Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
12/16/2018

Chapter 5.3. Commonwealth Health Research Board and Fund; Christopher Reeve Stem Cell Research Fund.

§ 32.1-162.23. Commonwealth Health Research Board established.

A. The Commonwealth Health Research Board (the Board) is established as an independent body. The purpose of the Board is to provide financial support from the Commonwealth Health Research Fund (the Fund), in the form of grants, donations, or other assistance, for research efforts that have the potential of maximizing human health benefits for the citizens of the Commonwealth. Research efforts eligible for support by the Board shall include traditional medical and biomedical research relating to health services, the delivery of health care, and the causes and cures of diseases.

B. The Board shall be composed of seven members, of whom three shall be appointed by the Governor and four shall be appointed by the Joint Rules Committee. All appointments to the Board are subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. Appointments shall be for terms of five years. 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.

No member shall serve more than two consecutive five-year terms; however, a member appointed to serve an unexpired term is eligible to serve two additional consecutive five-year terms immediately succeeding such unexpired term.

C. Members of the Board shall have substantial experience or expertise, personal or professional, in at least one of the following areas: medicine, medical or scientific research, public policy, government, business, or education. No member shall be an incumbent elected official, state official, state employee, or member of the governing board of a state agency or institution. Members of the Board need not be residents of the Commonwealth.

D. The Board shall elect annually a chairman and vice-chairman from among its membership. The chairman, or in his absence the vice-chairman, shall preside at all meetings of the Board.

E. A majority of the members of the Board serving at any one time shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

F. The Board shall meet annually or more frequently at the call of the chairman.

G. The members of the Board shall receive no compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for the reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided in § 2.2-2825. Such expenses shall be paid from the Fund.

1997, cc. 803, 888, 891, § 23-278; 2000, cc. 675, 700; 2016, c. 588.

§ 32.1-162.24. Duties of the Board.

The Board shall:

1. Establish specific criteria and procedures governing its decisions to support research efforts consistent with its purposes, including (i) encouraging collaborative research efforts among two or more institutions or organizations, (ii) giving priority to those research efforts from which Board support can be leveraged to foster contributions from federal agencies or other entities, and (iii) supporting both new research efforts and the expansion or continuation of existing research efforts;

2. Establish requirements for the submission of research proposals, including (i) a clear statement of the problem or opportunity to be addressed; (ii) the specific objectives; (iii) a description of how the results will maximize human health benefits for the citizens of the Commonwealth; (iv) a budget for the research effort, including other anticipated sources of financial assistance; and (v) the timeframe for conducting the research;

3. Evaluate the proposals in accordance with the criteria established by the Board and the provisions of this chapter; and

4. Evaluate the implementation and results of all research efforts receiving support from the Board.

1997, cc. 803, 888, 891, § 23-279; 2016, c. 588.

§ 32.1-162.25. Powers of the Board.

In order to carry out its purposes, the Board may:

1. Make grants and disbursements from the Fund that support research efforts approved by the Board in accordance with the purposes of this chapter and pay expenditures from the Fund that are necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter. The Board is not obligated to make annual or other periodic disbursements or expenditures;

2. Contract for the services of consultants to review research proposals and assist in the evaluation of the research efforts funded by the Board;

3. Contract for other professional services to assist the Board in the performance of its duties and responsibilities;

4. Accept, hold, administer, and solicit gifts, grants, bequests, contributions, or other assistance from federal agencies, the Commonwealth, or any other public or private source to carry out the purposes of this chapter;

5. Enter into any agreement or contract relating to the acceptance or use of any grant, assistance, or support provided by or to the Board or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter;

6. Perform any lawful acts necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of the Board; and

7. Employ such staff as is necessary to perform the Board's duties. The Board may determine the duties of such staff and fix the salaries and compensation of such staff, which shall be paid from the Fund. Such staff are employees of the Department of Accounts and are entitled to all benefits available to state employees as provided by law.

1997, cc. 803, 888, 891, § 23-281; 2000, cc. 675, 700; 2002, cc. 591, 612; 2012, cc. 682, 683; 2016, c. 588.

§ 32.1-162.26. Conditions and restrictions on financial assistance.

A. The Board shall provide financial support only for research efforts that satisfy the following conditions:

1. The research shall be conducted by public institutions of higher education, agencies of the Commonwealth, or nonprofit organizations exempt from income taxation pursuant to § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and located in the Commonwealth;

2. The institution, agency, or organization shall match a percentage of the Board's support in a cash amount required by the Board;

3. No support provided by the Board shall be used by the recipient to finance capital improvements or renovations, for indirect costs incurred by the institution, agency, or organization in its administration of the financial support, or for any other purpose proscribed by the Board; and

4. Recipients of support provided by the Board shall agree to provide the Board with such information regarding the implementation of the research effort and allow such monitoring and review of the research effort as may be required by the Board to ensure compliance with the terms under which the support is provided.

B. Any support provided by the Board shall be used by the recipient only for personal services, contractual services, material, supplies, and equipment directly relating to the approved research effort.

1997, cc. 803, 888, 891, § 23-280; 2016, c. 588.

§ 32.1-162.27. Cooperation with other agencies.

All agencies of the Commonwealth shall cooperate with the Board and, upon request, assist the Board in the performance of its duties and responsibilities.

1997, cc. 803, 888, 891, § 23-283; 2016, c. 588.

§ 32.1-162.28. Commonwealth Health Research Fund established; administration.

A. There is created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Commonwealth Health Research Fund. The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller.

B. The Fund shall consist of all stock and cash distributed to the Commonwealth as a policyholder pursuant to the conversion of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Virginia, doing business as Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield, from a mutual insurance company to a Virginia stock corporation known as Trigon Healthcare, Inc., exclusive of cash paid by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Virginia or its successor to the Commonwealth in connection with such conversion, which was assumed as general fund revenue in Chapter 912 of the Acts of Assembly of 1996. The Fund shall also consist of any moneys appropriated from the general fund, grants and donations received by the Board, and other moneys received by the State Treasurer and designated for deposit in the Fund. Interest and other income earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest and other income thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund.

C. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the moneys and other property constituting the Fund shall be invested, reinvested, and managed by the Board of the Virginia Retirement System as provided in § 51.1-124.36. The State Treasurer is not liable for losses suffered by the Virginia Retirement System on investments made under the authority of this section.

D. Moneys in the Fund shall be expended solely for the purpose of supporting research efforts approved by the Board and any other purpose permitted by this chapter.

E. An amount not to exceed six percent of the moving average of the market value of the Fund calculated over the previous five years or since inception, whichever is shorter, on a one-year delayed basis, net of any administrative fee assessed pursuant to subsection E of § 51.1-124.36, may be expended in a calendar year for any purpose permitted by this chapter. The Board is not required to expend such amount in a calendar year, and any amount up to such six percent that is not expended in a calendar year may be expended in any other calendar year.

F. 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 chairman of the Board.

1997, cc. 803, 888, 891, § 23-284; 2000, cc. 675, 700; 2002, cc. 591, 612; 2013, c. 687; 2016, c. 588.

§ 32.1-162.29. Form and audit of accounts and records.

A. The accounts and records of the Board showing the receipt and disbursement of funds from whatever source derived shall be in such form as the Auditor of Public Accounts prescribes.

B. The accounts and records of the Board are subject to an annual audit by the Auditor of Public Accounts or his legal representative.

1997, cc. 803, 888, 891, § 23-285; 2016, c. 588.

§ 32.1-162.30. Annual report.

The Board shall submit to the Governor and the General Assembly an annual executive summary of the interim activity and work of the Board no later than the first day of each regular session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall be submitted 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. The executive summary shall include information regarding research efforts supported by the Board and expenditures from the Fund.

1997, cc. 803, 888, 891, § 23-286; 2016, c. 588.

§ 32.1-162.31. Christopher Reeve Stem Cell Research Fund.

A. From such funds as may be appropriated by the General Assembly and any gifts, grants, or donations from public or private sources, there is created in the state treasury a special, nonreverting, revolving, and permanent fund to be known as the Christopher Reeve Stem Cell Research Fund. The Christopher Reeve Stem Cell Research Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller and shall be administered and implemented by the Board in accordance with the provisions of this section. Interest earned on moneys in the Christopher Reeve Stem Cell Research Fund shall remain in the Christopher Reeve Stem Cell Research Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Christopher Reeve Stem Cell Research Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Christopher Reeve Stem Cell Research Fund. Expenditures and disbursements from the Christopher Reeve Stem Cell Research Fund, which may consist of grants, donations, or other assistance, shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the chairman or vice-chairman of the Board.

B. Moneys in the Christopher Reeve Stem Cell Research Fund shall be used solely to support medical and biomedical stem cell research conducted in institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth that relates to the causes and cures of disease, including paralysis caused by spinal cord injury, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and neurological disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) and multiple sclerosis.

C. The grants, donations, or other assistance provided pursuant to this section shall be awarded in accordance with the Board's specific criteria and procedures, requirements for submission of research proposals, and evaluation mechanisms established pursuant to this chapter. However, no requirement for matching funds shall apply to the grants, donations, or other assistance awarded pursuant to the Christopher Reeve Stem Cell Research Fund, and the leveraging of funds is incidental to the support provided under this section. The grants, donations, or other assistance provided pursuant to this section may be awarded to support stem cell research that is not eligible for federal research funds through the National Institutes of Health. No moneys from the Christopher Reeve Stem Cell Research Fund may be provided to any entity that conducts human stem cell research from stem cells obtained from human embryos or for conducting such research; however, research conducted using stem cells other than embryonic stem cells may be funded.

2005, c. 696, § 23-286.1; 2016, c. 588.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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