Gov. McAuliffe signs bill transferring homeland security responsibilities

state-capitol2On Wednesday at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s Emergency Operations Center, Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed SB381, which transfers the responsibility for overseeing and coordinating efforts to strengthen homeland security from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security to the Secretary of Public Safety. The legislation renames the secretariats the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs and the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, and enables Virginia to better prepare for, evaluate, and respond to emergencies and disasters.

The Governor’s office, Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Admiral John Harvey worked closely with a bipartisan coalition in the General Assembly to develop this legislation, which originated from recommendations from the Joint Legislative and Review Committee (JLARC). The bill, patroned by Senators Lynwood Lewis and Bryce Reeves, and its companion bill, HB730, patroned by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, passed with unanimous support through both chambers of the General Assembly.

“This legislation streamlines Virginia’s ability to keep our communities safe by putting our homeland security planning and preparedness functions in the same place as our emergency and disaster response functions,” said Governor McAuliffe as he signed the bill. “This important shift also adds new homeland security duties to strengthen the critical preparedness work you all perform here, and is in line with my commitment to making Virginia government work better for the people of the Commonwealth.”

Under the new law, the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security is charged with:

  • Assigning planning responsibilities among state agencies and local jurisdictions to elevate the state of readiness in Virginia;
  • Integrating the state homeland security strategy into the Secure Commonwealth Plan;
  • Developing the annual Commonwealth Threat Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment Report;
  • Ensuring development and implementation of plans for protecting public critical infrastructure;
  • Directing the Va. Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to assist localities and state agencies to develop top quality, realistic disaster plans; and

Directing VDEM to oversee all shelter, evacuation, traffic, and refuge of last resort plans to ensure they will work when our citizens need them.

Books from AFP

2018-19 UVA Basketball Preview: Just $1.99 on Amazon!

UVA Basketball finished the 2017-18 season ranked at the top of the national polls. Augusta Free Press editor Chris Graham offers his insight and analysis on the 2018-19 'Hoos, breaking down the roster, the legacy of coach Tony Bennett, and how the loss to UMBC could fuel a run through March Madness next spring.

The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever: Just $3.49 on Amazon!

Chris Graham offers a glimpse behind the curtain of the pro wrestling business in his new book, The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, the inside story of the 2011 Night of Legends, a live pay-per-view event featuring stars including WWE Hall of Famers Kevin Nash, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and The Rock 'n Roll Express that was met with almost universally negative reviews.

Mad About U: History of University Hall available on Amazon for just $5.99!

Mad About U: Four Decades of at University Hall is a comprehensive book covering the players, coaches and memories of University Hall at the University of Virginia. Join us as we look back at the memories from more than 40 years in U Hall.

News From Around the Web

Shop Google