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McDonnell announces initiative to eliminate state mandates on localities

Gov. Bob McDonnell, joined by members of the Governor’s Task Force for Local Government Mandate Review, today announced specific legislation to eliminate burdensome state mandates on localities.

Today’s announcement is part of a continuing effort to reduce burdensome state mandates on localities. In September 2011, McDonnell announced the creation of the Governor’s Task Force for Local Government Mandate Review. The five-member Task Force is a result of legislation introduced during the 2011 General Assembly Session by Sen. Steve Newman (R-Bedford County) to review state mandates imposed on localities and to recommend temporary suspension or permanent repeal of such mandates as appropriate.

In addition to the legislative proposals, McDonnell is recommending $10 million in his Fiscal Year 2013 budget and $15 million in Fiscal Year 2014 to help offset previous reductions in aid to localities. The governor has also issued Executive Amendment 28 to designate a portion of any unappropriated balance to provide assistance to offset local Line of Duty Act costs.

Legislation representing recommendations of Task Force:


· Remove ability for a Circuit Court to mandate localities to construct a new courthouse

Community Service Boards

· Remove mandate that CSB contracts be for a maximum of one year and allows localities to contract with CSBs for more than a one-year term


· Remove mandate that proceeds from education surplus property go to capital improvements

· Clarify that state law does not mandate that notices be mailed to every parent on per pupil educational costs

· Remove mandates for various local education advisory committees

· Remove mandate for annual report on remediation programs

· Remove mandate for civics trainings for teachers

· Remove mandate that libraries send Internet policies to the Librarian of Virginia (the requirement that libraries continue to have policies that prohibit access to inappropriate Internet materials will remain)

· Remove mandate that local school boards must apply for a waiver from the state to start school before Labor Day

· The administration will also request that the Department of Education identify burdensome or unnecessary state statutory and federal data collection and reporting requirements and submit recommendations to the governor and General Assembly on ones to eliminate or consolidate with a goal of reducing reporting requirements by 15 percent


· Remove mandate for state inspections of erosion and sediment control programs where localities have inspections

FOIA & Public Notices

· Eliminate mandates to publish RFPs in newspapers

· Increase FOIA response times


· Remove mandates that prevent localities from creating their own procurement guidelines

· Raise the threshold for mandatory competitive negotiation of professional services contracted by localities

· Eliminate mandate for pre-sale requirements of local surplus property

· Eliminate mandate for localities to give first priority for vending contracts to the Department of Blind and Visually Impaired

· Increase threshold for mandatory due diligence on unclaimed property

Land Use and Transportation

· Eliminate mandate that requires Urban Development Area reports documents be submitted to the state Commission on Local Government

· Eliminate the mandate for state approval for leases on airport property

· Eliminate mandate that requires VDOT approval of the location of locally-placed red light camera

“Virginia’s local governments deserve accountability and partnership from state government leaders,” McDonnell said. “Burdensome mandates on localities exacerbate the challenge of balancing a budget in these tight fiscal times. On the state level, we don’t like it when the federal government hamstrings us with mandates and red tape. Unnecessary or overreaching mandates are just as detrimental to local governments. This legislation is an important step forward and I applaud the Task Force for Local Mandate Review for working across party and geographic lines to develop these recommendations. We will continue to identify unfunded mandates on both the state and local level as well as examples of federal government overreach that prevent Virginia’s government from focusing on the core functions of government.”

Senator Newman said, “As I listen to constituents in my district, a common concern has been burdensome state and federal mandates imposing cost and unnecessary red tape on the operations of localities. The Task Force for Local Mandate Review has made recommendations that will benefit local governments and individual citizens across the commonwealth.”

Chairman of the Local Government Mandate Review Task Force Supervisor Pat Herrity (Springfield District, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors) said, “I am very happy that we have a governor who understands the strains on local governments and has the desire to see those strains eased as much as possible. These recommendations are common-sense, and will provide fiscal relief to localities and the commonwealth which will enable both to more efficiently serve Virginia’s residents. This report is a great first step, and I look forward to continuing our work to better serve the residents of the Commonwealth.”

“I would like to thank Gov. McDonnell, members of the Task Force for Local Mandate Review, school board members and school superintendents for making these important recommendations,” said Joan Wodiska, Member, Falls Church City School Board and President of the Virginia School Boards Association. “By working together, they identified costly and burdensome state mandates and rightly recommended that these decisions be made at a local level. The removal of these mandates on school districts and localities will save time, tax-payer dollars and ultimately result in better, more accountable services for Virginians and better outcomes for our children.”

The full report from the Task Force for Local Mandate Review is available here:

augusta free press
augusta free press