonwealth to increase by five percent the level of employment of individuals with disabilities by the state by fiscal year 2023. The Secretary shall coordinate and lead efforts to achieve the goals of the Commonwealth established by this section.

C. To further this goal, the Commonwealth shall:

1. Use available hiring authorities, consistent with statutes, regulations, and prior executive orders;

2. Increase efforts to accommodate individuals with disabilities within state government employment by increasing the retention and return to work of individuals with disabilities;

3. Expand existing efforts for the recruitment, accommodation, retention, and advancement of individuals with disabilities for positions available in state government;

4. Designate senior-level staff within each state agency to be responsible for increasing the employment of individuals with disabilities within the state agency; and

5. Require state agencies to prepare a plan to increase employment opportunities at the agencies for individuals with disabilities.

D. Each state agency shall submit a plan to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities to the Secretary no later than December 31, 2017, and each July 1 thereafter. The Secretary shall (i) establish guidelines regarding the development and content of state agency plans and (ii) establish a reporting system for tracking and reporting the progress of state agencies toward meeting the employment goals of the Commonwealth established by this section.

E. All state agencies shall examine existing policies relating to the employment of individuals with disabilities, including a review of recruitment efforts, interviewing criteria, testing procedures, and resources to accommodate applicants and workers with disabilities.

F. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require (i) the creation of new positions or the changing of existing qualification standards for any position or (ii) any state employee or applicant for state employment to disclose his disability status involuntarily.

G. The Secretary, in collaboration with the Department of Human Resource Management, shall develop an annual report on the number of individuals with disabilities directly employed by the state agencies. The information shall be included in the annual demographic report of the Department of Human Resource Management.

H. The Secretary shall report on the progress of state agencies toward meeting the employment goals of the Commonwealth to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations by September 1 of each year.

2017, cc. 358, 371; 2020, c. 50.

§ 2.2-203.2:4. Chief Data Officer; position created.

A. As used in this section, "open data" means data that is collected by an agency that is not prohibited from being made available to the public by applicable laws or regulations or other restrictions, requirements, or rights associated with such data.

B. There is created in the Office of the Secretary of Administration the position of Chief Data Officer of the Commonwealth to coordinate and oversee the effective sharing of data among state, regional, and local public entities and public institutions of higher education and to implement effective data governance strategies to maintain data integrity and security and promote access to open data.

C. The Chief Data Officer shall:

1. Establish business rules, guidelines, and best practices for the use of data, including open data, in the Commonwealth. Such rules, guidelines, and best practices shall address, at a minimum, (i) the sharing of data between state, regional, and local public entities and public institutions of higher education, and, when appropriate, private entities; (ii) data storage; (iii) data security; (iv) privacy; (v) compliance with federal law; (vi) the de-identification of data for research purposes; and (vii) the appropriate access to and presentation of open data and datasets to the public;

2. Assist state, regional, and local public entities, public institutions of higher education, and employees thereof, with the application of the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (§ 2.2-3800 et. seq.) and understanding the applicability of federal laws governing privacy and access to data to the data sharing practices of the Commonwealth;

3. Assist the Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth with matters related to the creation, storage, and dissemination of data upon request;

4. Encourage and coordinate efforts of state, regional, and local public entities and public institutions of higher education to access and share data, including open data, across all levels of government in an effort to improve the efficiency and efficacy of services, improve outcomes, and promote data-driven policy making, decision making, research, and analysis; and

5. Oversee the implementation of a website dedicated to (i) hosting open data from state, regional, and local public entities and public institutions of higher education and (ii) providing links to any other additional open data websites in the Commonwealth.

2018, c. 679.

§ 2.2-203.2:5. Additional duties of the Secretary; technology programs.

Unless the Governor expressly reserves such power to himself, the Secretary may, with regard to strategy development, planning, and budgeting for technology programs in the Commonwealth:

1. Continuously monitor and analyze the technology investments and strategic initiatives of other states to ensure that the Commonwealth remains competitive.

2. Designate specific projects as enterprise information technology projects, prioritize the implementation of enterprise information technology projects, and establish enterprise oversight committees to provide ongoing oversight for enterprise information technology projects. At the discretion of the Governor, the Secretary shall designate a state agency or public institution of higher education as the business sponsor responsible for implementing an enterprise information technology project and shall define the responsibilities of lead agencies that implement enterprise information technology projects. For purposes of this subdivision, "enterprise" means an organization with common or unifying business interests. An enterprise may be defined at the Commonwealth level or Secretariat level for programs and project integration within the Commonwealth, Secretariats, or multiple agencies.

3. Establish Internal Agency Oversight Committees and Secretariat Oversight Committees as necessary and in accordance with § 2.2-2021.

4. Review and approve the Commonwealth strategic plan for information technology, as developed and recommended by the Chief Information Officer pursuant to subdivision A 3 of § 2.2-2007.1.

5. Communicate regularly with the Governor and other Secretaries regarding issues related to the provision of information technology services in the Commonwealth, statewide technology initiatives, and investments and other efforts needed to achieve the Commonwealth's information technology strategic goals.

2020, c. 738.

Article 2.1. Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry.

§ 2.2-203.3. Position established; agencies for which responsible; additional duties.

The position of Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry (the Secretary) is created. The Secretary shall be responsible to the Governor for the following agencies: Department of Forestry, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Agricultural Council, and Virginia Racing Commission. The Governor, by executive order, may assign any state executive agency to the Secretary, or reassign any agency listed in this section to another Secretary.

2004, cc. 940, 963; 2008, c. 860; 2014, c. 432.

Article 3. Secretary of Commerce and Trade.

§ 2.2-204. Position established; agencies for which responsible; additional duties.

The position of Secretary of Commerce and Trade (the Secretary) is created. The Secretary shall be responsible to the Governor for the following agencies: Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority, Commonwealth of Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority, Virginia International Trade Corporation, Virginia Tourism Authority, Department of Labor and Industry, Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, Virginia Employment Commission, Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, Department of Housing and Community Development, Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, Virginia Housing Development Authority, Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, and Board of Accountancy. The Governor, by executive order, may assign any state executive agency to the Secretary, or reassign any agency listed in this section to another Secretary.

The Secretary shall implement the provisions of the Virginia Biotechnology Research Act (§ 2.2-5500 et seq.).

1986, c. 492, §§ 2.1-51.38, 2.1-51.40; 1988, cc. 67, 173; 1989, c. 165; 1991, c. 337; 1993, cc. 499, 699; 1994, c. 472, § 2.1-51.39:2; 1995, c. 89; 1996, cc. 589, 590, 598, 599, 702; 1999, cc. 412, 421, 433; 2001, cc. 832, 844; 2004, cc. 57, 940, 963; 2013, c. 482; 2014, c. 432; 2016, c. 749; 2017, cc. 30, 31; 2020, cc. 738, 1164, 1169.

§ 2.2-205. Economic development policy for the Commonwealth.

A. During the first year of each new gubernatorial administration, the Secretary, with the assistance of a cabinet-level committee appointed in accordance with subsection B, shall develop and implement a written comprehensive economic development policy for the Commonwealth. In developing this policy, the Secretary and the committee shall review the economic development policy in effect at the commencement of the Governor's term of office. The Secretary shall make such revisions to the existing policy as the Secretary deems necessary to ensure that it is appropriate for the Commonwealth. Once the policy has been adopted by the Secretary and the committee and approved by the Governor, it shall be submitted to the General Assembly for its consideration.

B. During the first year of each new gubernatorial administration, the Governor shall issue an executive order creating a cabinet-level committee to assist the Secretary in the development of the comprehensive economic development policy for the Commonwealth. The Secretary shall be the chairman of the committee, and the Secretaries of Administration, Agriculture and Forestry, Education, Health and Human Resources, Natural Resources, and Transportation shall serve as committee members. The Governor may also appoint members of regional and local economic development groups and members of the business community to serve on the committee.

1991, c. 562, § 2.1-51.39:1; 1993, c. 699; 2001, c. 844; 2004, c. 989; 2015, c. 166; 2020, c. 738.

§ 2.2-205.1. Economic Crisis Strike Force.

A. There is hereby established the Economic Crisis Strike Force (Strike Force) for the purpose of serving as a working group to respond as needed to economic disasters in Virginia communities by (i) immediately providing a single point of contact for citizens in affected communities to assist with accessing available government and private sector services and resources, (ii) assisting localities in developing short-term and long-term strategies for addressing the economic crisis, and (iii) identifying opportunities for workforce retraining, job creation, and new investment.

B. The Strike Force shall be chaired by the Secretary of Commerce and Trade and be deployed at the direction of the Governor. Membership shall include high level representatives designated by the Secretaries of Education and Health and Human Resources and by the respective heads of the following agencies: the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Labor and Industry, the Department of Medical Assistance Services, the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, the Department of Social Services, the Virginia Community College System, the Virginia Employment Commission, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and the Virginia Tourism Authority. The Strike Force shall also include representatives from such other agencies as may be designated by the Governor to meet the needs of a particular affected community. In addition, the Governor may designate such citizens as he deems appropriate to advise the Strike Force.

C. Staff support for the Strike Force shall be provided by the Office of the Governor and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall assist the Strike Force upon request.

D. On or before December 1 of each year, the Strike Force shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly on its activities.

E. For the purposes of this section, "economic disaster" means an employment loss of at least five percent during the immediately preceding six-month period, the closure or downsizing of a major regional employer in an economically distressed area, a natural disaster or act of terrorism for which the Governor has declared a state of emergency, or other economic crisis situations, which in the opinion of the Governor adversely affect the welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth.

2006, cc. 79, 80; 2013, c. 482.

§ 2.2-205.2. Commonwealth Broadband Chief Advisor.

A. The position of Commonwealth Broadband Chief Advisor (Chief Advisor) is hereby established within the office of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade.

1. The purpose of the Chief Advisor is to serve as Virginia's single point of contact and integration for broadband issues, efforts, and initiatives and to increase the availability and affordability of broadband throughout all regions of the Commonwealth.

2. The Chief Advisor shall be selected for his knowledge of, background in, and experience with information technology, broadband telecommunications, and economic development in a private, for-profit, or not-for-profit organization.

B. The Chief Advisor shall be designated by the Secretary of Commerce and Trade. Staff for the Chief Advisor shall be provided by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Chief Advisor, upon request.

C. The Chief Advisor shall:

1. Integrate activities among different federal and state agencies and departments, and localities, and coordinate with Internet service providers in the Commonwealth;

2. Provide continual research into public grants and loans, in addition to private and nonprofit funding opportunities, available to provide incentives and help defray the costs of broadband infrastructure buildouts and upgrades;

3. Maintain broadband maps, the Integrated Broadband Planning and Analysis Toolbox, and other data to help decision makers understand where broadband needs exist and help develop strategies to address these needs;

4. Continually monitor and analyze broadband legislative and policy activities, as well as investments, in other nations, states, and localities to ensure that the Commonwealth remains competitive and up to date on best practices to address the Commonwealth's unique broadband needs, create efficiencies, target funding, and streamline operations;

5. Monitor the trends in the availability and deployment of and access to broadband communications services, which include, but are not limited to, high-speed data services and Internet access services of general application, throughout the Commonwealth and advancements in communications technology for deployment potential;

6. Research and evaluate emerging technologies to determine the most effective applications for these technologies and their benefits to the Commonwealth;

7. Monitor federal legislation and policy, in order to maximize the Commonwealth's effective use of and access to federal funding available for broadband development programs, including but not limited to the Connect America Fund program;

8. Coordinate with Virginia agencies and departments to target funding activities for the purpose of ensuring that Commonwealth funds are spent effectively to increase economic and social opportunities through widespread and affordable broadband deployment;

9. Coordinate with Virginia agencies and departments, including, but not limited to, DHCD, the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, and the Virginia Resources Authority, to review funding proposals and provide recommendations for Virginia grants and loans for the purpose of ensuring that Commonwealth funds are spent effectively on projects most likely to result in a solid return on investment for broadband deployment throughout the Commonwealth;

10. Serve as a central coordinating position and repository for any broadband-related projects and grants related to the mission herein, including, but not limited to, information from DHCD, the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, the CIT, the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board, and the Virginia Resources Authority;

11. Support the efforts of both public and private entities within the Commonwealth to enhance or facilitate the deployment of and access to competitively priced advanced electronic communications services and Internet access services of general application throughout the Commonwealth;

12. Specifically work toward establishing affordable, accessible broadband services to unserved areas of the Commonwealth and monitor advancements in communication that will facilitate this goal;

13. Advocate for and facilitate the development and deployment of applications, programs, and services, including but not limited to telework, telemedicine, and e-learning, that will bolster the usage of and demand for broadband level telecommunications;

14. Serve as a broadband information and applications clearinghouse for the Commonwealth and a coordination point for broadband-related services and programs in the Commonwealth;

15. After consultation with the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board, the Broadband Advisory Council, and the Joint Commission on Technology and Science, (i) develop a strategic plan that includes specific objectives, metrics, and benchmarks for developing and deploying broadband communications, including in rural areas, which minimize the risk to the Commonwealth's assets and encourage public-private partnerships, across the Commonwealth; such strategic plan and any changes thereto shall be submitted to the Governor, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the Chairman of the Joint Commission on Technology and Science, the Chairman of the Broadband Advisory Council, and the Chairman of the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board and (ii) present to these organizations annually on updates, changes, and progress made relative to this strategic plan, other relevant broadband activities in the Commonwealth, and suggestions to further the objectives of increased broadband development and deployment, including areas such as, but not limited to, the following: education, telehealth, economic development, and workforce development, as well as policies that may facilitate broadband deployment at the state and local level; and

16. Submit to the Governor and the General Assembly an annual report for publication as a report document as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports on broadband development and deployment activities that shall include, but not be limited to, the following areas: education, telehealth, workforce development, and economic development in regard to (i) broadband deployment and program successes, (ii) obstacles to program and resource coordination, (iii) strategies for improving such programs and resources needed to help close the Commonwealth's rural digital divide, and (iv) progress made on the objectives detailed in the strategic plan. The Chief Advisor shall submit to the Governor and the General Assembly an annual executive summary of the interim activity and work of the Chief Advisor no later than the first day of each regular session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall be submitted for publication as a report document as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.

D. The Chief Advisor may form such advisory panels and commissions as deemed necessary, convenient, or desirable to advise and assist in exercising the powers and performing the duties conferred by this section. Persons appointed to advisory committees shall be selected for their knowledge of, background in, or experience with information technology, broadband telecommunications, or economic development in a private, for-profit, or not-for-profit organization.

E. The disclosure requirements of Article 5 (§ 2.2-3113 et seq.) of the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act shall apply to members of the advisory committees.

2018, c. 766; 2020, c. 738.

§ 2.2-206. Urban issues; report; responsibilities of the Secretary.

A. In order to evaluate and promote the economic potential and development of the urban areas in the Commonwealth, during the first year of each new gubernatorial administration, the Secretary, with the assistance of a cabinet-level committee appointed in accordance with subsection B, shall develop a report on the condition of the state's urban areas and establishing priorities for addressing those conditions. The report shall include the following components:

1. A review of economic and social conditions in the cities of the Commonwealth;

2. The identification of inequities between those urban areas experiencing economic growth and relatively low fiscal stress and those urban areas experiencing economic decline and relatively high levels of fiscal stress;

3. The establishment of specific and quantifiable benchmarks for addressing economic and social conditions and inequities within urban areas;

4. Prioritized recommendations for specific actions by state agencies intended to meet the established performance benchmarks within a prescribed schedule; and

5. A system for tracking agency progress in meeting the benchmarks during the succeeding biennia.

B. During the first year of each new gubernatorial administration, the Governor shall issue an executive order creating a cabinet-level committee to assist the Secretary in the development of an urban policy vision and priorities for the Commonwealth. The Secretary shall be the chairman of the committee, and the Secretaries of Education, Health and Human Resources, Natural Resources and Transportation shall serve as committee members. The Governor may also appoint representatives of local government from Virginia's urban areas to serve as committee members. During the third year of each new gubernatorial administration the Secretary shall review and report on the performance of each agency in meeting the established benchmarks.

1999, c. 519, § 2.1-51.39:3; 2001, c. 844; 2004, c. 238.

§ 2.2-206.1. Expired.

Expired.

§ 2.2-206.2. Repealed.

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

§ 2.2-206.3. Additional duties of the Secretary; advancement of technology.

Unless the Governor expressly reserves such power to himself, the Secretary may, with regard to strategy development, planning, and budgeting for technology programs in the Commonwealth:

1. Monitor trends and advances in fundamental technologies of interest and importance to the economy of the Commonwealth and direct and approve a stakeholder-driven technology strategy development process that results in a comprehensive and coordinated view of research and development goals for industry, academia, and government in the Commonwealth. This strategy shall be updated biennially and submitted to the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, and the President pro tempore of the Senate;

2. Work closely with the appropriate federal research and development agencies and program managers to maximize the participation of Commonwealth industries and baccalaureate institutions of higher education in these programs consistent with agreed strategy goals;

3. Direct the development of plans and programs for strengthening the technology resources of the Commonwealth's high technology industry sectors and for assisting in the strengthening and development of the Commonwealth's Regional Technology Councils;

4. Direct the development of plans and programs for improving access to capital for technology-based entrepreneurs;

5. Assist the Joint Commission on Technology and Science created pursuant to § 30-85 in its efforts to stimulate, encourage, and promote the development of technology in the Commonwealth;

6. Strengthen interstate and international partnerships and relationships in the public and private sectors to bolster the Commonwealth's reputation as a global technology center;

7. Develop and implement strategies to accelerate and expand the commercialization of intellectual property created within the Commonwealth;

8. Ensure that the Commonwealth remains competitive in cultivating and expanding growth industries, including life sciences, advanced materials and nanotechnology, biotechnology, and aerospace; and

9. Monitor the trends in the availability and deployment of and access to broadband communications services, which include but are not limited to competitively priced, high-speed data services and Internet access services of general application, throughout the Commonwealth and advancements in communications technology for deployment potential. The Secretary shall report annually by December 1 to the Governor and General Assembly on those trends.

2020, c. 738.

§ 2.2-207. Annual legislative report.

Within sixty days prior to the beginning of each regular legislative session, the Secretary and the Secretary of Education shall jointly present a report to the General Assembly summarizing private sector and education partnership programs and recommendations to promote efficiency and growth in business and education partnerships.

1993, cc. 248, 752, § 2.1-51.40:1; 2001, c. 844.

Article 4. Secretary of Education.

§ 2.2-208. Position established; agencies for which responsible; powers and duties.

A. The position of Secretary of Education (the Secretary) is created. The Secretary shall be responsible to the Governor for the following agencies: Department of Education, State Council of Higher Education, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Science Museum of Virginia, Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, The Library of Virginia, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Board of Regents of Gunston Hall, the Commission for the Arts, and the Board of Visitors of the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind. The Governor may, by executive order, assign any other state executive agency to the Secretary, or reassign any agency listed above to another Secretary.

B. Unless the Governor expressly reserves such a power to himself, the Secretary may (i) resolve administrative, jurisdictional, or policy conflicts between any agencies or officers for which he is responsible and (ii) provide policy direction for programs involving more than a single agency.

C. The Secretary may direct the preparation of alternative policies, plans, and budgets for education for the Governor and, to that end, may require the assistance of the agencies for which he is responsible.

D. The Secretary shall direct the formulation of a comprehensive program budget for cultural affairs encompassing the programs and activities of the agencies involved in cultural affairs.

E. The Secretary shall consult with the agencies for which he is responsible and biennially report to the General Assembly on the coordination efforts among such agencies.

1976, c. 733, §§ 2.1-51.19, 2.1-51.20, 2.1-51.21; 1977, c. 413; 1979, c. 314; 1985, cc. 193, 447, 505; 1986, cc. 335, 603; 1987, c. 458; 1992, c. 630; 1993, cc. 653, 665; 1994, c. 64; 1998, cc. 701, 899; 1999, cc. 840, 855; 2001, c. 844; 2003, c. 452; 2009, c. 210; 2015, c. 140.

§ 2.2-208.1. (Repealed effective July 1, 2021) School Readiness Committee; Secretary to establish.

A. In recognition of the fact that early care and education of young children is linked to academic success and workforce readiness, the Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, and upon receiving recommendations for appointments from the Virginia Education Association, the Virginia School Boards Association, the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, the Virginia Council for Private Education, the Virginia Child Care Association, the Virginia Association for Early Childhood Education, and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, shall establish and appoint members to the School Readiness Committee (the Committee).

B. The Committee shall have a total membership of no fewer than 27 members that shall consist of seven legislative members, no fewer than 16 nonlegislative citizen members, and four ex officio members. Members shall be appointed as follows: four members of the House of Delegates to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates; three members of the Senate to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules on the recommendation of the Chair of the Senate Committee on Education and Health; and no fewer than 16 nonlegislative citizen members to be appointed by the Secretary of Education. Nonlegislative citizen members shall include at least three representatives of the office of the Secretary of Education, one representative of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, one representative of a baccalaureate public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth with a teacher education program, one representative of an associate-degree-granting public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth with a teacher education program, one representative of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, one representative of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, four representatives of the private business sector, one early childhood education teacher from a public early childhood education program, one early childhood education teacher from a private early childhood education program, one administrator from a public early childhood education program, and one administrator from a private early childhood education program. The Commissioner of Social Services or his designee, the Secretary of Education or his designee, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources or his designee, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction or his designee shall serve ex officio with voting privileges.

C. In recognition of the fact that one of the most important factors in learning outcomes for young children is the capabilities of the adults who support their growth and learning, the first goal of the Committee is to address the development and alignment of an effective professional development and credentialing system for the early childhood education workforce in the Commonwealth, including the (i) development of a competency-based professional development pathway for practitioners who teach children from birth to age five in both public and private early childhood education programs; (ii) consideration of articulation agreements between associate and baccalaureate degree programs; (iii) review of teacher licensure and education programs, including programs offered at comprehensive community colleges in the Commonwealth, to address competencies specific to early childhood development; (iv) alignment of existing professional development funding streams; and (v) development of innovative approaches to increasing accessibility, availability, affordability, and accountability of the Commonwealth's workforce development system for early childhood education teachers and providers. The Committee shall periodically review the goals set forth in this subsection and other priorities within the early childhood care and education systems and make recommendations to the Board of Education, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the Department of Social Services, and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Education, the Senate Committee on Education and Health, the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions, and the Senate Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services. An affirmative vote by a majority of the legislative members in attendance and a majority of nonlegislative members in attendance shall be required for the Committee to adopt any recommendations. The Board of Education shall review the recommendations of the Committee and submit to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health, in advance of the next regular session of the General Assembly, any comments on such recommendations that the Board of Education deems appropriate.

D. Appointments to fill vacancies, other than by expiration of a term, shall be for the unexpired terms. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments. All legislative members and nonlegislative citizen members may be reappointed.

E. After the initial staggering of terms, legislative members and nonlegislative citizen members shall be appointed for terms of three years.

F. No legislative member or nonlegislative citizen member shall serve more than two consecutive three-year terms. The remainder of any term to which a member is appointed to fill a vacancy shall not constitute a term in determining the member's eligibility for reappointment.

G. The Committee shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman from among its membership. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum. The meetings of the Committee shall be held at the call of the chairman or whenever the majority of the members so request.

H. The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation shall provide for the facilitation of the work of the Committee under the direction of the Secretary of Education or his designee and with the guidance of a steering subcommittee that includes the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, one legislative member, one representative of the private business sector, one representative of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, and one early childhood education teacher or administrator from a private early childhood education program.

I. The chairman may request and access the expertise of additional representatives and organizations relating to the Committee's goals and priorities. In order to meet the federally mandated requirements for early childhood advisory councils, the chairman may establish and appoint additional members to advisory subcommittees to address areas of special concern and priority.

J. The Department of Education and the Department of Social Services shall provide staff support to the Committee. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Committee, upon request.

2016, c. 652.

§ 2.2-209. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2004, c. 37.

Article 5. Secretary of Finance.

§ 2.2-211. Position established; agencies for which responsible; additional powers.

A. The position of Secretary of Finance (the Secretary) is created. The Secretary shall be responsible for the following agencies: Department of Accounts, Department of Planning and Budget, Department of Taxation, Department of the Treasury, and Virginia Resources Authority. The Governor, by executive order, may assign any other state executive agency to the Secretary of Finance, or reassign any agency listed.

B. To the greatest extent practicable, the agencies assigned to the Secretary shall pay all amounts due and owing by the Commonwealth through electronic transfers of funds from the general fund or appropriate special fund to the bank account of the payee or a party identified by law to receive funds on behalf of the payee. All wire transfer costs associated with the electronic transfer shall be paid by the payee subject to exemptions authorized by the State Treasurer affecting the investment, debt, and intergovernmental transactions of the Commonwealth and its agencies, institutions, boards, and authorities.

1984, c. 720, §§ 2.1-51.32, 2.1-51.33, 2.1-51.34; 1985, c. 72; 1996, c. 500; 2001, c. 844; 2011, cc. 798, 871; 2017, cc. 30, 31.

Article 6. Secretary of Health and Human Resources.

§ 2.2-212. Position established; agencies for which responsible; additional powers.

A. The position of Secretary of Health and Human Resources (the Secretary) is created. The Secretary of Health and Human Resources shall be responsible to the Governor for the following agencies: Department of Health, Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, Department of Health Professions, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Social Services, Department of Medical Assistance Services, Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, the Office of Children's Services, and the Assistive Technology Loan Fund Authority. The Governor may, by executive order, assign any other state executive agency to the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, or reassign any agency listed above to another Secretary.

B. As requested by the Secretary and to the extent authorized by federal law, the agencies of the Secretariat shall share data, records, and information about applicants for and recipients of services from the agencies of the Secretariat, including individually identifiable health information for the purposes of (i) streamlining administrative processes and reducing administrative burdens on the agencies, (ii) reducing paperwork and administrative burdens on the applicants and recipients, and (iii) improving access to and quality of services provided by the agencies.

C. Unless the Governor expressly reserves such power to himself, the Secretary shall (i) serve as the lead Secretary for the coordination and implementation of the long-term care policies of the Commonwealth and for the blueprint for livable communities 2025 throughout the Commonwealth, working with the Secretaries of Transportation, Commerce and Trade, and Education, and the Commissioner of Insurance, to facilitate interagency service development and implementation, communication, and cooperation; (ii) serve as the lead Secretary for the Children's Services Act, working with the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to facilitate interagency service development and implementation, communication, and cooperation; and (iii) coordinate the disease prevention activities of agencies in the Secretariat to ensure efficient, effective delivery of health related services and financing.

1976, c. 729, §§ 2.1-51.13, 2.1-51.14, 2.1-51.15; 1978, c. 635; 1982, cc. 345, 459; 1983, c. 20; 1984, cc. 720, 781; 1985, cc. 447, 448; 1987, cc. 219, 698; 1988, cc. 646, 765; 1989, cc. 614, 695; 1990, c. 458; 1991, c. 563; 1994, c. 755; 1996, cc. 492, 902; 1998, c. 793; 2000, c. 937; 2001, cc. 577, 844; 2004, cc. 14, 142; 2006, cc. 344, 380; 2007, cc. 10, 399, 534, 581; 2009, cc. 813, 840; 2010, cc. 411, 801; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2014, cc. 115, 490; 2015, c. 366; 2017, c. 467.

§ 2.2-213. Secretary of Health and Human Resources to develop certain criteria.

In order to respond to the needs of substance abusing women and their children, the Secretary shall develop criteria for (i) enhancing access to publicly funded substance abuse treatment programs in order to effectively serve pregnant substance abusers; (ii) determining when a drug-exposed child may be referred to the early intervention services and tracking system available through Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1431 et seq.; (iii) determining the appropriate circumstances for contact between hospital discharge planners and local departments of social services for referrals for family-oriented prevention services, when such services are available and provided by the local social services agency; and (iv) determining when the parent of a drug-exposed infant, who may be endangering a child's health by failing to follow a discharge plan, may be referred to the child protective services unit of a local department of social services.

The Secretary shall consult with the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Commissioner of Social Services, the Commissioner of Health, community services boards, behavioral health authorities, local departments of social services, and local departments of health in developing the criteria required by this section.

1992, c. 428, § 2.1-51.15:1; 2001, c. 844; 2009, cc. 813, 840.

§ 2.2-213.1. Secretary of Health and Human Resources and Commissioner of Insurance to develop long-term care public information campaign.

A. In order to respond to the burgeoning population of seniors in the Commonwealth, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Commissioner of Insurance shall develop a public information campaign to inform the citizens of the Commonwealth of (i) the impending crisis in long-term care, (ii) the effect of the impending crisis on the Virginia Medicaid program and on the finances of families and their estates, (iii) innovative alternatives and combinations of institutional and community-based long-term care services, and (iv) the requirements for long-term care insurance certificates and policies and the meaning of terminology used in such certificates and policies.

B. The Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Commissioner of Insurance shall enlist the assistance of the Board of Health and the Commissioner of Health, in the exercise of their responsibilities set forth in Title 32.1 to protect, implement, and preserve the public health, in disseminating the information concerning long-term care to the public.

2005, c. 92.

§ 2.2-213.2. Secretary to coordinate system for children with incarcerated parents.

The Secretary of Health and Human Resources, in consultation with the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, shall establish an integrated system for coordinating the planning and provision of services for children with incarcerated parents among state, local, nonprofit agencies, and faith-based organizations in order to provide such children with services needed to continue parental relationships with the incarcerated parent, where appropriate, and encourage healthy relationships in the family and community.

2006, c. 366; 2014, cc. 115, 490.

§ 2.2-213.3. Secretary to coordinate electronic prescribing clearinghouse.

A. In order to promote the implementation of electronic prescribing by health practitioners, health care facilities, and pharmacies in order to prevent prescription drug abuse, improve patient safety, and reduce unnecessary prescriptions, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, in consultation with the Secretary of Administration, shall establish a website with information on electronic prescribing for health practitioners. The website shall contain (i) information concerning the process and advantages of electronic prescribing, including using medical history data to prevent drug interactions, prevent allergic reactions, and deter abuse of controlled substances; (ii) information regarding the availability of electronic prescribing products, including no-cost or low-cost products; (iii) links to federal and private-sector websites that provide guidance on selecting electronic prescribing products; and (iv) links to state, federal, and private-sector incentive programs for the implementation of electronic prescribing.

B. The Secretary of Health and Human Resources, in consultation with the Secretary of Administration, shall regularly consult with relevant public and private stakeholders to assess and accelerate the implementation of electronic prescribing in Virginia. For purposes of this section, relevant stakeholders include, but are not limited to, organizations that represent health practitioners, organizations that represent health care facilities, organizations that represent pharmacies, organizations that operate electronic prescribing networks, organizations that create electronic prescribing products, and regional health information organizations.

2009, c. 479; 2020, c. 738.

§ 2.2-213.4. Secretary of Health and Human Resources to develop blueprint for long-term services and supports.

The Secretary shall convene, as appropriate, such other heads of executive branch secretariats, state agencies and other public and private agencies and entities to develop a blueprint for livable communities and long-term services and supports for older Virginians and people with disabilities. The blueprint shall include planning through the year 2025 and shall be comprehensive and inclusive of issues related to active, daily life in communities across the Commonwealth. The blueprint shall build upon existing plans and reports and shall focus on (i) community integration and involvement, (ii) availability and accessibility of services and supports, and (iii) integration and participation in the economic mainstream. The blueprint shall be submitted to the Governor and Chairs of the Appropriations Committee of the House of Delegates and the Finance Committee of the Senate no later than June 30, 2011.

2010, cc. 411, 801.

§ 2.2-213.5. Dissemination of information about specialized training to prevent and minimize mental health crisis.

The Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security shall encourage the dissemination of information about specialized training in evidence-based strategies to prevent and minimize mental health crises in all jurisdictions. This information shall be disseminated to, but not limited to, law-enforcement personnel, other first responders, hospital emergency department personnel, school personnel, and other interested parties, to the extent possible. These strategies shall include (i) crisis intervention team (CIT) training for law-enforcement personnel and other first responders as designated by the community CIT task force and (ii) mental health first aid training for other first responders, hospital emergency department personnel, school personnel, and other interested parties. The Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security shall encourage adherence to the models of training and achievement of programmatic goals and standards. The goals for CIT training shall include (i) training participants to recognize the signs and symptoms of behavioral health disorders; (ii) teaching participants the skills necessary to de-escalate crisis situations and how to support individuals in crisis; (iii) educating participants about community-based resources available to individuals in crisis; and (iv) enhancing participants' ability to communicate with health systems about the nature of the crisis to include rules regarding confidentiality and protected health information. The goals for mental health first aid training shall be to teach the public (to include first responders, school personnel, and other interested parties) how to recognize symptoms of mental health problems, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person toward appropriate treatments and other supportive help.

2014, c. 601.

§ 2.2-214. Responsibility of certain agencies within the Secretariat; review of regulations.

The Boards of Health, Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Social Services, and Medical Assistance Services and the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services shall review their regulations and policies related to service delivery in order to ascertain and eliminate any discrimination against individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus.

1989, c. 613, § 2.1-51.14:1; 1992, c. 755; 2001, c. 844; 2009, cc. 813, 840; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 2.2-214.1. Healthy Lives Prescription Fund; nonreverting; purposes; report.

A. There is hereby created in the Department of the Treasury a special nonreverting fund that shall be known as the Healthy Lives Prescription Fund.

B. The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. The Fund shall consist of such moneys appropriated by the General Assembly and any funds available from the federal government, donations, grants, and in-kind contributions made to the Fund for the purposes stated herein. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund.

C. Moneys in the Fund shall be available to develop and implement programs that will enhance current prescription drug programs for citizens of the Commonwealth who are without insurance or ability to pay for prescription drugs and to develop innovative programs to make such prescription drugs more available.

D. The Secretary shall provide an annual report on the status of the Fund and efforts to meet the goals of the Fund.

2003, cc. 661, 674.

Article 7. Secretary of Natural Resources.

§ 2.2-215. Position established; agencies for which responsible.

The position of Secretary of Natural Resources (the Secretary) is created. The Secretary shall be responsible to the Governor for the following agencies: Department of Conservation and Recreation, Department of Historic Resources, Marine Resources Commission, Department of Wildlife Resources, Virginia Museum of Natural History, and the Department of Environmental Quality. The Governor may, by executive order, assign any state executive agency to the Secretary of Natural Resources, or reassign any agency listed in this section to another Secretary.

1972, c. 641, §§ 2.1-51.7, 2.1-51.9; 1974, cc. 44, 45, 354, 420; 1975, c. 390; 1976, cc. 729, 732, 733, 734, 743, 767; 1978, c. 32; 1979, c. 294; 1982, c. 459; 1984, cc. 590, 720, 739, 750; 1985, cc. 193, 447, 448; 1986, cc. 335, 492, 567, 492; 1988, cc. 608, 707, 891; 1989, c. 656; 1992, c. 887; 2001, c. 844; 2004, c. 142; 2005, c. 41; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2020, c. 958.

§ 2.2-216. Coordination of water quality information; monitoring the quality of the waters, habitat, and living resources of Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

The Secretary shall:

1. Serve as the lead Secretary for the coordination of technical assistance, information, and training to ensure that consistent water quality information is provided to all citizens of the Commonwealth; and

2. Consult with the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and the Secretary of Health and Human Resources and cooperate with appropriate state and federal agencies in the development and implementation of a comprehensive program to monitor the quality of the waters, habitat, and the living resources of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

1984, c. 183, § 2.1-51.8:2; 1986, c. 492; 2001, c. 844; 2004, c. 58; 2008, c. 368.

§ 2.2-217. Friend of the Bay Award.

The Secretary shall establish the "Friend of the Bay Award" program. The program shall annually recognize those individuals, businesses, organizations and other entities that have made significant efforts to preserve and enhance the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The program shall make such awards on a noncompetitive basis, using criteria to be developed by the Secretary, in consultation with those agencies within the Secretariat, the Virginia delegation to the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Chesapeake Executive Council.

1994, c. 392, § 2.1-51.8:3; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-218. Development of Watershed Implementation Plans to restore the water quality and living resources of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

The Secretary shall coordinate the development of Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) pursuant to the total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the Chesapeake Bay released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in December 2010 and amendment thereto. The WIPs shall be designed to improve water quality and restore the living resources of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The WIPs shall be developed in consultation with affected stakeholders, including local government officials; wastewater treatment operators; seafood industry representatives; commercial and recreational fishing interests; developers; farmers; local, regional and statewide conservation and environmental interests; and the Virginia delegation to the Chesapeake Bay Commission.

1996, c. 1031, § 2.1-51.12:1; 1999, c. 548; 2001, c. 844; 2003, c. 885; 2015, c. 380.

§ 2.2-219. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2016, c. 120, cl. 1.

§ 2.2-220. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2015, c. 48, cl. 1.

§ 2.2-220.1. Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement; annual report.

By November 1 of each year, the Secretary of Natural Resources shall report to the Governor and the Chairs of the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources on the implementation of the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. The Secretary may use documents, reports, and other materials developed in cooperation with other signatories to the agreement, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other relevant federal agencies or nongovernmental organizations, to fulfill this reporting requirement.

2001, c. 259, § 2.1-51.12:4; 2015, c. 475.

§ 2.2-220.2. Development of strategies to prevent the introduction of, to control, and to eradicate invasive species.

A. The Secretaries of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Forestry shall coordinate the development of strategic actions to be taken by the Commonwealth, individual state and federal agencies, private businesses, and landowners related to invasive species prevention, early detection and rapid response, control and management, research and risk assessment, and education and outreach. Such strategic actions shall include the development of a state invasive species management plan. The plan shall include a list of invasive species that pose the greatest threat to the Commonwealth. The primary purposes of the plan shall be to address the rising cost of invasive species, to improve coordination among state and federal agencies' efforts regarding invasive species prevention and management and information exchange, and to educate the public on related matters. The Secretaries of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Forestry shall update the state invasive species management plan at least once every four years. The Department of Conservation and Recreation shall provide staff support.

B. The Secretary of Natural Resources shall establish and serve as chair of an advisory group to develop an invasive species management plan and shall coordinate and implement recommendations of that plan. Other members of the advisory group shall include the Departments of Conservation and Recreation, Wildlife Resources, Environmental Quality, Forestry, Agriculture and Consumer Services, Health, and Transportation; the Marine Resources Commission; the Virginia Cooperative Extension; the Virginia Institute of Marine Science; representatives of the agriculture and forestry industries; the conservation community; interested federal agencies; academic institutions; and commercial interests. The Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry shall serve as the vice-chair of the advisory group. The advisory group shall meet at least twice per year and shall utilize ad hoc committees as necessary with special emphasis on working with affected industries, landowners, and citizens, and shall assist the Secretary to:

1. Prevent additional introductions of invasive species to the lands and waters of the Commonwealth;

2. Procure, use, and maintain native species to replace invasive species;

3. Implement targeted control efforts on those invasive species that are present in the Commonwealth but are susceptible to such management actions;

4. Identify and report the appearance of invasive species before they can become established and control becomes less feasible;

5. Implement immediate control measures if a new invasive species is introduced in Virginia, with the aim of eradicating that species from Virginia's lands and waters if feasible given the degree of infestation; and

6. Recommend legislative actions or pursue federal grants to implement the plan.

C. As used in this section, "invasive species" means a species, including its seeds, eggs, spores or other biological material capable of propagating that species, that is not native to the ecosystem and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health; however, this definition shall not include (i) any agricultural crop generally recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture or the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as suitable to be grown in the Commonwealth, or (ii) any aquacultural organism recognized by the Marine Resources Commission or the Department of Wildlife Resources as suitable to be propagated in the Commonwealth.

Nothing in this section shall affect the authorities of any agency represented on the advisory group with respect to invasive species.

2009, cc. 144, 619; 2020, c. 958.

§ 2.2-220.3. Development of strategies to collect land use and conservation information.

The Secretary of Natural Resources, with assistance from the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, shall establish and maintain a database of the critical data attributes for onsite best management practices implemented in the Commonwealth that limit the amount of nutrients and sediment entering state waters. The database shall document voluntary actions taken by the agricultural and silvicultural sectors and should enable the application of the collected data towards projections of progress towards Virginia's water quality goals by sharing the data with the appropriate federal or state agencies. To the extent possible or appropriate, the database shall (i) be uniform in content and format to applications in the other states of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, (ii) maintain the confidentiality of information, and (iii) use existing methods of data collection including reports to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency, soil and water conservation districts, and localities for the purpose of land use valuation. Any information collected pursuant to this section shall be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

2010, c. 172.

§ 2.2-220.4. National Flood Insurance Program; annual report.

The Secretary shall report participation by affected localities in the Community Rating System (CRS) of the National Flood Insurance Program (42 U.S.C. § 4001 et seq.) to the Governor and the General Assembly no later than November 1, 2018. The report shall list any affected locality that does not participate in the CRS, determine the costs and benefits to localities of participation in the CRS, and recommend any legislation necessary to encourage participation.

2017, c. 274.

Article 8. Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security.

§ 2.2-221. Position established; agencies for which responsible; additional powers and duties.

A. The position of Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security (the Secretary) is created. The Secretary shall be responsible to the Governor for the following agencies: the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Criminal Justice Services, Department of Forensic Science, Virginia Parole Board, Department of Emergency Management, Department of State Police, Department of Fire Programs, and Commonwealth's Attorneys' Services Council. The Governor may, by executive order, assign any other state executive agency to the Secretary, or reassign any agency listed above to another Secretary.

B. The Secretary shall by reason of professional background have knowledge of law enforcement, public safety, or emergency management and preparedness issues, in addition to familiarity with the structure and operations of the federal government and of the Commonwealth.

Unless the Governor expressly reserves such power to himself, the Secretary shall:

1. Work with and through others, including federal, state, and local officials as well as the private sector, to develop a seamless, coordinated security and preparedness strategy and implementation plan.

2. Serve as the point of contact with the federal Department of Homeland Security.

3. Provide oversight, coordination, and review of all disaster, emergency management, and terrorism management plans for the state and its agencies in coordination with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and other applicable state agencies.

4. Work with federal officials to obtain additional federal resources and coordinate policy development and information exchange.

5. Work with and through appropriate members of the Governor's Cabinet to coordinate working relationships between state agencies and take all actions necessary to ensure that available federal and state resources are directed toward safeguarding Virginia and its citizens.

6. Designate a Commonwealth Interoperability Coordinator to ensure that all communications-related preparedness federal grant requests from state agencies and localities are used to enhance interoperability. The Secretary shall ensure that the annual review and update of the statewide interoperability strategic plan is conducted as required in § 2.2-222.2. The Commonwealth Interoperability Coordinator shall establish an advisory group consisting of representatives of state and local government and constitutional offices, broadly distributed across the Commonwealth, who are actively engaged in activities and functions related to communications interoperability.

7. Serve as one of the Governor's representatives on regional efforts to develop a coordinated security and preparedness strategy, including the National Capital Region Senior Policy Group organized as part of the federal Urban Areas Security Initiative.

8. Serve as a direct liaison between the Governor and local governments and first responders on issues of emergency prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.

9. Educate the public on homeland security and overall preparedness issues in coordination with applicable state agencies.

10. Serve as chairman of the Secure and Resilient Commonwealth Panel.

11. Encourage homeland security volunteer efforts throughout the state.

12. Coordinate the development of an allocation formula for State Homeland Security Grant Program funds to localities and state agencies in compliance with federal grant guidance and constraints. The formula shall be, to the extent permissible under federal constraints, based on actual risk, threat, and need.

13. Work with the appropriate state agencies to ensure that regional working groups are meeting regularly and focusing on regional initiatives in training, equipment, and strategy to ensure ready access to response teams in times of emergency and facilitate testing and training exercises for emergencies and mass casualty preparedness.

14. Provide oversight and review of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management's annual statewide assessment of local and regional capabilities, including equipment, training, personnel, response times, and other factors.

15. Employ, as needed, consultants, attorneys, architects, engineers, accountants, financial experts, investment bankers, superintendents, managers, and such other employees and agents as may be necessary, and fix their compensation to be payable from funds made available for that purpose.

16. Receive and accept from any federal or private agency, foundation, corporation, association, or person grants, donations of money, real property, or personal property for the benefit of the Commonwealth, and receive and accept from the Commonwealth or any state, any municipality, county, or other political subdivision thereof, or any other source, aid or contributions of money, property, or other things of value, to be held, used, and applied for the purposes for which such grants and contributions may be made.

17. Receive and accept from any source aid, grants, and contributions of money, property, labor, or other things of value to be held, used, and applied to carry out these requirements subject to the conditions upon which the aid, grants, or contributions are made.

18. Make grants to local governments, state and federal agencies, and private entities with any funds of the Secretary available for such purpose.

19. Provide oversight and review of the law-enforcement operations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.

20. Take any actions necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers granted or reasonably implied to this Secretary and not otherwise inconsistent with the law of the Commonwealth.

1976, c. 732, §§ 2.1-51.16, 2.1-51.18; 1978, cc. 455, 606, 607, 820; 1984, cc. 720, 779; 1985, cc. 447, 448; 1986, c. 60; 1988, cc. 67, 173, 888; 1989, c. 733; 1990, cc. 1, 317; 1992, c. 81; 1996, c. 503; 2001, c. 844; 2006, cc. 150, 326; 2011, cc. 780, 858; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2014, cc. 115, 490; 2015, cc. 38, 730; 2020, c. 88.

§ 2.2-221.1. Secretary to coordinate system for offender transition and reentry services.

The Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security shall establish an integrated system for coordinating the planning and provision of offender transitional and reentry services among and between state, local, and nonprofit agencies in order to prepare inmates for successful transition into their communities upon release from incarceration and for improving opportunities for treatment, employment, and housing while on subsequent probation, parole, or post-release supervision.

It is the intent of the General Assembly that funds used for the purposes of this section be leveraged to the fullest extent possible and that direct transitional and reentry employment and housing assistance for offenders be provided in the most cost effective means possible, including through agreements with local nonprofit pre- and post-release service organizations.

2005, c. 153; 2014, cc. 115, 490.

§ 2.2-222. Secretary to provide annual reports on juvenile offenders.

The Secretary shall provide annual reports to the Governor and the General Assembly on juvenile offender demographics by offense, age, committing court, previous court contacts of offenders, and, beginning in July 1998, recidivism rates of juveniles committed to agencies within the Secretariat. The annual report shall also include summaries of any juvenile program evaluations completed in the previous year on programs operated by the Departments of Juvenile Justice, Corrections or Criminal Justice Services and whose evaluation was directed by the General Assembly or the Secretary.

1976, c. 732, § 2.1-51.17; 1984, c. 720; 1990, cc. 1, 317; 1996, c. 617; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-222.1. Secretary to oversee and monitor the development, maintenance, and implementation of a comprehensive and measurable homeland security strategy for the Commonwealth.

A. The Secretary shall ensure that, consistent with the National Incident Management System (NIMS), the Commonwealth implements a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action pursuant to securing the Commonwealth at both the state and local level against man-made and natural disasters. To that end, the Secretary shall take action to assign responsibility among agencies, jurisdictions, and subdivisions of the Commonwealth to affect the highest state of readiness posed by both man-made and natural disasters. In doing so, the Secretary shall ensure that preparedness initiatives will be effectively and efficiently coordinated, implemented, and monitored.

B. The Secretary shall also oversee and monitor the development, maintenance, and implementation of a comprehensive and measurable homeland security strategy for the Commonwealth. To ensure a comprehensive strategy, the Secretary shall coordinate the homeland security strategy with the Secure and Resilient Commonwealth Panel, as established in § 2.2-222.3, and all state and local, public and private, councils that have a homeland security focus within the Commonwealth. The strategy shall ensure that the Commonwealth's homeland security programs are resourced, executed, and assessed according to well-defined and relevant Commonwealth homeland security requirements. In support of the strategy, the Secretary shall provide oversight of the designated State Administrative Agency (SAA) for homeland security to ensure that applications for grant funds by state agencies or local governments describe well-defined requirements for planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action measures essential to Commonwealth security.

C. The homeland security strategy shall (i) designate a state proponent for each goal identified in the strategy; (ii) identify which state agencies shall have responsibility for prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery requirements associated with each goal; (iii) prescribe metrics to those state agencies to quantify readiness for man-made and natural disasters; (iv) ensure that state agencies follow rigorous planning practices; and (v) conduct annual reviews and updates to ensure planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action is fully implemented at state and local levels of government.

D. The Secretary shall ensure that state agencies develop and maintain rigorously developed response plans in support of the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Operations Plan (COVEOP). The Secretary shall designate the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) as the primary agent to ensure that state agencies are compliant with the COVEOP. The Secretary shall further require that VDEM ensure the development of state agency and local disaster response plans and procedures, and monitor the status and quality of those plans on a cyclical basis to establish that they are feasible and suitable and can be implemented with available resources.

E. The Secretary shall be responsible for the coordination and development of state and local shelter, evacuation, traffic, and refuge of last resort planning. The Secretary shall ensure that jurisdictions and subdivisions of the Commonwealth have adequate shelter, evacuation, traffic, and refuge of last resort plans to support emergency evacuation in the event of a man-made or natural disaster. To that end, the Secretary shall direct VDEM to monitor, review, and evaluate on a cyclical basis all shelter, evacuation, traffic, and refuge of last resort plans to ensure they are feasible and suitable and can be implemented with available resources.

F. The Secretary shall also ensure that plans for protecting public critical infrastructure are both developed and fully implemented by those state agencies, jurisdictions, and subdivisions of the Commonwealth with responsibility for critical infrastructure protection.

G. The Secretary is authorized, consistent with federal and state law and procurement regulations thereof, to contract for private and public sector services in homeland security and emergency management to enable, enhance, augment, or supplement state and local planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and corrective action capability as he deems necessary to meet Commonwealth security goals with such funds as may be made available to the Secretary or the Department of Emergency Management annually for such services.

2014, cc. 115, 490; 2019, c. 615.

§ 2.2-222.2. Additional duties related to review of statewide interoperability strategic plan; state and local compliance.

The Secretary through the Commonwealth Interoperability Coordinator shall ensure that the annual review and update of the statewide interoperability strategic plan is accomplished and implemented to achieve effective and efficient communication between state, local, and federal communications systems.

All state agencies and localities shall achieve consistency with and support the goals of the statewide interoperability strategic plan by July 1, 2015, in order to remain eligible to receive state or federal funds for communications programs and systems.

2014, cc. 115, 490.

§ 2.2-222.3. Secure and Resilient Commonwealth Panel; membership; duties; compensation; staff.

A. The Secure and Resilient Commonwealth Panel (the Panel) is established as an advisory board, within the meaning of § 2.2-2100, in the executive branch of state government. The Panel shall consist of 38 members as follows: four members of the House of Delegates to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates, one of whom shall be the Chairman of the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety and one of whom shall be a member of the Subcommittee on Public Safety of the House Committee on Appropriations; two nonlegislative citizen members to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates; four members of the Senate of Virginia to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, one of whom shall be the Chairman of the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology and one of whom shall be a member of the Subcommittee on Public Safety of the Senate Committee on Finance; two nonlegislative citizen members to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Secretaries of Administration, Commerce and Trade, Health and Human Resources, Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security, and Veterans and Defense Affairs, the State Coordinator of Emergency Management, the Superintendent of State Police, the Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard, and the State Health Commissioner, or their designees; two local first responders; two local government representatives; two physicians with knowledge of public health; five members from the business or industry sector; and two nonlegislative citizen members from the Commonwealth at large. Except for appointments made by the Speaker of the House of Delegates and the Senate Committee on Rules, all appointments shall be made by the Governor. Additional ex officio members may be appointed to the Panel by the Governor. Legislative members shall serve terms coincident with their terms of office or until their successors shall qualify. Nonlegislative citizen members shall serve for terms of four years. Ex officio members shall serve at the pleasure of the person or entity by whom they were appointed. The Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security shall be the chairman of the Panel.

B. The Panel shall have as its primary focus emergency management and homeland security within the Commonwealth to ensure that prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery programs, initiatives, and activities, both at the state and local levels, are fully integrated, suitable, and effective in addressing risks from man-made and natural disasters. The Panel shall where necessary review, evaluate, and make recommendations concerning implementation of such initiatives. The Panel shall also make such recommendations as it deems necessary to enhance or improve the resiliency of public and private critical infrastructure to mitigate against man-made and natural disasters.

C. The Panel shall carry out the provisions of Title 3, P.L. 99-499. The Panel shall convene at least biennially to discuss (i) changing and persistent risks to the Commonwealth from threats, hazards, vulnerabilities, and consequences and (ii) plans and resources to address those risks.

D. The Panel shall designate an Emergency Management Awareness Group (the Group) consisting of the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia, and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety and the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology to facilitate communication between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government. The Group shall convene at the call of the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security during a state of emergency to share critical information concerning such situation and the impact on the Commonwealth and its branches of government. The Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security shall (i) advise the Panel whenever the Group meets and (ii) facilitate communication between the Group and the Panel. The Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security shall assist, to the extent provided by law, in obtaining access to classified information for the Group when such information is necessary to enable the Group to perform its duties.

E. Members of the Panel shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of their duties as provided in § 2.2-2825.

F. Staff support for the Panel and funding for the costs of expenses of the members shall be provided by the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security.

G. The Secretary shall facilitate cabinet-level coordination among the various agencies of state government related to emergency preparedness and shall facilitate private sector preparedness and communication.

2014, cc. 115, 490; 2016, cc. 200, 216; 2017, c. 512; 2018, c. 822; 2019, c. 615.

§ 2.2-222.4. Chief Resilience Officer.

A. The Governor shall designate a Chief Resilience Officer. The Chief Resilience Officer shall serve as the primary coordinator of resilience and adaptation initiatives in Virginia and as the primary point of contact regarding issues related to resilience and recurrent flooding. The Chief Resilience Officer shall be equally responsible for all urban, suburban, and rural areas of the Commonwealth.

B. The Chief Resilience Officer, in consultation with the Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection, shall:

1. Identify and monitor those areas of the Commonwealth that are at greatest risk from recurrent flooding and increased future flooding and recommend actions that both the private and public sectors should consider in order to increase the resilience of such areas;

2. Upon the request of any locality in the Commonwealth in which is located a substantial flood defense or catchment area, including a levee, reservoir, dam, catch basin, or wetland or lake improved or constructed for the purpose of flood control, review and comment on plans for the construction or substantial reinforcement of such flood defense or catchment area; and

3. Initiate and assist with the pursuit of funding opportunities for resilience initiatives at both the state and local levels and help to oversee and coordinate funding initiatives of all agencies of the Commonwealth.

2020, c. 493.

§ 2.2-223. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2012, cc. 164 and 456, cl. 2.

§ 2.2-224. Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to publish certain list.

The Secretary shall publish annually a list of those localities that have acquired any aircraft through forfeiture procedures. The list shall include a description of each aircraft so acquired. The Secretary shall develop a program to encourage the use of such aircraft for travel associated with law-enforcement purposes, including but not limited to, extradition of prisoners and arrestees within and without the Commonwealth.

1995, c. 464, § 2.1-51.17:01; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-224.1. Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to establish information exchange program.

A. The Secretary shall establish a public safety information exchange program with those states that share a border with Canada or Mexico and are willing to participate in the exchange. The purpose of the information exchange shall be to share criminal information and, when authorized by the proper authority, intelligence information to address threats posed within the Commonwealth by (i) the organization or operation of criminal enterprises by transnational gangs; (ii) the production, transportation, distribution, or use of illegal drugs, firearms, or explosives; (iii) the activities of international or domestic terror organizations, agents, or sponsors thereof; and (iv) the criminal repercussions that result from the presence in the Commonwealth of persons or organizations illegally present in the United States.

B. The public safety information exchange program shall be administered by the Secretary and other state and local agencies designated by the Secretary.

C. The Secretary shall seek the cooperation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or any such successor agencies, and any other federal intelligence organizations as necessary, in order to facilitate the sharing of state and federal information and intelligence among the states participating in the exchange program.

2011, c. 503.

Article 9. Secretary of Technology.

§ 2.2-225. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2020, c. 738, cl. 2.

§ 2.2-226. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2003, cc. 981 and 1021.

Article 10. Secretary of Transportation.

§ 2.2-228. Position established; agencies for which responsible.

The position of Secretary of Transportation (the "Secretary") is created. The Secretary shall be responsible to the Governor for the following agencies: Department of Transportation, Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Department of Aviation, Department of Motor Vehicles, the Virginia Port Authority, and the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board. The Governor, by executive order, may assign any state executive agency to the Secretary, or reassign any agency listed in this section to another Secretary.

1990, cc. 1, 317, §§ 2.1-51.41, 2.1-51.43; 1992, c. 167; 1993, c. 757; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-229. Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment of the Secretary of Transportation.

A. There is hereby established the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment of the Secretary of Transportation (the Office), consisting of a director, appointed by the Secretary of Transportation, and such additional transportation professionals as the Secretary of Transportation shall determine. It shall be the duty of the Office to support and advise the Secretary in his role as chairman of the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

B. The goals of the Office shall be:

1. To promote transparency and accountability of the programming of transportation funds, including the development of the Six-Year Improvement Program pursuant to § 33.2-214 and the statewide prioritization process pursuant to § 33.2-214.1;

2. To ensure that the Commonwealth has a multimodal transportation system that promotes economic development and all transportation modes, intermodal connectivity, environmental quality, accessibility for people and freight, and transportation safety;

3. To encourage the use of innovation and best practices to improve the efficiency of the Commonwealth's surface transportation network and to enhance the efficacy of strategies to improve such efficiency; and

4. To promote the coordination between transportation investments and land use planning.

C. The responsibilities of the Office shall be:

1. To oversee and coordinate with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation the development of, for the Commonwealth Transportation Board's approval, the Six-Year Improvement Program pursuant to § 33.2-214 for the Commonwealth Transportation Board;

2. To implement the statewide prioritization process developed by the Commonwealth Transportation Board pursuant to § 33.2-214.1;

3. To develop, for the Commonwealth Transportation Board's approval, the Statewide Transportation Plan pursuant to § 33.2-353;

4. To develop measures and targets related to the performance of the Commonwealth's surface transportation network for the Commonwealth Transportation Board's approval, including any performance measurement required by Title 23 or 49 of the United States Code and any measures adopted by the Board pursuant to § 33.2-353;

5. To undertake, identify, coordinate, and oversee studies of potential highway, transit, rail, and other improvements or strategies, to help address needs identified in the Statewide Transportation Plan pursuant to § 33.2-353;

6. To assist the Commonwealth Transportation Board in the development of a comprehensive, multimodal transportation policy, which may be developed as part of the Statewide Transportation Plan pursuant to § 33.2-353;

7. To provide technical assistance to local governments and regional entities, including assistance to establish and promote urban development areas pursuant to § 15.2-2223.1;

8. To oversee and coordinate with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation the development of, for the Commonwealth Transportation Board's approval, the annual budget and the six-year financial plan for the Commonwealth Transportation Fund; and

9. To oversee, subject to approval of the Commonwealth Transportation Board, the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank established pursuant to § 33.2-1502 and the Toll Facilities Revolving Account established pursuant to § 33.2-1529.

D. In carrying out its responsibilities pursuant to subsection C, the Office shall coordinate with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, as appropriate, and coordinate with the Department of Transportation on all road, bridge, and tunnel projects and with the Department of Rail and Public Transportation on all rail and transit projects.

2002, c. 361; 2006, c. 942; 2007, cc. 80, 219; 2009, cc. 670, 690; 2017, cc. 166, 273; 2018, c. 828.

Article 11. Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs.

§ 2.2-230. Position established; agencies for which responsible; additional duties.

The position of Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs (the Secretary) is created. The Secretary shall be responsible to the Governor for the following agencies: Department of Military Affairs, Department of Veterans Services, Veterans Services Foundation, and Virginia Military Advisory Council. The Governor may, by executive order, assign any other state executive agency to the Secretary, or reassign any agency listed above to another Secretary.

The Secretary shall by reason of professional background have knowledge of veterans affairs and military affairs, in addition to familiarity with the structure and operations of the federal government and of the Commonwealth.

2011, cc. 780, 858; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2014, cc. 115, 490; 2020, c. 88.

§ 2.2-231. Powers and duties of the Secretary.

Unless the Governor expressly reserves such power to himself, the Secretary shall:

1. Serve as the Governor's liaison for veterans affairs and provide active outreach to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the veterans service organizations, and the veterans community in Virginia to support and assist Virginia's veterans in identifying and obtaining the services, assistance, and support to which they are entitled.

2. Work with federal officials to obtain additional federal resources and coordinate veterans policy development and information exchange.

3. Work with and through appropriate members of the Governor's Cabinet to coordinate working relationships between state agencies and take all actions necessary to ensure that available federal and state resources are directed toward assisting veterans and addressing all issues of mutual concern to the Commonwealth and the armed forces of the United States, including quality of life issues unique to Virginia's active duty military personnel and their families, the quality of educational opportunities for military children, the future of federal impact aid, preparedness, public safety and security concerns, transportation needs, alcoholic beverage law enforcement, substance abuse, social service needs, possible expansion and growth of military facilities in the Commonwealth, and intergovernmental support agreements with state and local governments under the provisions of 10 U.S.C. § 2336.

4. Educate the public on veterans and defense issues in coordination with applicable state agencies.

5. Serve as chairman of the Virginia Military Advisory Council to establish a working relationship with Virginia's active duty military bases.

6. Monitor and enhance efforts to provide assistance and support for veterans living in Virginia and members of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia residents in the Armed Forces Reserves not in active federal service in the areas of (i) medical care, (ii) mental health and rehabilitative services, (iii) housing, (iv) homelessness prevention, (v) job creation, and (vi) education.

7. Seek additional federal resources to support veterans services.

8. Monitor efforts to provide services to veterans, those members of the Virginia National Guard, and Virginia residents in the Armed Forces Reserves who qualify for veteran status, and their immediate family members, including the dissemination of relevant materials and the rendering of technical or other advice.

9. Serve as the Governor's liaison and provide active outreach to localities of the Commonwealth and veterans support organizations in the development, implementation, and review of local veterans services programs as part of the state program.

10. Serve as the Governor's defense liaison and provide active outreach to the U.S. Department of Defense and the defense establishment in Virginia to support the military installations and activities in the Commonwealth to continue to enhance Virginia's current military-friendly environment, and foster and promote business, technology, transportation, education, economic development, and other efforts in support of the mission, execution, and transformation of the United States government military and national defense activities located in the Commonwealth.

11. Promote the industrial and economic development of localities included in or adjacent to United States government military and other national defense activities and those of the Commonwealth because the success of such activities depends on cooperation between the localities, the Commonwealth, and the United States military and national defense activities.

12. Provide technical assistance and coordination between the Commonwealth, its political subdivisions, and the United States government military and national defense activities located within the Commonwealth.

13. Employ, as needed, consultants, 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 for that purpose.

14. Receive and accept from any federal or private agency, foundation, corporation, association, or person grants, donations of money, real property, or personal property for the benefit of the Commonwealth and receive and accept from the Commonwealth or any state, any municipality, county, or other political subdivision thereof, and from any other source, aid or contributions of money, property, or other things of value, to be held, used, and applied for the purposes for which such grants and contributions may be made.

15. Receive and accept from any source aid, grants, and contributions of money, property, labor, or other things of value to be held, used, and applied to carry out these requirements subject to the conditions upon which the aid, grants, or contributions are made.

16. Make grants to local governments, state and federal agencies, and private entities with any funds of the Secretary available for such purpose.

17. Take any actions necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers granted or reasonably implied to this Secretary and not otherwise inconsistent with the law of the Commonwealth.

18. Work with veterans services organizations and counterparts in other states to monitor and encourage the timely and accurate processing of veterans benefit requests by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, including requests for services connected to health care, mental health care, and disability payments.

19. In conjunction with subdivision 6, coordinate with federal, state, local, and private partners to assist homeless veterans in obtaining a state-issued identification card, in order to enable these veterans to access the available federal, state, local, and other resources they need to attain financial stability or address other issues that have adversely affected their lives.

2011, cc. 780, 858; 2013, c. 151; 2014, cc. 115, 490; 2016, c. 689.

§ 2.2-232. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2014, c. 115, cl. 2, effective March 3, 2014, and c. 490, cl. 2, effective April 2, 2014.

Article 12. Virginia Environmental Justice Act.

§ 2.2-234. Definitions.

For purposes of this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Community of color" means any geographically distinct area where the population of color, expressed as a percentage of the total population of such area, is higher than the population of color in the Commonwealth expressed as a percentage of the total population of the Commonwealth. However, if a community of color is composed primarily of one of the groups listed in the definition of "population of color," the percentage population of such group in the Commonwealth shall be used instead of the percentage population of color in the Commonwealth.

"Environment" means the natural, cultural, social, economic, and political assets or components of a community.

"Environmental justice" means the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of every person, regardless of race, color, national origin, income, faith, or disability, regarding the development, implementation, or enforcement of any environmental law, regulation, or policy.

"Environmental justice community" means any low-income community or community of color.

"Fair treatment" means the equitable consideration of all people whereby no group of people bears a disproportionate share of any negative environmental consequence resulting from an industrial, governmental, or commercial operation, program, or policy.

"Fenceline community" means an area that contains all or part of a low-income community or community of color and that presents an increased health risk to its residents due to its proximity to a major source of pollution.

"Low income" means having an annual household income equal to or less than the greater of (i) an amount equal to 80 percent of the median income of the area in which the household is located, as reported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and (ii) 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

"Low-income community" means any census block group in which 30 percent or more of the population is composed of people with low income.

"Meaningful involvement" means the requirements that (i) affected and vulnerable community residents have access and opportunities to participate in the full cycle of the decision-making process about a proposed activity that will affect their environment or health and (ii) decision makers will seek out and consider such participation, allowing the views and perspectives of community residents to shape and influence the decision.

"Population of color" means a population of individuals who identify as belonging to one or more of the following groups: Black, African American, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, other non-white race, mixed race, Hispanic, Latino, or linguistically isolated.

"State agency" means any agency, authority, institution, board, bureau, commission, council, or instrumentality of state government in the executive branch of government.

2020, cc. 1212, 1257.

§ 2.2-235. Policy regarding environmental justice.

It is the policy of the Commonwealth to promote environmental justice and ensure that it is carried out throughout the Commonwealth, with a focus on environmental justice communities and fenceline communities.

2020, cc. 1212, 1257.

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