Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 2.2. Administration of Government
Chapter 4. Secretary of the Commonwealth

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 2.2-400. Appointment and term of office; filling vacancies; oath.

A. The Governor shall appoint, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, a Secretary of the Commonwealth for a term commencing on the Monday after the third Wednesday in January after his inauguration. The appointment shall be for a term of four years. Vacancies shall be filled by appointment by the Governor for the unexpired term and shall be effective until thirty days after the next meeting of the ensuing General Assembly and, if confirmed, thereafter for the remainder of the term.

B. The Secretary of the Commonwealth, before he acts as such, shall, in addition to the other oaths prescribed by law, take an oath to keep secret such matters as he may be required by the Governor to conceal.

Code 1950, § 2-59; 1958, c. 1, § 2-57.1; 1966, c. 677, §§ 2.1-65, 2.1-67; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-401. Ex officio Secretary to Governor; in charge of division of records.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth, who shall be ex officio Secretary to the Governor, shall be in direct charge of the division of records.

Code 1950, § 2-58; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-66; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-401.01. Liaison to Virginia Indian tribes; Virginia Indigenous People's Trust Fund.

A. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall:

1. Serve as the Governor's liaison to the Virginia Indian tribes; and

2. Report annually on the status of Indian tribes in Virginia.

B. The Secretary of the Commonwealth may establish a Virginia Indian advisory board to assist the Secretary in reviewing applications seeking recognition as a Virginia Indian tribe and to make recommendations to the Secretary, the Governor, and the General Assembly on such applications and other matters relating to recognition as follows:

1. The members of any such board shall be composed of no more than seven members to be appointed by the Secretary as follows: at least three of the members shall be members of Virginia recognized tribes to represent the Virginia Indian community, and one nonlegislative citizen member shall represent the Commonwealth's scholarly community. The Librarian of Virginia, the Director of the Department of Historic Resources, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, or their designees, shall serve ex officio with voting privileges. Nonlegislative citizen members of any such board shall be citizens of the Commonwealth. Ex officio members shall serve terms coincident with their terms of office. Nonlegislative citizen members shall be appointed for a term of two years. Appointments to fill vacancies, other than by expiration of a term, shall be for the unexpired terms. All members may be reappointed. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall appoint a chairperson from among the members for a two-year term. Members shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided in §§ 2.2-2813 and 2.2-2825.

2. Any such board shall have the following powers and duties:

a. Establish guidance for documentation required to meet the criteria for full recognition of the Virginia Indian tribes that is consistent with the principles and requirements of federal tribal recognition;

b. Establish a process for accepting and reviewing all applications for full tribal recognition;

c. Appoint and establish a workgroup on tribal recognition composed of nonlegislative citizens at large who have knowledge of Virginia Indian history and current status. Such workgroup (i) may be activated in any year in which an application for full tribal recognition has been submitted and in other years as deemed appropriate by any such board and (ii) shall include at a minimum a genealogist and at least two scholars with recognized familiarity with Virginia Indian tribes. No member of the workgroup shall be associated in any way with the applicant. Members of the workgroup shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided in §§ 2.2-2813 and 2.2-2825;

d. Solicit, accept, use, and dispose of gifts, grants, donations, bequests, or other funds or real or personal property for the purpose of aiding or facilitating the work of the board;

e. Make recommendations to the Secretary for full tribal recognition based on the findings of the workgroup and the board; and

f. Perform such other duties, functions, and activities as may be necessary to facilitate and implement the objectives of this subsection.

C. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Virginia Indigenous People's Trust Fund, referred to in this section as "the Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All funds appropriated for such purpose, any tax revenue accruing to the Fund pursuant to § 58.1-4125, and any gifts, donations, grants, bequests, and other funds received on its behalf shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. 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. After payment of the costs of administration of the Fund, moneys in the Fund shall be used to make disbursements on a quarterly basis in equal amounts to each of the six Virginia Indian tribes federally recognized under P.L. 115-121 of 2018. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

2014, c. 582; 2016, c. 746; 2020, cc. 1197, 1248.

§ 2.2-401.1. Certified mail; subsequent mail or notices may be sent by regular mail.

Whenever in the Code of Virginia the Secretary is required to send any mail or notice by certified mail and such mail or notice is sent certified mail, return receipt requested, then any subsequent, identical mail or notice that is sent by the Secretary may be sent by regular mail.

2011, c. 566.

§ 2.2-402. Keeper of seals of Commonwealth; duties generally.

A. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall (i) be keeper of the seals of the Commonwealth; (ii) keep a record of all executive acts, arrange and preserve all records and papers belonging to the executive branch of state government; (iii) be charged with the clerical duties of that department; and (iv) render to the Governor, in the dispatch of executive business, such services as he requires. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall record or register all papers or documents required by law to be registered or recorded in his office, and, when required, furnish a copy of any record in his office under the seal of the Commonwealth.

B. The Secretary of the Commonwealth may authenticate records of any court of the Commonwealth and of any department of the government. He shall keep a register of all city, incorporated town, county, and district officers, and, when required, give a certificate of the election and qualification of any such officer.

C. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall make an annual report to the Governor, identifying the following: (i) the governing boards of all public institutions of higher education, and other boards appointed by the Governor; (ii) all commissions issued under appointments made by the Governor, except commissions to notaries public; (iii) all departments, boards, councils, commissions, and other collegial bodies created in the executive branch of state government; and (iv) such other matters as the Governor requires.

The annual report shall also include:

1. An organizational chart of state government that (i) identifies each agency, department, and institution of state government and (ii) contains a brief description of the duties of each agency, department, and institution. The Secretary of the Commonwealth may include such other information in the organizational chart as the Secretary deems appropriate. Annually, the Secretary shall make such revisions to the organizational chart as are necessary to ensure its accuracy. The organizational chart shall be posted on the Commonwealth's website; and

2. Information and photographs of the members of the General Assembly; these materials shall be maintained for the Secretary's use in the annual report by the Clerks of the House of Delegates and the Senate.

The reports shall be transmitted by the Governor to the General Assembly, printed as other annual reports are printed, bound in a separate volume, and disposed of according to law.

D. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall collect all fees described in § 2.2-409, and all other fees of office and commissions, accruing and pay them into the state treasury.

E. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall, as soon as practicable, forward a copy of any absolute pardon granted by the Governor to a person for the commission of a crime that such person did not commit to the circuit court for the county or city in which such person was convicted of the crime for which the Governor granted the absolute pardon.

Code 1950, §§ 2-60, 14-13; 1956, c. 217; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-14; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-68; 1998, c. 872; 1999, c. 51; 2001, c. 844; 2012, c. 271; 2019, c. 181.

§ 2.2-403. Compilation of compacts and related records and reports.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall conserve a copy of each of the compacts to which the Commonwealth is now or has been a party, commencing with the compact entered into with the state of North Carolina that is referenced in chapter XXIX of the October Session of the 1778 Acts of the General Assembly. The record shall contain the dates on which the compacts were confirmed by the Commonwealth.

In accordance with § 30-154.1, beginning July 1, 2001, the Virginia Code Commission shall annually forward to the Secretary of the Commonwealth any newly enacted, amended or repealed compact as it was adopted by the Commonwealth.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall also maintain all records relating to the appointment of persons in accordance with compacts confirmed by the Commonwealth.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall report to the Governor and the Virginia Commission on Interstate Cooperation within fifteen days after the convening of each legislative session, and at such other times as deemed appropriate, on appointments and vacancies to the interstate boards, commissions and committees established for the purposes of such compacts.

1976, c. 198, § 2.1-68.1; 2001, cc. 100, 844.

§ 2.2-404. Certifying records for use in other states.

Whenever any record of any court in the Commonwealth or of any department of the government is to be used in another state in the United States, the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall authenticate the same in the manner and give the certificates required by the laws of the state when such record is to be used, as far as practicable.

Code 1950, § 2-61; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-69; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-405. Secretary of Commonwealth to present list of vacancies to arise on commissions, boards, etc.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall prepare by the fifteenth of January in each year a list of all vacancies that are scheduled to arise during that year on all boards, commissions, councils or other collegial bodies appointed by the Governor. The list shall be presented to the Governor and the General Assembly as soon as practicable following its preparation, and the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall make copies of the list available to the public at cost.

1979, c. 141, § 2.1-42.2; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-406. Secretary of Commonwealth to report list of interim appointments requiring confirmation; other appointments.

A. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall periodically, during the interim between sessions of the General Assembly, present to the chairmen of the Senate and House Committees on Privileges and Elections a list of the names of all persons appointed by the Governor that require confirmation by the General Assembly. A list shall be presented by June 1, August 1, October 1, and December 1, and shall include the names of all persons so appointed since adjournment or since the last required report, the position to which appointed, and the person whom the appointee will succeed.

B. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall report to the General Assembly by December 1 of each year, the number of persons appointed to any state board, commission, agency or authority, categorized by race, gender and national origin. Information on the race, gender and national origin of appointees shall be obtained through voluntary self-identification following appointment. Such information shall be used solely for the purpose of compiling the statistical information required under this section and any personally identifiable information collected under this section shall be confidential and shall be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

1994, c. 846, § 2.1-42.3; 1995, c. 579; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-406.1. Secretary of Commonwealth to maintain and transfer records on collegial bodies to the Governor-elect.

A. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall maintain an electronic database of collegial bodies to which the Governor makes appointments. The database shall be organized by collegial body and include the following information:

1. Authority for each appointment;

2. Term length and term expiration dates for each appointee;

3. Eligibility requirements or other restrictions affecting the next appointment;

4. Name, address, and telephone number of each appointee;

5. Identity of the chairman and vice-chairman and the method of their election; and

6. Name of the affiliated agency or entity that provides staff support and the name and telephone number of the contact person within such agency or entity.

B. Agencies and entities of the Commonwealth that provide staff support to a collegial body shall notify the Secretary of the Commonwealth of an appointee's death or resignation and any changes to the contact information for an appointee or staff or a appointee's eligibility status.

C. The electronic database or copy thereof shall be transferred to each Governor-elect upon request.

2003, cc. 532, 556.

§ 2.2-407. Reserved.


§ 2.2-408. Collection of information relevant to boundary changes from governmental subdivisions of Commonwealth.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall be responsible for the collection from the governmental subdivisions of the Commonwealth of information relevant to their boundary changes and the dissemination of such information to the appropriate departments of state government.

1978, c. 641, § 2.1-71.1; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-409. Secretary of the Commonwealth.

A. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall charge the following fees for services rendered in his office to be paid by the person for whom the service is rendered at the time it is done:

aFor a testimonial, including seal tax....................................$10.00
bFor each authentication after the first testimonial for documents bearing
the testament by the same person on the same date, including seal tax...
cFor a copy of any paper, if on one sheet.................................1.00
dAnd for each sheet after the first........................................75
eFor issuing a commission to a commissioner in another state..............7.00
fFor power of attorney for nonresident insurers, contractors...............3.00
gFor service of process on parties, each defendant........................19.00
hFor service of process on reciprocal insurers.............................7.00
iFor registration of name, badge and insignia............................7.50
jFor affixing the Seal of the Commonwealth.............................2.00
kFor issuing a commission to a notary for the Commonwealth at large,
including seal tax..................................................
lFor issuing a commission to an electronic notary public...................35.00

And for filing in his office any paper required by law to be filed, the same fee as is allowed by law for recording similar papers.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall charge a technology fee of $10 in addition to the fees set out in subsection A for commissioning of a notary public or electronic notary public, which funds shall be deposited into the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Technology Trust Fund established by the comptroller and used only to obtain and update office automation and information technology equipment including software and conversion services; to preserve, maintain, and enhance records, including but not limited to the costs of repairs, maintenance, service contracts, and system upgrades; and to improve public access to records. There shall be no transfers out of the fund, including transfers to the general fund.

Code 1950, § 14-114; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-103; 1966, c. 272; 1976, c. 559; 1979, c. 14; 1984, c. 362; 1987, cc. 449, 459; 1998, cc. 259, 872, § 2.1-71.2; 2001, c. 844; 2007, cc. 269, 362, 590.

§ 2.2-410. Appointment of assistants; deputy to act in absence of Secretary; notice to Governor.

A. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall appoint in his office the assistants allowed by law.

B. During the absence of the Secretary of the Commonwealth from his office his duties shall be performed by the Deputy Secretary, but when such absence is for more than five days at a time, notice thereof shall be given to the Governor.

Code 1950, §§ 2-63, 2-64; 1966, c. 677, §§ 2.1-72, 2.1-73; 2001, c. 844.