Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 2.2. Administration of Government
Chapter 2. Governor's Secretaries
12/2/2021

Article 3. Secretary of Commerce and Trade.

§ 2.2-204. (Effective until October 1, 2021) 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 Mines, Minerals and Energy, 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; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 453.

§ 2.2-204. (Effective October 1, 2021) 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 Energy, 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; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 453, 532.

§ 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, Labor, Natural and Historic 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; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 401, 453.

§ 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, Health and Human Resources, and Labor 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; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 453.

§ 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 Committee on Appropriations, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, 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 and Historic 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; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 401.

§ 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.