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Posted at 12:07 PM ET, 01/13/2011

McDonnell unveils government reform agenda for session

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) announced Thursday a package of government reform bills he will introduce during the session of the General Assembly -- most of them came from a commission he formed to make government more user-friendly and efficient.

Previously unannounced proposals include: the consolidation of various inspectors general into a state inspector general to investigate government fraud, waste and abuse; the consolidation of official reports; transparency in accessing state spending information; and the elimination and consolidation of boards and commissions.

Some suggestions will be implemented administratively. McDonnell will issue an executive directive next week advising secretaries, agencies and state employees to comply with many of the recommendations found in the government reform commission report, submitted in December.

"We must create a government that is limited and effective, efficient and transparent,'' McDonnell said in a statement. "We are committed to doing that during this administration."

See below for McDonnell's reform package:

--Consolidation of various inspectors general into a state inspector general to investigate government fraud, waste and abuse.
--Establish a telework tax credit for Virginia employers.
--Requires all state agencies and regional bodies to put requests for proposals and invitations to bid on the Department of General Services' Website.
--Provide that whenever a state agency sends any mail or notice by certified mail, and such mail or notice is sent certified mail, return receipt requested, then any additional mail or notice that is sent by such state agency pertaining to the same subject matter and purpose may be sent by regular mail.
--Change the certified and registered mail requirements for notices by local government to allow notice via regular mail to the last address available through government records, most importantly for mailings following the first notice.
--Provide that citizen members of boards, committees, councils or other bodies, who are appointed at the state level, who receive three or more travel reimbursements annually shall be required to participate in the Electronic Data Interchange Program administered by the Department of Accounts as a condition of accepting such appointment.
--Require all agencies to participate as much as they can in the Payroll Service Bureau operated by the Department of Accounts.
--Provide that the assessment of mandates imposed on local government currently required include a detailed cost-benefit analysis.
-Reform and simplify employee leave programs.
-Remove membership requirement from certain associations.
--Facilitate the transfer of the administration of the gross premiums on certain insurance companies by calling for a memorandum of understanding between the Department of Taxation and the State Corporation Commission to transfer responsibility for processing insurance premiums tax returns.
--Amend the code section to authorize the use of inmate labor at rest areas along the Interstate Highway System.
--Consolidate the collection of the Wireless E-911 surcharge under the Department of Taxation.
--Transfer the administration of the motor vehicle rental tax from DMV to the Department of Taxation.
--Pass a bill to repeal certain sections of the Code concerning K-12 education that have never been implemented, or that have long since been discontinued, due to lack of funding. The proposal will clarify the Code by eliminating outdated sections and updating sections with obsolete language.
--Legislation to authorize state executive branch agencies to develop one consolidated report for submission instead of multiple reports.
--Consolidate Department of Conservation and Recreation Code required water quality reports into the Secretary of Natural Resources impaired waters clean-up plan progress reports.
--Raise threshold for projects that can be approved administratively.
--Eliminate advisory committee on veterans care centers.
--Consolidate three Northern Virginia transportation organizations, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.
--Enable the Rail Enhancement funds to match federal funds, abolishes the Rail Advisory Board.
--Provides for the issuance of special license plates for fleet vehicles of business entities.
--Eliminate certain boards and commissions. Establish process by which certain businesses could apply for and receive specialized license plates without individual action by the General Assembly.
--Eliminate requirement that localities establish local disability services boards and abolishes Disability Services Council and Rehabilitative Services Incentive Fund.

By Anita Kumar  | January 13, 2011; 12:07 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate  
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