The legislative priorities for the City of Norfolk are Coastal Resilience, Strong and Safe Communities, Education, a strong Economy and Transit and Transportation. The city supports policies and legislation that uphold these core principals.
Norfolk’s proposed 2024 legislative agenda includes:
• State funding through FY 2026 to support a portion of the non-federal match for the U.S. Army Corps (USACE) Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) flood protection project in Norfolk.
• Re-enact SB1258 (Lucas), which amends VA Code Sec. 58.1-608.3 to allow localities to access sales tax generated by a partially or wholly-publicly owned entertainment arena.
Strong and Safe Communities
• Support the Commonwealth meeting its funding obligation for officers through the State Aide to Localities With Police Departments “599” program.
• Support General Assembly continuing to alleviate the strain on local law enforcement caused by issues around transportation and custody of individuals under a temporary detention order (TDO) or emergency custody order (ECO).
• Preserve existing local authority to implement public safety technology and support expanding local authority to install speed enforcement cameras beyond school and construction zones.
• Support public policy initiatives that provide proper training and support for public safety officials.
• Support policy initiatives and funding to Virginia local governments to provide residents better access to affordable housing.
• Support providing state assistance to assist localities with aging infrastructure in our neighborhoods.
• Support local control of all land use decisions including the authority to promote affordable, inclusive, and mixed-income housing as well as the required infrastructure to facilitate in-fill development, redevelopment, and mixing of uses.
• Support preserving local authority to regulate Short Term Rental requirements.
• Support local authority to preserve neighborhood quality and safety by removing the requirement that vacant buildings qualify as “derelict” to be included in the vacant building registry.
Coastal and Environmental Resilience
• Support the Commonwealth dedicating funds to meet the non-federal obligation for construction of the U.S. Army Corps (USACE) Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) flood protection project in Norfolk.
• Support creation of a dedicated, ongoing, and reliable source of funding for flood prevention projects and matching funds for resilience projects.
• Support continued investment in the Storm Water Local Assistance Fund (SLAF) for improvements and installation of effective storm water management controls.
• Support initiatives to encourage local governments to reduce their carbon footprint and enhance resilience.
Strengthening our Economy
• Support increased funding and policies that assist local governments with preparing shovel-ready sites for future development, including additional funds in the Virginia Brownfields Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund.
• Support an increase in the Port Host Communities Revitalization Grant Fund by $1 million each year of the biennium.
• Support increased funding for programs that connect transitioning active-duty military personnel and their spouses to job opportunities and legislative action to expand professional licensure reciprocity for military spouses, leveraging the valuable professional experience that transitioning servicemembers and their families bring to the Commonwealth.
• Support state assistance to attract companies and create a workforce training pipeline that supports the emerging offshore wind industry.
• Support increased state investment in broadband to encourage competition in the market amongst broadband providers, ensuring expansion of reliable and affordable broadband to Virginians at all economic levels.
• Support the General Assembly continuing to undertake the task of addressing the cost of education, the funding needed to provide a quality education to all Virginia children and to determine the appropriate funding levels for education. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) completed a two-year study in July 2023 regarding the cost of education in Virginia and an assessment of the costs of the Standards of Quality (SOQ).
• Support the Commonwealth continuing to provide critically needed funds for school construction and renovation or allowing local governments the tools to address this need themselves. The 2022 General Assembly approved the School Construction Grant Fund. Although this was a step in the correct direction, this is only one funding mechanism to solve a multi-billion-dollar issue.
• Support maintaining the At-Risk Add-On - a quality education is critical to break the cycle of poverty.
Transit and Transportation
• Support state funding for the Hampton Roads Accountability Commission (HRTAC) projects including the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) and the express lanes network while preserving regional autonomy over transportation network and any future tolling systems.
• Support a sustainable source of funding for transportation to meet the growing transportation needs of Hampton Roads and the Commonwealth. We are grateful for the resources and new initiatives from the 2020 General Assembly Session and recognize that Smart Scale funding for local and regional priorities remains insufficient.
• Support public policy that enhances transit and preserving and increasing state funding for transit including funding for state of good repair of equipment and facilities, technology as well as to provide for service expansion.
• Support a plan for a state funding source to provide a stable and reliable funding revenue stream for the local match required for federal funding programs.
• Support actions that enhance roadway safety for all users of the transportation network, including bicyclists and pedestrians.
City of Norfolk Endorsements
• Support the regional legislative packages of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization, the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance, the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission, Hampton Roads Transit and the legislative packages of Virginia Municipal League and Virginia First Cities.
• Opposes the Commonwealth imposing unfunded mandates on localities or limiting or removing local taxing authority and revenue streams without providing ongoing funds to replace lost revenues.