Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund Approved but Not Funded by 2016 General Assembly

The 2016 Virginia General Assembly passed SB 282, sponsored by Sen. Lynwood Lewis, Jr., (D-6th) of Accomac, establishing the Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund.  According to the bill’s text, “[l]ocalities shall use moneys from the Fund primarily for the purpose of creating a low-interest loan program to help residents and businesses that are subject to recurrent flooding as confirmed by a locality-certified floodplain manager.  Moneys in the Fund may be used to mitigate future flood damage.”  No actual money, however, was authorized for the fund by the 2016 General Assembly.

The approved fund is similar to the Commonwealth Resilience Fund proposed in HB 351, which did not pass in the 2016 Assembly.  That bill, sponsored by Del. Ronald Villanueva (R-21st) of Virginia Beach, would have had Virginia develop a carbon-trading program, join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, an existing interstate carbon-trading organization), and deposit revenue from the sale of carbon allowances into a revolving fund to assist localities with the implementation of adaptation efforts to combat sea level rise and recurrent flooding.

Sources:
Virginia Legislative Information System information on SB 282 in the 2016 Virginia General Assembly, online at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=161&typ=bil&val=sb282; and information on HB 351, online at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=161&typ=bil&val=hb351.

Virginia establishes fund to help with sea-level rise, Associated Press, as published by Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/26/16.

Virginia sets up fund (without funding) to help property owners prepare for sea-level rise, Virginian-Pilot, 4/22/16.

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