Water in the 2017 Virginia General Assembly: Coastal Protection and Flooding Adaptation Cabinet Position

This is one of a series of posts on particular water-related bills in the 2017 Virginia General Assembly.  For an inventory of about 165 water-related bills in the 2017 General Assembly, please visit the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s “Virginia Water Legislation” page, online at http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/virginia-water-legislation/.  Each post includes a summary of the bill(s), their legislative status (in committee, passed, failed, etc.), and a list of hyperlinked headlines for news media items on the bill(s).  Information on the bills’ provisions and status is taken from the Virginia Legislative Information System (LIS), online at http://leg1.state.va.us/lis.htm.  Each bill number is hyperlinked to the LIS entry for that bill.

HB 1964 – Coastal Protection and Flooding Adaptation cabinet position created.  This bill, sponsored by Del. Christopher P. Stolle (R-83rd District), of Virginia Beach, was reported from the House General Laws Committee but failed in the House Appropriations Committee.  The will would have created the position of Secretary for Coastal Protection and Flooding Adaptation, who would be responsible for consolidating into a single office the resources for coastal flooding threats and adaptation; lead in providing direction, ensuring accountability, and developing a statewide coastal flooding adaptation strategy; and, in cooperation with the Secretary of Natural Resources, identify sources of funding for needed implementation of strategies for coastal protection and flooding adaptation.

SB 1349 is the companion bill to HB 1964 (introduced with the same provisions).  Sponsored by Sen. Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. (D-6th District), of Accomack, this bill passed the Senate Finance Committee with an amendment stating that the provisions of the bill would not become effective unless the 2017 General Assembly passes an appropriation supporting the purposes of the bill.  The amended bill failed on the Senate floor on January 31.

Related News Media Item on Legislation
Legislation to create Virginia coastal office gaining ground, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1/23/17.

Related News Media Items on Coastal Flooding in Virginia
A flood of data on tide cycles in Hampton Roads worries meteorologists, Virginian-Pilot, 12/3/16.
The 2,000-foot hole in the ground that’s important in the battle against sea level rise, Virginian-Pilot, 12/3/16.
Researchers estimate cost to Hampton Roads of doing nothing about sea level rise, Virginian-Pilot, 11/17/16.
Report says sea-level rise has major economic consequences for Hampton Roads, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/17/16.

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