eNews May 13, 2022Friday, May 13, 2022 - 02:58pm
This edition of eNews is sponsored by:
The Virginia Resources Authority provides innovative, cost-effective and sustainable financial solutions to build vibrant and healthy Virginia communities. Since it was created by the General Assembly in 1984, VRA has funded more than 2,000 critical projects across the Commonwealth exceeding $10 billion of investment in Virginia’s communities. Read more >
In this issue:
- Day passes now available for Broadband Together conference – May 18-19
- Webinar: 2022 Interim Legislative update for VML members – May 16
- New episode of VML Voice podcast now available
- “Internet for All” initiative programs and webinars announced
- NLC Constituency Group events coming this summer
- EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Summit: Virtual event happening May 25
- VML now accepting entries for 2022 Innovation Awards
- Get published in VML’s magazine! Tell us about your favorite outdoor recreation location in Virginia
On Wednesday and Thursday next week, dozens of experts in a variety of disciplines related to the expansion of broadband in the Commonwealth will come together at the Hilton Short Pump just outside Richmond. Local government officials and staff won’t want to miss the opportunity to learn from these panelists as well as network with representatives from localities who also care about broadband access in their communities.
Senator Jennifer Boysko, Chair of the Broadband Advisory Council and moderator for a conference panel on Smart Life / Smart Cities, says “I am excited about this important event, bringing together ISPs and local governments as we work together to bring universal broadband coverage to all of Virginia. An event no one should miss!”
Topics to be discussed include:
- Broadband Legislative Recap
- Reaching the Unserved
- Broadband in Economic and Commercial Development
- How Broadband Affects Home Ownership
- Workforce Issues
- …and much, much more!
The Broadband Advisory Council will meet Thursday following lunch at the same location.
Attendees can choose to purchase registration for both days of the event or may choose to attend for one day.
Registration and a full agenda are available here >.
VML Contact: Rob Bullington, email@example.com
What bills of interest to local governments came out of the 2022 regular session of the General Assembly?
Where do we stand with continued budget deliberations and other bills that were referred to Special Session I?
VML policy staff will address these and other issues during this preliminary General Assembly wrap-up webinar on May 16 from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm. We won’t have answers for everything – like when the budget will be completed – but we will give you summaries of bills that passed, or ones of note that failed, during the regular 2022 session.
Free registration available here >.
VML Contact: Janet Areson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Budget: Welcome to Richmond’s 14th-inning stretch
Today is Friday, May 13th, 2022. The Virginia General Assembly has just completed its second full month of legislative overtime. Pursuant to the rules adopted by the General Assembly, the 2022 Regular Session began on January 12th and ended on March 12th.
In baseball, now would be the time for a 14th-inning stretch.
Never heard of a 14th-inning stretch? They don’t happen often, but they are just like the one in the seventh inning where everyone stands up, stretches their legs, and maybe gets a snack or a beverage – because the game should be ending soon.
So, with the General Assembly deep into overtime, we wait and use whatever combination of stretching, snacks, and beverages work to relieve the tension. But if you’re still feeling a little tense, that’s understandable because the outcome of this “game” is something upon which every local government and school division depends: The state budget!
Action next week?
Outside of the regular legislative session, the members of the General Assembly’s “money” committees – the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) and Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee (SFAC) – typically hold five or six interim meetings over the course of the year for the Secretary of Finance to publicly present updates on the Commonwealth’s revenues.
Both money committees are scheduled to meet next week, presumably to receive the updated revenues from the Secretary of Finance. However, the House recently announced that it had canceled the scheduled Appropriations Committee meeting for next week (its eighth canceled meeting this year!). The Senate Finance Committee meeting remains on the public calendar as of this writing, but an agenda for the meeting has not yet been made public.
Interestingly, the Secretary of Finance has not presented publicly on the Commonwealth’s revenues to the House Appropriations Committee since January 24th. He has not been before the Senate Finance Committee since February 22nd.
None of this is particularly reassuring.
Local governments need certainty
Legislative overtime in Richmond makes it incredibly difficult to finalize local budgets. Remember, the budget outlines the revenues of the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions for the next two fiscal years. Prolonged uncertainty over what funding local governments should expect from the state in the coming fiscal year (now just seven weeks away!) could hamper Virginia’s ability to recover from the pandemic.
VML urges our members to consider sending messages to your legislators to remind them that localities and school divisions should not be put in a position of flying blind. This is especially true since the General Assembly is still considering legislation that could reduce locally raised revenues. This legislation includes the big-ticket legislation related to grocery tax revenues, HB90 and SB451.
Of course, Virginians need their elected state leaders to proceed cautiously, but we do need them to proceed. Enough with the stretching, it’s time to play ball!
VML Contact: Carter Hutchinson, email@example.com
Skill games live a little longer
A Greensville Circuit Court judge has continued to November 2nd the lawsuit challenging the Virginia’s ban on skill games.
Please see one of the many articles here: Skill Game Delay
VML Contact: Michelle Gowdy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Opportunities & Events
Do you suffer from glossophobia – the fear of public speaking? Well, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that as much as 75 percent of all people are fearful of speaking in front of groups. If you’re a public official or local government staff, the occasions where you need to speak in public can be frequent and unavoidable. That’s why the VML Voice is doing a two-part series on “Strategies for Successful Public Speaking.”
In this first episode we talk with public speaking instructor Myeisha Grady from VML Community Business Member the American Public University System.
VML Contact: Rob Bullington, email@example.com
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has released several Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFOs) a few days ahead of schedule for three major elements of the broadband and digital equity grant elements of the bipartisan infrastructure law:
- Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) – initial state round of funding
- Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure – direct competitive funding open to cities
- State Digital Equity – initial round of state capacity-building and planning funds
You can find links to all the programs here >.
NTIA plans to host a series of informational webinars. Registration for the webinars is available here >.
Contact: For more information, please visit InternetForAll.gov
NLC Constituency Group events coming this summer
Three National League of Cities Constituency Group events happening this summer have been announced that may be of interest to VML members. Information for each is below and is also available on the HELO Annual Leadership Retreat: Digital Toolkit.
NLC Hispanic Elected Local Officials (HELO)
For the first time since 2019, the National League of Cities Hispanic Elected Local Officials (HELO) constituency group will host their Annual Leadership Retreat in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from June 5-8, 2022. This event is the perfect space to connect with Latino elected officials and municipal staff, during four days of skill-building, networking, and discussion on priorities facing the Latino and Hispanic communities. Register today to reserve your seat at this impactful event. Early Bird Rate Ends May 21st.
NLC National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO)
After two years of virtual gatherings, the National League of Cities National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO) will host their Summer Conference, July 21-23 in Nashville, TN. Join colleagues from across the country for impactful conversations, leadership development opportunities, mobile tours, and a chance to connect with local leaders like yourself. During the conference, you can expect to: engage in discussions on HBCUs, housing, gun violence, and more; meet peers passionate about communities of color; and explore issues unique to your role as an African American local elected official
NLC Women in Municipal Government (WIMG)
Join the National League of Cities Women in Municipal Government (WIMG) constituency group for their Summer Conference, August 10-12, 2022, in Sacramento, CA, to connect with fellow women local leaders and build on your skills to bring back to your community. After two years of connecting virtually, WIMG will come together in Sacramento, California, to learn about local policy issues, discuss federal advocacy concerns, and build a stronger network. Established in 1974, the WIMG constituency group was formed to serve as a forum for communication and networking among women local elected officials and their colleagues within the National League of Cities (NLC). During the conference you will: enhance your network with local female leaders from across the country; learn about timely issues in special seminars that help to expand your skill sets; and find solutions to challenging problems in your hometown.
NLC Contact: Bryan Griffith, firstname.lastname@example.org
EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Summit: Virtual event happening May 25
The 2022 EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Summit will take place May 25, 2022. This is a free virtual summit. The 2022 summit is for local governments, community partners and tribal governments with programming specifically for the Mid-Atlantic region.
The summit will cover a wide range of topics under the EPA’s jurisdiction including grant opportunities, the recently passed federal infrastructure law, as well as environmental justice, climate change, the Chesapeake Bay Program, and resiliency efforts.
This conference will provide local governments with the opportunity to learn more about EPA initiatives, programs, grant funds, and to hear directly from EPA staff about the future of these programs.
Summit Agenda is available here >.
Registration is available here >.
EPA Contact: EPA-Mid-Atlantic-Summit@epa.gov
It’s time again to celebrate local government achievements!
It’s time again for our local government members to spotlight programs and individuals that have made a big difference by creating innovative solutions to address emerging needs.
Award-winning projects typically demonstrate innovative ways of delivering services, addressing community needs, or significantly improving an existing service.
One winning project from the category winners will be selected for the top prize – the coveted President’s Award!
All entries must be received via e-mail by 5:00 p.m., Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. The awards will be presented at VML’s Annual Conference in Richmond in October.
More details and a link to the official entry form are available here >.
VML Contact: Manuel Timbreza, email@example.com
Get published in VML’s magazine! Tell us about your favorite outdoor recreation location in Virginia
For our 2022 “Virginia You Love” magazine issue this summer we want our readers to tell us their perfect place to have fun outside. It could be a favorite hiking trail or the stadium bleachers of the hometown ball team. Perhaps you can be found in a mountain lake with family or at the dog park with your furry friend. Maybe you like the challenges of long fairways and fast greens or the peace and quiet of a bench under a shady tree. Vita courses, ropes courses, pump tracks, brewery decks…Wherever, whatever, we want to hear about it!
Have your place featured in our magazine!
If you tell us about your favorite place for outdoor fun, we will put it on the list of possible places to feature in the July/August issue of Virginia Town & City. You can nominate any place you like…just so long as it’s outdoors and in Virginia.
It’s super easy to participate
Learn more and complete the short online survey here >.
VML Contact: Manuel Timbreza, firstname.lastname@example.org