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Proposed Positions for the 2015 Alexandria City Package

Memo from City Manager Rashad M. Young to Mayor and Members of City Council with Proposed Legislative Package.

Attachment 1--Proposed Positions for the 2015 Alexandria City Package

City Council’s Legislative Subcommittee recommends that the City adopt the following as positions for its 2015 Legislative Package:

A—MAJOR FISCAL ISSUES  

1.  State Budget.  The depth and breadth of state cuts to localities in recent years has severely stressed the state-local funding partnership.  State aid to localities has decreased by approximately $1 billion since FY 2009, including a five year period in which the Commonwealth required localities to return funds to the state in order to help balance the state’s budget – essentially creating a new reverse concept of Local Aid to the State—and unfortunately, this Local Aid to the State program has just been reinstated.  In addition, since FY 2009, Virginia has implemented sizable structural budget cuts to K-12, including Northern Virginia’s cost-of-competing funds.

The City of Alexandria recognizes that the State is experiencing revenue shortfalls, but the City is facing some of these economic woes with regard to its own revenues.  The City asks that the General Assembly adopt as a goal (in a reasonably short period of time) the elimination of the  Local Aid to the State program, and the restoration of State funding levels for education and other shared State-local programs to the funding levels (as a percentage of the State budget) that existed eight to ten years ago.   

2.  Transportation Funding.  The City supported the major transportation funding legislation of 2013 (HB 2313).  It addressed a long-standing City legislative position—the need for new State revenue for transit and other transportation.  The City asks its legislative delegation to continue to oppose any legislative proposals that will lessen funds coming to Alexandria, or result in the City not receiving its fair share of any transportation revenues.

3.  Providing State Support to Those Leaving State Mental Health Training Centers (Department of Community and Human Services).  In 2012, the Commonwealth of Virginia and United States Department of Justice reached a settlement agreement which requires the State to move most of the current residents of the five State-run centers out of those centers and into community-based residences.  The settlement also requires the State to provide the funding necessary to support these individuals in their new residences.

Persons from all Northern Virginia localities reside at the Northern Virginia Training Center, and are affected by the settlement.  It is important that sufficient funding be provided by the State to support these people as they are transitioned back into their communities so that they have adequate support and services.  The City asks its delegation to ensure that full and timely funding for the services needed by these people is provided by the State.

B—REQUESTS FOR LEGISLATIVE OR BUDGET PROPOSALS TO BE INTRODUCED

1.  Revisions to the City Charter.  The City is proposing a number of revisions to its Charter for the 2015 Session.  In previous Sessions, we have used Charter bills that were introduced to make substantive changes as an opportunity to “clean up” parts of the Charter that were outdated (e.g., in 2014, we amended provisions that referred to May Council and School Board elections).  Staff is not aware of the last time (if ever) that the entire Charter (as adopted in 1950) was updated to eliminate outdated provisions, and proposes to do so this year.  Among these changes, for instance, is the elimination of any references to “corporation courts” (which have not existed for over 40 years); the authority to collect a “capitation” tax; and references to the 1902 Virginia Constitution (which was replaced by the current Constitution in 1971).

2.  CSO Funding.  In 2013, Alexandria was issued a new discharge permit by the State Water Control Board.  Included in the permit is a requirement that the City develop and implement a long-term plan to minimize the discharge of raw sewage from combined sewer pipes (which carry both storm water and sewage) when it rains.  Preparing this plan will take several years, but after it is complete, it must be implemented.  The deadline for full implementation is 2035.  The cost could reach as much as $200-300 million over a period of approximately 20 years.  Included in these costs are near-term investments of about $5 million over the next several years.  These near-term projects include the following (the permit requires these projects): 

  • An analysis of what alternatives might be available to the City to meet the long-term permit requirements;
  • Short-term improvements to CSO outfalls in Hooffs Run and Hunting Creek, to limit pollution coming from these outfalls;
  • Removing a number (at least 60) of laterals from the sanitary sewer system from the  Combined Sewer System; and
  • Implement Green Infrastructure, which might include the discharge of stormwater through vegetation, not only reducing the volume of stormwater, but also filtering out pollutants, before the stormwater reaches rivers and streams.  Green infrastructure may include other things, such as the installation of permeable pavements, green roofs, and infiltration planters.

When Richmond and Lynchburg faced similar costs to address CSO issues in the 1980’s (they are the only Virginia localities other than Alexandria that have been required to make massive sewer line upgrades to address CSO problems), the General Assembly agreed to provide significant funding to assist these cities.  The City sought State assistance for some of these costs last year, and $1 million in State funds (from bonds) was included in Governor McDonnell’s biennial budget proposal.  The House of Delegates rejected the Governor’s request (which was subsequently re-proposed by Governor McAuliffe, but again rejected), and no CSO funding was included in the State budget.  The City requests that its State delegation consider reintroducing this proposal in 2015.

3.  Assessment of Court Costs to Support Law Libraries (Councilman Wilson).  During Alexandria City Council’s consideration of the FY 2015 City budget, one of the proposals to save money was to eliminate City general fund support of the Court House Law Library.  While Council ultimately decided not to eliminate all City general fund support of the Library, it did reduce it by half (it reduced funding from approximately $121,000 annually to $60,000). 

Part of the funding for the Law Library comes from an assessment made, as part of court costs, on each civil case filed in the locality’s courts.  The Code of Virginia (§42.1-70) allows cities, counties, or towns to charge a fee of up to $4 for this assessment.  This fee provides about $47,000-60,000 annually toward the Library budget.  The Library also receives donations of varying amounts from members of the Bar and others.

Councilman Wilson asked staff to include a request in the City’s 2015 Legislative Package for an increase in the existing assessment on civil cases.  Each increase of $1 would result in $12,000 to $15,000 in annual revenue for the Law Library.

4.  Competitive Salaries for the General District and Juvenile and Domestic Relations (JDR) Court Staff (Councilman Wilson).  For some years now, the City has supplemented the salaries of many of the State-supported staff (primarily those of constitutional officers) who work in the City.  These include staff for the Sheriff, the Commonwealth’s Attorney, the Court Services Unit, the Circuit Court Clerk, the Public Defender, the Department of Health, and the Office of Voter Registration.  Not supplemented prior to FY 2015 was staff in the General District and JDR Courts. 

During consideration of the 2015 City budget, a request was made for the City to provide supplemental funding (a 15 percent increase) for the salaries of these court staffers.  The annual cost for the City to provide these supplements would be approximately $134,000.  Council included funding for a smaller—7.5 percent—supplement, at an annual cost to the City of $67,000.  The City believes this is an example of cost shifting by the State, resulting in localities having to bear the burden of underfunding by the State.  Councilman Wilson has recommended that the City ask its delegation to seek to have the State allocate enough resources for the State to pay competitive salaries to its employees in this region.

5.  Mold Remediation (Landlord-Tenant Relations Board).  The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act requires landlords to maintain their premises in a condition that will prevent the growth of mold (§55-248.13.A.5).  An entirely different section of the Code (§ 8.01-226.12.E) sets out the requirements for mold remediation once it is found.  The Landlord-Tenant Relations Board believes that it would be easier for tenants and landlords to know their rights and responsibilities if the second section were cross-referenced in the Landlord and Tenant Act.  The Landlord-Tenant Relations Board also recommends that tenants should be made aware of, and given access to, any written documents produced by the landlord or his contractor relating to the removal and remediation of the mold (e.g., a plan that acknowledges the presence of the mold and the steps that will be taken to eradicate it; certification that the site of the mold has been re-inspected and the re-inspection shows that the mold has been removed).  

Tenants and landlords comprise the membership of the Landlord-Tenant Relations Board.  Both constituencies support these changes to the Virginia Code. 

C— REQUESTS FOR LEGISLATION TO BE SUPPORTED

1.  Workers' Compensation Medical Costs in Virginia (Finance Department).  Over the last decade, medical costs under Virginia’s Workers’ Compensation system have been substantially higher and growing much faster than workers' compensation medical costs in most other states, including all of our neighboring jurisdictions.  A recent study (done by the Workers' Compensation Research Institute) showed that Virginia medical payments per claim were 25 percent higher than the median cost in 16 other states.  The higher prices charged by providers were the main reason for the higher medical payments per claim.  Costs per claim in Virginia grew 8 percent per year from 2005 to 2010.

Prices charged for non-hospital services in Virginia were 22 percent higher than was typical in the 16-state study group.  For hospital outpatient services, the average payment per service was 27 percent higher than the median study state.  Medical costs alone accounted for 72 percent of the growth in the Virginia cost per claim during the years 2004 to 2010. The average medical cost per workers' compensation claim in Virginia was $17,100 in 1996; by 2010 that number had jumped to $44,500.  This number has only gone down one time in the last 15 years.

Forty-four states have adopted fee schedules to contain the rapid increase in the cost of providing treatment to workers' compensation claimants, and 32 of them use Medicare-based fee schedules.  All states that border Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia, use such a fee schedule.

The Virginia Municipal League, together with many other public and private entities represented by the Virginia Self-Insurers Association on Workers’ Comp issues, had legislation introduced in 2013 and 2014 (HB 1612 and HB 946) that would have required Virginia to adopt Medicare-based fee schedules for setting medical provider fees in workers’ compensation cases.  The City supported this legislation (which was not passed), and the City’s Finance Department recommends that the City continue to do so.

2.  Transportation Network Companies (Councilman Chapman).  Legislation was introduced in 2014 (HB 908, SB 531) to remove obstacles to the legal operation of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, in Virginia.  The legislation was carried over, and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) was asked to study the need for changes/additions to the Code dealing with the regulation of TNCs.

Although the study has not been completed, it does not appear that it will recommend changes to local regulation of taxicabs (which had been proposed by DMV earlier this year).  Councilman Chapman recommends that Council direct City staff to analyze DMV’s final recommendations to ensure that they leave regulation of taxicabs to localities and provide sufficient consumer and safety safeguards to protect TNC customers.  Staff will make specific recommendations on the legislation to Council once the legislation has been introduced.

3.  Affordable Care Act & Medicaid Expansion (Public Health Commission, Economic Opportunities Commission, Human Rights Commission).  Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, each state has the option of expanding coverage under its Medicaid program to include all individuals with incomes up to and including 133 percent of the federal poverty index (the current federal poverty index for an individual is about $11,000 a year; it is approximately $19,000 for a family of three).  This expanded coverage will be paid for entirely by the federal government for the first three years of the program; after that, the federal government will cover 90 percent of the cost, with the state responsible for the remainder.

The City’s Public Health Advisory (PHC), Human Rights Commission (HRC), and Economic Opportunities Commission (EOC) recommend that the City and its legislative delegation support this option for three reasons:

1. It will provide coverage for many preventive health care services, especially for low-income women and children;

2. By covering individuals slightly above the federal poverty index, it will address many health disparities which are directly associated with poverty and low-income; and

3. It will help avoid the cost-shifting that already occurs, as low-income, uninsured people turn to local governments and nonprofits for their health care.

The 2014 Special Session of the General Assembly rejected Medicaid expansion.  The PHC, HRC, and EOC realize that it will be very difficult to have this expansion approved in a future Session, but they recommend that the City ask its delegation to continue to work toward that goal.

4.  Constitutional and Statutory Provisions Prohibiting Same Sex Marriages (Human Rights Commission).  In 2006, the Virginia Constitution was amended to prohibit marriage other than “between one man and one woman.”  This amendment also prohibits any “legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage.”  A similar prohibition was inserted into the Virginia Code in 2004.  That provision (§ 20-45.3) prohibits civil unions, partnership contracts or other similar arrangements between persons of the same sex.  Legislation was introduced in the 2014 Session to repeal the 2006 constitutional amendment (among those with bills were Delegate Krupicka and Senator Ebbin), but these did not pass.  The Human Rights Commission recommends that the City ask its delegation to continue its efforts to repeal the constitutional provision.

5.  Early Voting and Unrestricted Absentee Voting (Human Rights Commission).  The Human Rights Commission has asked that the City support legislation to allow unrestricted early voting (i.e., early voting for any reason) as well as unrestricted absentee voting.

6.  Restoration of Voting Rights for Felons (Human Rights Commission).  Under Virginia law, any person convicted of a felony forfeits certain civil rights for life, including the right to vote.  The Virginia Constitution reserves to the Governor the power to restore these rights.  Although recent Governors have used a streamlined process instituted by executive order, this process relies totally on the good will of each individual governor.  Virginia's process for restoring rights has traditionally been one of the most restrictive in the nation.  The Human Rights Commission recommends that the General Assembly institutionalize a streamlined process for the restoration of voting rights to ex-felons by statute, or begin the process for a Constitutional amendment that automatically restores voting rights upon completion of a felon's sentence.

7.  Caps on Interest Paid on Payday and Auto Title Loans (Economic Opportunities Commission).  Virginia allows both payday loans—short-term loans pledged against a future paycheck or government benefit check—and auto title loans, which are secured by a car’s title.  Fifteen states (including neighbors Maryland, North Carolina, and West Virginia) and the District of Columbia currently ban high-cost, short-term loans by setting a maximum annual interest rate of 36 percent including fees.  Under the federal Military Lending Act, military service members and their families are also protected from these expensive and predatory loans.  A 2009 Virginia law restricted payday loans to 36 percent annual interest but permitted two additional fees that increase the actual interest rate above this level.  In 2012, according to the State Corporation Commission, the average annual interest rate for car title loans was 224 percent; for payday loans it was 305 percent.

The Economic Opportunities Commission has asked the City and its legislative delegation to support legislation to cap the interest rate on short-term loans at 36 percent annual interest inclusive of all fees.

8.  Northern Virginia Aging Network (NVAN) Platform (Commission on Aging).  The Commission on Aging asks that the City support the following items in the legislative platform of the Northern Virginia Aging Network:

2015 Northern Virginia Aging Network (NVAN) Priorities

  • Require health insurers to cover the cost of hearing aids.
  • Require hospitals to give patients written notice when they are placed under “observation status,” which can affect their Medicare or insurance coverage.
  • Request the Housing Commission to consider local action on affordable and accessible housing: Evaluate giving local governments the authority to require the building of affordable and accessible housing in new multi-family and single family housing, so that those with low or moderate incomes who have physical or cognitive limitations may live safely in their homes and communities.
  • Improve dental care for older Virginians by enhancing education about oral health for older adults; conducting a study of the dental needs of older adults in long-term care settings; expanding free and low-cost community dental clinic opportunities for older adults; and providing dental services for adult Medicaid beneficiaries. 
  • Expand consumer access to livable homes by expanding the cap on General Fund revenue forgone under the Livable Homes Tax Credit from $1 million to $1.5 million per year; and create a Livable Homes Grant Program at $1 million per year for lower income homeowners whose tax liability is too low to benefit from a tax credit.
  • Support a quality, cost-effective, continuously trained long-term care workforce to improve the quality of life for Virginia's older adults and people with disabilities, by increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates to provide paid sick days, a living wage, and on-going training.
  • Expand Medicaid to provide access to healthcare for hard-working Virginians, including older adults and their caregivers. 

2015 Continuing Concerns for NVAN 

  • Expand the Northern Virginia RAFT program (Regional Older Adult Facilities Mental Health Support Team), which provides community-based care for adults 65 and older who have severe mental illness.
  • Hold harmless from funding reductions the $1.23 appropriation to Area Agencies on Aging for home and community-based services. 
  • Ensure that nursing home residents are notified of the right to return to a nursing home following a hospital stay. 
  • Require minimum nurse staffing standards for nursing homes.
  • Increase the assisted living Auxiliary Grant; make it totally state-funded (eliminating any required local match); and make it portable.  
  • Expand the Virginia Public Guardianship Program for vulnerable adults through funds for local public guardian and conservator programs.
  • Expand voting access to improve opportunities for voting by enhancing accessibility for people who may need assistance, and by enacting no-excuse absentee voting.

Council traditionally approves the NVAN platform as long as it does not conflict with City policy, so that advocates for the aging can lobby for these issues in Richmond.  Staff does not believe that any of these items conflict with City policy.

9. Ban the Box (Human Rights Commission, Community Criminal Justice Board, and Commission on Employment).  Legislation introduced in both the House (by Delegate Krupicka) and the Senate last Session would have prohibited state agencies from asking on employment applications whether the applicant has ever been charged with or convicted of any crime, unless the position was a “sensitive” one (as defined in the Virginia Code) or law enforcement position.  The bills (which were defeated) would have allowed a person to be asked about criminal convictions in the interview process or prior to hiring.  Many people feel that asking such a question on the employment application unfairly penalizes ex-offenders, who may have committed a relatively minor offense many years earlier that is unrelated to the job for which he is applying; the individual may then get rejected for an offense unrelated to the position he is seeking.

The City of Alexandria has administratively implemented such a policy.  Except for those positions relating to public safety, applicants for City jobs are not asked about prior criminal history after a conditional offer of employment has been made.

The Economic Opportunities Commission, the Human Rights Commission, the Community Criminal Justice Board, and the Commission on Employment recommend that the City support legislation in the 2015 Session to require the State to adopt such a policy on employment applications.

10.  Minimum Wage (Human Rights Commission, Economic Opportunities Commission).  The minimum wage in Virginia is currently established by federal law at $7.25/hour.  Several bills in the 2014 Session sought to set a Virginia minimum wage higher than the federal one, but they were all defeated.  The City’s Economic Opportunities Commission (EOC) has asked the City to include in its 2015 Legislative Package a provision supporting a State minimum wage (higher than the current federal one) that would be automatically adjusted for inflation in the future.  Should the General Assembly be unwilling to set a state minimum wage, the EOC and the Human Rights Commission recommend that cities and counties be given the authority to set such a rate for jobs within their jurisdiction.

11.  Human Rights (Human Rights Commission).  The Human Rights Commission recommends that the City ask its legislative delegation to support legislation that will expand the protection of human rights for Virginians, and oppose legislation that will lesson such protection.  If the City adopts this position, staff will bring specific human rights bills to Council and the delegation for their support or opposition, as appropriate. 

12.  Immigration/Higher Education (Human Rights Commission).  Last April, Attorney General Mark Herring advised the presidents of Virginia’s public colleges and universities that those students who are not American citizens but had been approved under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program[1]could establish domicile (maintaining a home in Virginia for at least a year, with the intent to remain in Virginia indefinitely) and thereby become eligible for in-state tuition.  The Human Rights Commission asks the City to support Attorney General Mark Herring’s interpretation of the law, should any legislation pertaining to this issue be introduced.  

13.  License plate readers (Alexandria Police Department).  Automated license plate reader (ALPR) systems use automated technology to capture images of license plates.  The technology often uses cameras mounted on police vehicles that can capture hundreds of images in a matter of minutes.  These images can then be used to locate vehicles sought in connection to ongoing criminal investigations, Amber Alerts, wanted violent felons, stolen vehicles, and terrorist watch lists.  Additionally, ALPR technology can be utilized to locate vehicles flagged for significant overdue parking fines, court fees, or other financial obligations to the state or local jurisdictions.  Public-private toll-road ventures have utilized ALPR technology to track vehicles evading tolls and request payment of the tolls.  A recent RAND corporation study estimated that a substantial number (possibly 70 percent or more) of the country’s police departments make use of this technology.  The value of being able to review stored data pursuant to an ongoing criminal investigation is crucial to remaining effective in safeguarding our communities. 

The crime-fighting benefits of the technology have been proven, but concerns have been raised over privacy issues since the data produced by these systems can be stored indefinitely.  In a 2013 opinion, former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli opined that ALPR data is subject to Virginia’s Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act, and that retention of the data for other than an ongoing investigation was prohibited.  As a result of this opinion, the Virginia State police adopted a policy to purge license plate reader data within 24 hours, unless the data relates to a crime.

Attorney General opinions are not legally binding, however, and many local police departments have (with the concurrence of many city, county, and Commonwealth’s attorneys) retained such data for longer periods, ranging from a matter of weeks to two years.  Privacy advocates have criticized these policies, and legislation was introduced in 2014 to force localities to abide by the Attorney General Cuccinelli’s opinion.  At the request of local law enforcement officials, the legislation was carried over until the 2015 Session to give them an opportunity to develop a policy less stringent than that adopted by the State Police.

Northern Virginia law enforcement officials have been working together, as well as with their D.C. and Maryland counterparts, to develop a common data retention policy (the current policy of the Alexandria Police Department is to purge these records after 6 months).  They have not completed this work, but will do so prior to the 2015 Session.  The Alexandria Police Department recommends that the City support such a regional policy.

14.  Redistricting Reform (Councilman Wilson).  In recent years, there have been a number of proposals to reform the redistricting process in Virginia so that it is less partisan.  Several bills were introduced in the 2010 General Assembly to create a nonpartisan redistricting commission that would recommend new district boundaries to the General Assembly; all of these were defeated. Prior to the 2011 Session, there were additional calls for a non-partisan commission to be created to draft district boundaries.  Although no legislation was passed to do so, Governor McDonnell created an advisory commission to present scenarios and guiding principles to the General Assembly prior to its adoption of a redistricting.

Most observers felt that the commission’s work was largely ignored by the General Assembly when it adopted redistricting legislation in 2011.

During the past year, a group of Virginians, many of whom held state offices in the past, formed a new organization (One Virginia 2021) that is seeking to reform and depoliticize redistricting following the 2020 census.  This organization is asking local governments to support its efforts.  Councilman Wilson has recommended that we do so, and ask the City’s Legislative delegation to support redistricting reform legislation when introduced in future General Assembly Sessions.  

15.  Photo Identification for Voting (Human Rights Commission).  The 2013 General Assembly passed legislation (SB 1256, effective July 1, 2014) requiring voters to provide a valid photo ID at each election.  Questions have arisen as to the meaning of the word “valid.”  Some believe it should be interpreted to mean any photo ID that was validly issued, while others say it should exclude any ID that was validly issued but is now past its expiration date.

Those who believe that any validly issued photo ID should be acceptable note that a photo ID issued by a local voter registrar does not have an expiration date; therefore, it makes little sense to make other validly issued IDs that have expired (e.g., a driver’s license) unacceptable.  The State Board of Elections recently adopted a policy which allows the use of expired, validly issued photo IDs as long as they have not been expired for more than 12 months.

The Human Rights Commission believes that this is not a rational policy, and that it will result in people being denied the right to vote.  The Commission asks the City to recommend that its delegation support any legislation which would allow the use of any photo ID that was validly issued, and oppose legislation that prohibits the use of expired photo IDs.

16. Funding Needs of the Community Services Board (Department of Community and Human Services). The City recognizes that funding for new initiatives will be scarce in the 2015 Session. If any excess funding is available for Community Services Board (CSB) programs, however, the City recommends that it go toward one or more of the following initiatives, as recommended by the Northern Virginia CSB Directors.

A. PROVIDE FUNDING STATEWIDE FOR PEER MODEL RECOVERY SUPPORT SERVICES
For the several years, the State has funded a Peer Model Recovery program for adults with Substance Abuse issues in Northern Virginia.  This program has been very successful in promoting sustained recovery and self-sufficiency among individuals in the region who have alcohol and other substance use disorders.  The Northern Virginia CSBs recommend that the State provide $300,000 to expand the program and broaden the range of services provided.  

B. EXPAND SERVICES FOR YOUTHS WITH SERIOUS EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCES AND THEIR FAMILIES
There is a need for the expansion of comprehensive services for youths with serious emotional disturbances who do not require placement in a residential or inpatient (e.g., hospital) setting.  Pilot programs in several localities have successfully kept youths in their homes and schools, and out of the criminal justice system.  The region needs $800,000 to make the pilot program permanent and expand it to all localities in the region.

C. EXPAND HOUSING OPTIONS FOR PERSONS WITH SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS 
There is an insufficient amount of permanent supportive housing and support services available for persons with Serious Mental Illness (SMI). The lack of support services further impact the ability of individuals to keep housing once they have acquired it.  Consequently, many of these individuals become homeless, end up in hospital emergency rooms, and often become incarcerated or hospitalized in a psychiatric facility. Alexandria and other Northern Virginia localities recommend that the General Assembly provide $3.2 million in biennial funding for a Northern Virginia pilot program to provide both housing and services in a manner similar to that which exists in the Discharge Assistance Program (the Program that provides a package of services for people leaving state facilities). 

D— REQUESTS FOR LEGISLATION TO BE OPPOSED

1.  Obstacles to voting (Human Rights Commission).  The Human Rights Commission recommends that the City oppose any legislation that would create additional obstacles or barriers to voting.

2.  Immigration/Law Enforcement (Human Rights Commission).  The Human Rights Commission asks the City to continue to oppose legislation that would require local law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws.


Attachment 2--List of proposed 2015 “cleanup” changes to the City Charter

1. Eliminates a provision allowing the City to collect a capitation tax. [§2.02 (a)(2)]

2. Eliminates reference to Council terms ending in 1952. [§3.01]

3. Eliminates outdated compensation references for Mayor and Council. [§3.02]

4. Removes outdated list of departments and retains allowing Council to establish departments by ordinance; eliminates language that says Council appoints the school board members. [§3.04]

5. Authorizes Council members, not the City Clerk, to appoint Council aides. [§3.06:1]

6. Sets the January (not July) date for induction of a new Council. [§3.07]

7. Changes corporation to circuit court (corporation courts were eliminated in the 1971 Virginia Constitution).  [§§3.13, 3.16, and 3.17]

8. Removes budget responsibilities from Finance; these have been done by the Office of Management & Budget for many years. [§5.01]

9. Requires departments to submit their budget requests and related material to the Office of Management & Budget, rather than the Department of Finance; this has been the practice for many years. [§6.03]

10. Removes references to the 1902 Constitution of Virginia, which was superseded by the 1971 Constitution.  [§7.16]

11. Changes the year for the potential issuance of anticipation notes from the 1900’s to the 2000’s. [§7.20]

12. Eliminates the requirement that the voter registration office be in City Hall or another “municipal” building (office is now in rented space); eliminates requirement for additional offices for each “fifty thousand population of the city.” [§10.03.1]

13.  Simplifies language regarding the appointment of the City Attorney. [§11.01]

14. Corrects outdated references to sections in the Code of Virginia. [§13.02]

15. Corrects outdated references to sections in the Code of Virginia. [§13.03]

16. Eliminates references to the City Collector, an office which was abolished in 1973. [§14.01 to §14.05]

17. Eliminates references to the City Treasurer and Commissioner of the Revenue, offices which were abolished in 1974. [§14.01 to §15.12]


Attachment 3--Actual Proposed “Cleanup” amendments to the City Charter


[1]DACA provides for a deferral of any action to deport any individual 31 and under who (1) was brought to this country prior to age 16 illegally, or have lost lawful status; (2) has resided in the United States from June 15, 2007 to the present; (3) has not been convicted of a felony or a significant misdemeanor [e.g. domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or, driving under the influence]; and (4) has a high school diploma or GED certificate, or has been honorably discharged from the military.                                                                                                                         

 

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