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Policy Development

About the Policy Committees

The policy statements are developed by VML’s five policy committees.  These statements are taken up for presentation, discussed and adopted at the annual business meeting during the VML Annual Conference each fall.

The most recent policy statements can be found on the webpage for each of the committees:

VML Policy Committees process

What is the role of the policy committees?  Policy committees receive briefings on select statewide issues, consider possible changes to the policy statement, and develop legislative recommendations for the Legislative Committee to consider.

How are policy committees appointed?  Policy committee membership consists of elected and appointed officials of full-member local governments.  Nomination information is sent in the spring to each locality, and each local government determines which of its officials will be nominated for each of the five policy committees.  Each local government may nominate up to two people per policy committee, at least one of whom must be an elected official.

What are the benefits of serving on a policy committee?  VML policy committees offer members an opportunity to learn about current and emerging statewide issues that affect local governments, to develop through policy statements the broad philosophical framework that guides the league, and to network with local officials with similar policy interests.

What issues does each policy committee cover?

  • Community & Economic Development:  Authority, administration, and funding of local governments to manage a full range of community and economic development issues, including business development and retention, international competitiveness, infrastructure development and investment, planning, land use and zoning, blight, enterprise zones, housing, workforce development and historic preservation.
  • Infrastructure, Transportation and Environmental Quality: Natural resources and the authority of local governments to manage the environment, including water resources and quality, solid and hazardous waste management, air quality and the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Finance:  Powers, organization and administration of local government financing, including taxing authority, debt financing, state aid to local governments and federal policies affecting local finance issues.
  • General Laws: Powers, duties, responsibilities, organization and administration of local governments, including state-local and inter-local relations, conflicts-of-interest, freedom-of-information, information management and personnel, telecommunications, utilities and law enforcement, jails and courts issues.
  • Human Development & Education: Management and funding of social services, prek-12 education, health, behavioral health, juvenile justice, recreation, rehabilitation and aging.

What is a policy statement?  Each policy committee develops a policy statement that covers issues in its respective area.  The policy statement expresses the agreement of VML’s membership on matters of interest to local governments.  The statement generally addresses broad, long-term, philosophical positions.  The VML membership approves the policy statements at its annual meeting.

How do policy statements differ from VML’s legislative program?  Policy statements are general in nature.  They reflect local governments’ positions on a range of issues.  The Legislative Program is more specific and immediate.  It is limited to legislative positions that VML expects to lobby on during the upcoming legislative session.