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2020 Session

Budget Bill - HB30 (Chapter 1289)

Commission on the May 31, 2019 Virginia Beach Mass Shooting

Item 27.20

Item 27.20

First Year - FY2021Second Year - FY2022
Research, Planning and Coordination (78800)$38,504$38,504
Policy Research and Planning (78801)FY2021 $38,504FY2022 $38,504
Fund Sources:  
GeneralFY2021 $38,504FY2022 $38,504

Authority: Discretionary Inclusion


A. The Commission to Investigate the May 31, 2019, Virginia Beach Mass Shooting is established as an independent commission. The purpose of the Commission is to conduct an independent, thorough, objective incident review of the May 31, 2019, tragedy and make recommendations regarding improvements that can be made in the Commonwealth's laws, policies, procedures, systems, and institutions, as well as those of other governmental agencies and private providers.


B.1. The Commission shall consist of 21 members appointed as follows: five nonlegislative citizen members to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates; five nonlegislative citizen members to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; and 10 nonlegislative citizen members to be appointed by the Governor. The Superintendent of State Police shall serve ex officio as a nonvoting member of the Commission. Each nonlegislative citizen member of the Commission shall have significant experience as either a (i) law-enforcement officer, (ii) jurist, (iii) local government administrator, (iv) qualified, licensed forensic psychologist, (v) first responder, (vi) security expert, or (vii) IT specialist, and no nonlegislative citizen member of the Commission shall be currently serving in an elected capacity. The Governor shall appoint at least one person from each of the occupations and professions described in clauses (i) through (vii). Every effort shall be made to ensure that appointees do not have a conflict of interest yet can provide the best insight into their specialization. The Commission shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman from among its membership.


2. Unless otherwise approved in writing by the chairman of the Commission, Commission members shall only be reimbursed for travel originating and ending within the Commonwealth for the purpose of attending meetings.


C.1. The Commission shall: (i) investigate the underlying motive for the May 31, 2019, Virginia Beach mass shooting; (ii) investigate the gunman's personal background and entire prior employment history with the City of Virginia Beach and his interactions with coworkers and supervisors, including but not limited to formal documentation and informal incidents; (iii) determine how the gunman was able to carry out his actions; (iv) identify any obstacles confronted by first responders; (v) identify and examine the security procedures and protocols in place immediately prior to the mass shooting; (vi) examine the post-shooting communications between law enforcement and the families of the victims; (vii) assess such other matters as it deems necessary to gain a comprehensive understanding of the tragic events of May 31, 2019, and (viii) develop recommendations regarding improvements that can be made in the Commonwealth's laws, policies, procedures, systems, and institutions, as well as those of other government agencies and private providers, to minimize the risk of a tragedy of this nature from ever occurring again in the Commonwealth.


2. To the extent required by law, the Commission shall (i) protect the confidentiality of any individual's or family member's personal or health information and (ii) make public or publish information and findings only in summary or aggregate form without identifying personal or health information related to any individual or family member unless authorization is obtained from an individual or family member that specifically permits the Commission to disclose that person's personal or health information; and (iii) ensure that its investigation does not impede any investigation into the matter being conducted by law enforcement.


D. The Office of the State Inspector General shall provide staff support to the Commission. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Office of the State Inspector General upon request. Upon the request of the Chairman, the Director of the Department of Planning and Budget may authorize a transfer of this appropriation to the Office of the State Inspector General to support the work of the Commission.


E. Beginning in 2021, the Chairman shall submit to the General Assembly and the Governor an annual executive summary of the interim activity and work of the Commission no later than November 1 of each year. 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.