eNews August 26, 2022Friday, August 26, 2022 - 04:58pm
This edition of eNews is sponsored by:
VIPC accelerates early commercialization & funding support for Virginia innovations, entrepreneurs, startups & market development initiatives. VIPC concentrates on the early commercialization and seed funding stages of innovation, helping innovators and tech entrepreneurs launch and grow new companies, create high paying jobs and accelerate economic growth throughout the entire state of Virginia. Learn more >
In this issue:
- 2022 Annual Conference: Session updates, keynote speakers, and more!
- VML’s Gowdy selected for National Research Center Advisory Board
- New episode of VML Voice podcast now available
- Free Event: FOIA/COIA Training & OSHA Risk Mitigation
- Virginia social services examining possible funding formula changes
- VRS reports 0.6% return for Fiscal Year 2022
- Alternative custody workgroup discusses possible recommendations
- Local human services conference to offer array of informative sessions
- 2022 Virginia Energy Plan open for comment until Oct. 1, 2022
- Virginia Local Government Investment Conference “From Uncertainty to Opportunity” coming September 23
- Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management information sessions for Fall 2022
- NOAA funding opportunities to address the nation’s climate crisis; virtual briefing scheduled for September 15
The Virginia Municipal League looks forward to welcoming our members to Richmond for the 2022 Annual Conference happening October 2-4 (immediately preceded by the Mayors Institute October 1-2).
Given the proximity of so many experts on a variety of topics important to local governments, we are planning a full roster of events and sessions.
Confirmed sessions include:
- When Local Governments Should Bring in Outside Experts
- Understanding the State of the Economy (to include remarks by a representative from the Federal Reserve Board of Richmond)
- Marijuana Legislation and Human Resources Implications
- How VDEM works with Localities
- Short Term Rentals
- Federal Legislation Affecting Localities
- Supreme Court Review/Preview for Local Governments
- Broadband Affordability
- Disability Accommodations
- Social Media for Small Towns
- Role of Localities in Technology Systems in Innovation & Adaption
- Councilmember Conversations: Perspectives on Service
- Recycling that Works
- Concepts and Strategies for Effective Local Emergency Management Programs
- FOIA/COIA Training (non-concurrent, separate sessions)
- Attorney General Decisions for Local Government
- Connecting State and Local Human Services
- …and more are being added every day!
Just added: The DCHCD Grant Roundtable Carnival!
Bring your ideas and put your thinking caps on! The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is assembling a team to explain their programs and work through issues and ideas with local officials and staff to see if the Department can help with your community needs.
Check the VML 2022 Annual Conference website for updates and a detailed agenda coming soon!
Matt Lehrman to bring acclaimed sessions on civility to Mayors Institute & Annual Conference
VML is pleased to announce that Matt Lehrman will be presenting to attendees of our 2022 Mayors Institute & Annual Conference.
Over the course of nearly four decades, Matt Lehrman turned a career that started as an advocate for big business into a mission for all voices to be meaningfully heard. Most recently, in partnership with long-time friend and former Scottsdale City Manager John Little, he founded Social Prosperity Partners to facilitate courageous conversations that inspire companies, causes, and communities towards resilience, innovation, and collaborative action.
In addition, Matt presents original workshops to CEOs, business owners, and key executives as a national speaker to VISTAGE®, the world’s leading business advisory, and executive coaching organization.
Mayors Institute – Saturday, October 1
A COURAGEOUS CONVERSATION ABOUT CIVILITY – Mayors are uniquely responsible for setting the standard of meaningful and respectful discourse in their communities. This facilitated discussion (i.e., no lecture!) invites mayors to candidly share concerns, insights, and aspirations for the qualities of leadership that actually bring people together.
Annual Conference Opening Session Keynote Address – Sunday, October 2
FROM CONFLICT TO CONVERSATION – Must disagreement be disagreeable? Amidst unprecedented disruption and uncertainty, there’s never been a more necessary time for elected, appointed and staff community leaders to learn how to tackle complex and sensitive issues in ways that leave people feeling heard, respected, and empowered.
Annual Conference Breakout Session – Monday, October 3
LET’S TALK: CONFLICT TO CONVERSATION – How are you moving your community From Conflict to Conversation? What challenges are you facing and what do you specifically hope to achieve? Keynote presenter Matt Lehrman facilitates a follow-up discussion that invites attendees to seek practical insight and advice from a panel of Virginia community leaders. Come prepared to “wear your heart on your sleeve” about how to engage more people and gather agreement around whatever you hope to accomplish in your community.
Rich Schragger to address “The Past and Future of Home Rule in Virginia” during Closing Session
Rich Schragger will speak to conference attendees during the Closing Session on Tuesday, October 4th. Schragger joined the University of Virginia faculty in 2001 and was named the Perre Bowen Professor in 2013. His scholarship focuses on the intersection of constitutional law and local government law, federalism, urban policy, and the constitutional and economic status of cities. He also writes about law and religion. He has authored articles on the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses, the role of cities in a federal system, local recognition of same-sex marriage, takings law and economic development, and the history of the anti-chain store movement. He teaches property, local government law, urban law and policy, and church and state.
His first book City Power: Urban Governance in a Global Age was published in 2016. His forthcoming book The City in the Future of Federalism will be published in the fall of 2022.
VML Contact: Rob Bullington, firstname.lastname@example.org
VML’s Gowdy selected for National Research Center Advisory Board
VML Executive Director Michelle Gowdy was recently welcomed as an inaugural member of the National Research Center Advisory Board (NAB). In selecting Gowdy, the Board cited their belief that her insights, guidance, and engagement with the other NAB members would support the group’s mission to support the needs of local governments.
About the NAB
The National Research Center Advisory Board is a peer network of public sector leaders drives to provide an excellent quality of life in their communities and local governments across the country. The board will participate in a collaborative strategic forum of industry experts to offer insights into the public sector’s community engagement and performance management needs. The board’s input will inform research efforts, product development, and best practices to be shared with the industry at large.
VML Contact: Rob Bullington, email@example.com
If you’ve checked out the July/August issue of VML’s magazine Virginia Town & City, then you already know that it’s all about making the most of all the outdoor recreation options available in our amazing Commonwealth. In this episode of the VML Voice, host Rob Bullington calls contributing author Jessica Bowser for a chat about all the great advice in her article “How to recreate in Virginia”.
Jessica is an accomplished Virginia outdoors recreation enthusiast, official “Master Hiker” and host of the Virginia Outdoor Adventures podcast which provides a platform for individuals to tell their stories, to share their connection to the outdoors, and to build a local community where the outdoors are for everyone.
Take it from a Virginia outdoors nut like Jessica Bowser, there’s some simple things everyone can do to make the most of their getaways!
How to listen
The VML Voice is available through Apple, Android and Google podcast apps. Individual episodes can be streamed directly from the VML website here >.
VML Contact: Rob Bullington, firstname.lastname@example.org
VML and various stakeholders including the Virginia Risk Sharing Association are pleased to offer a morning of FOIA/COIA training followed by presentations on topics critical to local risk mitigation such as new cybersecurity reporting requirements, marijuana legislation and reasonable suspicion, and OSHA updates (see below).
- Date / Time: August 31, 9:00 am – noon (complimentary lunch following the sessions)
- Location: Marion Police Department (307 South Park Street, Marion, VA 24354)
- Registration: Available here >
VML Contact: Rob Bullington, email@example.com
Youngkin addresses money committees
On Friday August 19, the House Appropriations, House Finance, and Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee held their annual summer joint meeting to hear Governor Glenn Youngkin present the state’s financial results for fiscal year 2022, which ended June 30, 2022.
Youngkin touted the nearly $2 billion revenue surplus collected beyond that contained in the adopted budget. He also noted that much of this surplus is already spoken for. The General Assembly had anticipated a surplus in the recently adopted budget and made $585 million in contingent appropriations.
These contingent appropriations will now be allocated, included $250 million for an additional VRS deposit, $287 million for transportation projects (mostly I-64 widening), and increased economic development funding. In addition, another $400 million will need to be reserved out of the surplus to meet the required $900 million Rainy Day Fund deposit.
Furthermore, the Governor is required to set aside an additional $500 million for a “super deposit” in his next introduced budget due to the size of the surplus (note: the General Assembly can decide not to fund this extra reserve). The surplus will also require a $130 million deposit to the Water Quality Improvement Fund.
In his speech, Youngkin highlighted the nearly $4 billion in tax cuts adopted in the 2022 Session – including $1 billion in tax rebates, $1.6 billion over the biennium for an almost doubling of the standard deduction, a military benefits income tax subtraction, a refundable earned income tax credit, a 1.5% reduction in the sales tax on food for home consumption (only the 1% local option remains) and eliminating the accelerated sales tax requirement.
Youngkin made clear he would like to provide additional tax relief. He set aside the final available $397 million of the FY 2022 surplus “as a down payment” for unspecified future tax relief actions he wants to adopt in next year’s budget.
Both Youngkin’s speech and Secretary of Finance Stephen Cummings’s accompanying presentation detailed the tremendous increase in general fund revenues and resulting spending available for the 2022-24 biennium. Youngkin noted this new spending included significant pay raises for state employees, teachers and law enforcement personnel, and new state support for local school construction.
Housing costs and local governments
Youngkin also made a few points concerning the high cost of buying or renting a home, and specifically called local governments to task, saying that to get serious about the cost of places in which we live, the root causes must be tackled, which include “overburdensome and inefficient local governments, restrictive zoning policies, and an ideology of fighting tooth and nail against any new development.”
Youngkin also stated his contention that more subsidies and loan programs are not the answer.
The Virginia Municipal League and its member localities would welcome the opportunity to sit down with the Youngkin Administration to explore realistic ideas that would accomplish his goal of making housing more affordable in Virginia.
VML Contact: Michelle Gowdy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Health and Human Services
Virginia social services examining possible funding formula changes
Changes may be coming to the allocation of state funding for local staff and operations of local departments of social services. No formal proposal will likely be made until the 2024 Session of the General Assembly.
This was the message from Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) staff to the State Board of Social Services at its meeting on Aug. 17 in the Richmond area.
The funding formula has not been changed for many years. Department staff began looking at it after a member of the State Board raised issues about equity of funding between small and larger and more and less affluent localities. In response to these questions, state staff developed a workgroup with agency staff, seven local directors (one from each region and different size agencies), and two at-large members from the Virginia League of Social Services Executives (VLSSE).
The workgroup looked at potential ways to make the formula more equitable, and defined equity as an equal opportunity for success for agencies. It examined possible new criteria for an updated formula and came up with draft models using various combinations of criteria. Possible criteria included ability to pay, poverty, fiscal stress, caseloads, administration and operations, and performance of an agency (local directors were insistent that formula changes should not be used to punish local departments).
The workgroup’s recommendations included:
- Improve funding equity
- Limit negative impacts
- Give localities time to prepare for any formula changes
- Implement any changes incrementally
- Use caseload data as a foundation
- Consider use of fiscal stress and the ALICE survival budget (ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed; it was developed by a regional United Way chapter in New Jersey and is used by various agencies/organizations across the country)
- Use performance only if it’s not to penalize agencies
- Update the formula every two years
- Consider a minimum or floor allocation to operate at a basic cost
While the group looked at possible new criteria and funding models, members understood that the amount of funds to be allocated to local departments would be the same, which would create winners and losers. The magnitude of the changes caused the group to pause its work for a time.
The workgroup’s initial report was completed in 2021, and agency staff said the goal in the coming months is to narrow down the three potential formulae to one and to consider funding amounts that would offset any losses to localities if changes were made.
VML Contact: Janet Areson, email@example.com
VRS reports 0.6% return for Fiscal Year 2022
The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) reports that it had a 0.6% return, net of fees, on its investment portfolio for FY 2022, ending the year with approximately $101.2 billion.
VRS’s Chief Investment Officer Ronald D. Schmitz said that that the system is following a long-term strategy of diversification and taking advantage of strong private markets. Although the return in FY2022 was “muted compared to last year’s banner 27.5 percent, Schmitz reported that the VRS total fund outperformed passively managed stock and bond indices by over 10 percent.” He added that VRS fund “exceeded the assumed rate of return for the three-, five-, and 10-year periods.”
VRS Board Chair A. Scott Andrews said that in a year “scarred by inflation, war, supply chain issues and other disruptions,” VRS achieved a “remarkable” six percent of added value above the benchmark. He added that “this translates to hundreds of millions toward the bottom line of the VRS trust fund.”
VRS reported that during FY 2022, the major asset classes performed as follows:
- Public equity program returned -14.8%
- Fixed income program returned -10.6%
- Credit strategies program returned 1.5%
- Real assets program returned 21.7%
- Private equity program returned 27.4%
- Private investment partnerships 17.0%
- Multi-asset public strategies -4.7%
The portfolio included approximately $29.9 billion in public equity, $12.9 billion in fixed income, $14.5 billion in credit strategies, $15.1 billion in real assets, $19.0 billion in private equity, $2.6 billion in private investment partnerships and $3.6 billion in public strategies portfolio, as of June 30, 2022.
VRS ranks 17th largest among public or private pension funds in the U.S. and 46th largest in the world. It serves more than 750,000 active and inactive members, retirees, and beneficiaries. Members include employees of local government, special authorities and commissions, public school teachers and staff, as well as state employees, public higher education personnel, state and local public safety officers and the judiciary. There are approximately 835 employers in VRS.
VML Contact: Janet Areson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternative custody workgroup discusses possible recommendations
A number of possible short-, mid-, and long-term recommendations for addressing issues around transportation and custody of individuals under a temporary detention order (TDO) or emergency custody order (ECO) were discussed at the fourth and final meeting of the state workgroup addressing alternative custody. This workgroup was created by legislation approved by the 2022 General Assembly and includes state and local stakeholders, including law enforcement, community services boards, hospitals and doctors, behavioral health advocacy groups, magistrates, and state agency staff.
Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBDHS) staff presented potential recommendations for the group gleaned from workgroup and sub-group discussions over the past few months. These recommendations are:
Maximizing Options for Custody:
- Alternative contract is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Virginia needs to develop a variety of solutions and tailor regionally to the fullest extent possible. Potential solutions may include:
- Expand the existing alternative transportation contract by building on Code changes from SB 268 (Favola) and SB 593 (Newman).
- Fund expansion of the DBHDS off-duty deputy program in more communities.
- Fund development/expansion of successful local and regional programs such as co-responder models (Fauquier County) and Carillion Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program and pairing such programs with expansion of CITACs and CRCs.
- Offer funding to private hospitals with contracted security to provide custody services, and funding for behavioral health training for security staff.
- Amend the Code of VA and licensing regulations to require certain facilities meeting certain criteria to take custody and find ways to loosen requirements for facilities to establish MOUs to take custody.
- Merge alternative transportation and alternative custody funding streams to maximize flexibility for the Commonwealth to implement new custody options.
- Develop an option for an Alternative Custody pilot by:
- Expanding/reworking state’s contract with Allied Universal Security to hire and train workforce quality as auxiliary law enforcement officers.
- Allied would deploy officers at request of the law enforcement designated by the TDO to take custody of an individual.
- With $2 million allocated in the current fiscal year, Allied would hire and train officers for a pilot in a designated geographic area of the state.
- Such a pilot could provide new options for assisting individuals with more acute symptoms; improve coordination between Allied and local law enforcement, and even create a pipeline for training and hiring future law enforcement officers
- Develop programs and options that provide the most person-centered and trauma-informed approach for individuals in crisis during the ECO/TDO process, including:
- Developing mechanisms to promote treatment in emergency departments (Eds) including ability to prescribe certain medications more expeditiously and consultations on therapy options for patients waiting longer than 24 hours.
- Developing mechanisms to re-evaluate and safely release patients whose acute crisis has passed and no longer require a TDO.
- Creating guidelines on types and appropriate use of restraints.
- Developing training programs to promote better understanding of ECO/TDOs statewide.
- Working with private hospitals to promote availability of peer specialists in Eds to help de-escalate, provide guidance, and therapy, and create trauma-informed spaces for patients.
- Require pre-screeners to provide updates on the bed search and other TDO processes to the patient awaiting a TDO bed.
- To the fullest extent possible, provide changes/clarification to the Code of VA affecting the ECO/TDO process for the 2023 General Assembly (this addresses various definitions and terms surrounding the process)
- Develop standards around re-evaluation of patients during the ECO process and particularly during any period of delayed TDO admission for possible diversion to a more appropriate disposition than inpatient admission.
Expanding bed capacity and availability:
- Continue developing, funding, and implementing Virginia’s crisis system transformation to include 9-8-8 mobile crisis, crisis receiving centers, crisis assessment centers and stabilization units, and adding in 23-hour observation.
- Support staffing tools, pay increases, and contract staff at state hospitals to create safer environments and restore full capacity.
- Building more community discharge options for older adults and children.
The Secretary of Health and Human Resources will continue work on the potential recommendations in the coming weeks in preparation of a final report to the General Assembly this fall.
VML Contact: Janet Areson, email@example.com
Local human services conference to offer array of informative sessions
Behavioral health issues, the Safe and Sound foster care initiative, human services workforce challenges, an examination of a local gun violence intervention initiative and other topics will be on the agenda for the Virginia Association of Local Human Services Officials (VALHSO) conference to be held Sept. 29-30 at the Charlottesville Omni Hotel.
You do not have to be a member of VALHSO to attend this conference.
Early bird registration (available until Sept. 2) is $100 for VALHSO members and $125 for non-members; the registration will increase after that date. A room block is available at the Charlottesville Omni until that date as well.
- VALHSO Falls Conference: REGISTER NOW
- Omni Charlottesville Hotel: BOOK YOUR ROOM AT DISCOUNTED RATE HERE
About the VALHSO
The VALHSO membership includes those at the deputy/assistant city and county management level who oversee human services for their community, as well as local human services agency department leaders and staff members. The Association exists to give local human services professionals access to information about programs, policy initiatives, and federal and state legislation that may affect the operations of local human services and to give local government professional the opportunity to share innovations, ideas, and information about human services operations with one another.
VML Contact: Janet Areson, firstname.lastname@example.org
2022 Virginia Energy Plan open for comment until Oct. 1, 2022
The Virginia Energy Plan, developed every four years, establishes a plan to meet the goal of the Commonwealth Clean Energy Policy which is to achieve a “net-zero carbon energy economy” by 2045.
The 2022 Virginia Energy Plan has four objectives:
- Decrease the cost of living
- Create jobs
- Bring people to Virginia
- Establish an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy policy
Comments on what should be included in the 2022 Clean Energy Plan are welcome through October 1, 2022. There are three separate ways to comment on the 2022 Energy Plan:
- Email comments directly: email@example.com
- Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5VN2VNT)
- Virginia Townhall Comment Forum: https://townhall.virginia.gov/L/comments.cfm?GeneralNoticeid=2442
The first plan was published in 2014 and the last plan was published in 2018. The 2018 plan can be found here >.
VML Contact: Mitchell Smiley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia Local Government Investment Conference “From Uncertainty to Opportunity” coming September 23
In a time of extreme economic uncertainty, top-performing investment managers are actively seeking rare investment opportunities others may miss. From navigating current turbulent economic conditions to positioning to take advantage of new technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, you will hear from leading investment professionals at this event exclusively for Virginia local government officials.
The Virginia Local Government Investment Conference brings together top administrators, treasurers, investment officers, and other local government leaders to hear the latest on fixed income and long-term investing strategies for Virginia localities and governmental entities. The one-day event is sponsored by the Virginia Investment Pool (VIP), the Virginia Pooled OPEB Trust, and VML/VACo Finance. Held in conjunction with the VIP and OPEB Trust Annual Meetings, updates will be presented on the VIP and OPEB Trust portfolios – a combined $4.0 billion in invested assets.
Date: Friday, Sept. 23, 2022
Time: 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
Place: Richmond Marriott Short Pump – James River Room
4240 Dominion Boulevard
Glen Allen, VA 23060
Keynote Speaker: Mark W. Yusco, Founder, CEO & CIO – Morgan Creek Capital Management
An expert in leading edge technologies, Mr. Yusco founded Morgan Creek Capital Management in 2004 and serves as its CEO and Chief Investment Officer (CIO). Previously, he was the founder and CIO of UNC Management Company, the investment office for the endowment of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Morgan Creek manages a diverse set of strategies across both public and private markets with a particular focus on innovation, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence. Early-stage investments made by Morgan Creek team members include Google, ebay, Facebook, and Uber, among others. Mr. Yusco is a frequent commentator on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business.
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Long-term investing & OPEB Annual Meeting
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Luncheon with Keynote Speaker
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Fixed income investing & VIP Annual Meeting
Your RSVP is requested by Wednesday, Sept. 14.
- RSVP here >.
- Please provide names, titles, and organization.
Contact: For more information, call Tyler Deen at 804-648-0635 or email@example.com
Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management information sessions for Fall 2022
Dr. Stephanie Davis will be holding three zoom information sessions for employees of Virginia local governments this Fall. The sessions will discuss the overall program for the graduate certificate in local government management, schedules, costs, the VLGMA Scholarship and how to apply. Participants are requested to register in advance.
- October 18, 2022 12:00 PM Eastern Time
- November 15, 2022 12:00 PM Eastern Time
- December 13, 2022 12:00 PM Eastern Time
- Register in advance for this meeting here >.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
For interested employees, if the times are not convenient, please use the calendly link below to schedule an individual meeting.
Contact: Stephanie Davis, Ph.D. – Collegiate Assistant Professor and Program Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
NOAA funding opportunities to address the nation’s climate crisis; virtual briefing scheduled for September 15
In June, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced funding to address the nation’s climate crisis and support priorities identified in the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law through the launch of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Climate Ready Coasts initiative. The Climate Ready Coasts initiative will invest $1.467 billion to help coastal communities build the future they want to see, including natural infrastructure to increase resilience to climate change and extreme weather events. The initiative will be administered and implemented by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) existing programs.
The Climate Ready Coasts initiative will increase resilience through landscape-scale habitat restoration in coastal ecosystems nationwide and promote coastal resilience in underserved coastal communities as well as those most vulnerable to climate impacts. The initiative includes seven Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs):
- Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants ($85 Million)
- Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities ($10 Million)
- Coastal Zone Management Habitat Protection and Restoration Grants ($35 Million)
- National Estuarine Research Reserve System Habitat Protection and Restoration Grants ($12 Million)
- Marine Debris Removal Grants ($56 Million)
- Marine Debris Challenge Competition ($16 Million)
- Marine Debris Community Action Coalitions ($3 Million)
NOAA looks forward to working closely with its partners to make a coordinated and collective impact for coastal habitats and communities. Additional details – including the Notice of Funding Opportunities –are available at http://noaa.gov/infrastructure-law.
NOAA leadership will hold a virtual briefing for all interested parties on Thursday, September 15, 4:00-5:00 pm ET / 1:00-2:00 pm PST
- Register here >.
NOAA Contact: Send questions to email@example.com