Vice Chairman Haulman convened the October 15, 2015 Annual Commission meeting, and due to traffic issues, asked for a modified agenda going directly into workshop items.
Mr. John “Dubby” Wynne briefed the Commission on the evolving Virginia Initiative for Growth and Opportunity (GOVirginia). Mr. Wynne described how the current system set localities up to compete against each other for economic growth, creating local silos. The new model embraced by GOVirginia will encourage voluntary cooperation to help grow the economy and create jobs by leveraging dollars to focus on regional priorities. Mr. Wynne noted the GOVirginia’s five priority areas:
Commission questions included issues around funding amounts and sources, role of PDCs, as well as cost and revenue sharing. A funding range of $25-50 million dollars for the first two years is anticipated to be included in the Governor’s budget. It is anticipated that regions will need studies to identify gaps in the workforce. Hampton Roads already has this completed and is uniquely positioned with high priority opportunities. Mr. Wynne will be working with area executives, including HRPDC Executive Director Bob Crum to move the initiative forward.
The Virginia Coastal Protection Act & Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
Delegate Ron Villanueva is proposing Virginia join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) as a funding avenue for coastal flooding adaptation through adoption of the Virginia Coastal Protection Act to be proposed in the 2016 General Assembly session. RGGI is a group of nine states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) that implement a region-wide cap on CO2 emissions. Carbon allowances are purchased at quarterly auctions, with funds returned to states. The cap is lowered by 2.5% annually. Approximately $200 million in auction revenue is projected to be returned to Virginia each year. The Virginia Coastal Protection Act would divide these funds between energy and adaptation projects:
$100 million for sea level rise and flooding adaptation
$60 million for statewide energy efficiency programs
$20 million for economic development in Southwest Virginia
$10 million for statewide renewables
$10 million for state programmatic expenses
Delegate Villanueva stressed that RGGI is a market-based solution based on cap and trade which will also help Virginia meet EPA targets in the Clean Power Plan (CPP). Delegate Villanueva asked that the Commission include support for the Virginia Coastal Protection Act in its 2016 Legislative Agenda.
Upon arrival of Chairman Wright, the modified agenda was resumed. The staff presentation on the Legislative Agenda was deferred until November due to time constraints.
Election of Officers
The following officers were elected for the upcoming year:
Dr. Clyde Haulman – Chair
Dr. Ella Ward – Vice Chair
Mr. Marcus Jones – Treasurer
Mr. Robert Crum – Secretary
Newly installed Chairman Clyde Haulman thanked outgoing Chairman Kenny Wright for his service and support of staff and HRPDC programs throughout the year.
Robert Crum provided the Executive Director’s report noting:
Urban Crescent Meeting to address K-12 funding
Joint HRPDC/HRTPO Legislative Forum: December 17th
Recognition of Jennifer Coleman for five years of outstanding service to the HRPDC
Mr. Ellis James of Norfolk commented on recent storm surge issues in the region with regard to flooding and other impacts and urged localities to evaluate those impacts in preparation for future storms, citing Norfolk’s debriefing as an excellent model.
The following items were approved under the Consent Agenda:
Minutes of September 17, 2015 Executive Committee Meeting
Treasurer’s Report of September 2015
Contract Authorization – MMRS
Resolution of Support – Southampton County HB2 Project
Chairman Haulman noted future meeting topics and other items of interest included in the packet. There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.