THE ISRAEL LOBBY ENTERS STATE GOVERNMENT

RISE OF THE VIRGINIA ISRAEL ADVISORY BOARD

By Grant F. Smith

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Appendix 4
FULL TEXT OF VIAB’S ENABLING STATE OF VIRGINIA LAW PASSED MARCH 30, 2018

CHAPTER 697

An Act to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Title 30 a chapter numbered 42.1, consisting of sections numbered 30-281.1 and 30-281.2, and to repeal Article 11 (§ 2.2-2424 et seq.) of Chapter 24 of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Virginia-Israel Advisory Board; report.

[H 1297]

Approved March 30, 2018

 Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Title 30 a chapter numbered 42.1, consisting of sections numbered 30-281.1 and 30-281.2, as follows:

CHAPTER 42.1.

VIRGINIA-ISRAEL ADVISORY BOARD.

§ 30-281.1. Virginia-Israel Advisory Board; purpose; membership; terms; compensation and expenses; staff; chairman's executive summary.

A. The Virginia-Israel Advisory Board (the Board) is established as an advisory board in the legislative branch of state government. The purpose of the Board is to advise the General Assembly on ways to improve economic and cultural links between the Commonwealth and the State of Israel, with a focus on the areas of commerce and trade, art and education, and general government.

B. The Board shall have a total membership of 31 members that shall consist of 29 citizen members and two ex officio members. Members shall be appointed as follows: 10 citizen members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates, who may be members of the House of Delegates or other state or local elected officials; 10 citizen members appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, who may be members of the Senate or other state or local elected officials; five citizen members appointed by the Governor who represent business, industry, education, the arts, and government; the president, or his designee, of each of the four Jewish Community Federations serving the Richmond, Northern Virginia, Tidewater, and Peninsula regions, each of whom shall be a resident of the Commonwealth; and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade and the Secretary of Education, or their designees, who shall serve as ex officio voting members of the Board.

C. Nonlegislative citizen members shall serve for terms of four years. Legislative members and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade and the Secretary of Education, or their designees, shall serve terms coincident with their terms of office. Vacancies occurring other than by expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments. Any member may be reappointed for successive terms.

D. The members of the Board shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman annually from among its membership. The Board shall meet at such times as it deems appropriate or on call of the chairman. A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum.

E. Members shall receive no compensation for their services. However, all members shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided in §§ 2.2-2813 and 2.2-2825.

F. The Joint Rules Committee shall appoint an executive director to the Board. Funding for the costs of expenses of the members and the operations of the Board, including staffing needs, shall be from such funds as appropriated by the General Assembly.

G. The chairman of the Board shall submit to the Governor and the General Assembly an annual executive summary of the interim activity and work of the Board no later than the first day of each regular session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.

§ 30-281.2. Powers and duties of the Board.

A. The Board shall have the power and duty to:

1. Undertake studies and gather information and data in order to accomplish its purposes as set forth in § 30-281.1, and to formulate and present its recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly;

2. Apply for, accept, and expend gifts, grants, or donations from public, quasi-public, or private sources, including any matching funds as may be designated in the appropriation act, to enable it to better carry out its purposes;

3. Report annually its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly. The Board may make interim reports to the Governor and the General Assembly as it deems advisable; and

4. Account annually on its fiscal activities, including any matching funds received or expended by the Board.

B. In addition, the Board shall meet with the Governor at least annually to (i) provide a review of the Board's economic and cultural development activity and (ii) assist in planning an economic development and cultural exchange mission to Israel.

2. That Article 11 (§ 2.2-2424 et seq.) of Chapter 24 of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia is repealed.

3. That any unexpended balances of the Virginia-Israel Advisory Board as of June 30, 2018, that have accrued in the executive department pursuant to a general appropriation act shall be transferred to the Virginia-Israel Advisory Board in the legislative department.

4. That the provisions of this act shall not affect current members of the Virginia-Israel Advisory Board whose terms have not expired as of July 1, 2018. However, beginning July 1, 2018, with the exception of appointments to fill the remainder of an unexpired term, the Governor shall not appoint any citizen members to the Board until such time as the number of gubernatorial citizen appointees serving on the Board is less than five.

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