2017 Session

Budget Amendments - HB1500 (Conference Report)

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Review Methods to Stabilize Ag BMP Funding (language only)

Item 364 #3c

Item 364 #3c

Natural Resources
Department of Conservation and Recreation


Page 362, after line 40, insert:

"Q. 1.  The Department of Conservation and Recreation shall convene a stakeholder group to include, at a minimum:  two members of the House of Delegates and one member of the Senate from the membership of the Chesapeake Bay Commission who will be selected by the Joint Rules Committee, representatives of the Virginia Farm Bureau Foundation, the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Virginia Agribusiness Council, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Director, Department of Conservation and Recreation or his designee, the Secretary of Natural Resources or her designee, and staff from the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees to evaluate methods to stabilize the fluctuations in funding for Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs).  

2.  Such a review shall, at a minimum, (i) consider increasing the portion of any deposit to the Water Quality Improvement Fund (WQIF) directed to the WQIF reserve, (ii) limiting the portion of the WQIF reserve that may be utilized in any given year, (iii) evaluating the combined revenues available from the WQIF and the Natural Resources Commitment Fund as a step in establishing appropriate expenditures from the combined funds in a given fiscal year, and (iv) distributing any funds to be deposited into the WQIF pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 21.1 of Title 10.1, Code of Virginia, across a biennial period.  Such review shall also consider the impact on the staffing and technical assistance needs of the Soil and Water Conservation Districts to ensure that staffing requirements do not fluctuate or exceed their annual ability to fully implement and oversee practices with the funding made available.

3.  The Stakeholder Group shall report any recommendations to the Chairmen of the House Appropriations, Senate Finance and House and Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committees no later than November 15, 2017."


(This amendment establishes a stakeholder working group to discuss potential methods to stabilize the flow of funding for Agricultural Best Management Practices to reduce the fluctuations and provide additional surety to the farm community while ensuring the flow of work for the Soil and Water Conservation Districts becomes more stable and predictable.)