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Offered January 9, 2019
Prefiled January 5, 2019
A BILL to amend and reenact 2.2-2452 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Board of Veterans Services; membership and scope of responsibilities.
Patrons-- Reeves and Mason
Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That 2.2-2452 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

2.2-2452. Board of Veterans Services; membership; terms; quorum; compensation; staff.

A. The Board of Veterans Services (the Board) is established as a policy board, within the meaning of 2.2-2100, in the executive branch of state government. The Board shall have a total membership of 22 26 members, including five seven legislative members, 14 15 nonlegislative citizen members, and three four ex officio members. Members shall be appointed as follows: three four members of the House of Delegates to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates; two three members of the Senate to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; and 14 15 nonlegislative citizen members to be appointed by the Governor. The Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Veterans Services Foundation, and the Chairman of the Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Service Organizations, and the Chairman of the Virginia War Memorial Foundation, or their designees, shall serve ex officio with full voting privileges. Nonlegislative citizen members of the Board shall be citizens of the Commonwealth.

In making appointments, the Governor shall endeavor to ensure a balanced geographical representation on the Board, while at the same time selecting appointees of such qualifications and experience as will allow them to develop reasonable and effective policy recommendations related to (i) the services provided to veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States and their eligible spouses, orphans, and dependents by the Department of Veterans Services, and (ii) the mission of the Virginia War Memorial.

Legislative members and the Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services shall serve terms coincident with their terms of office. Nonlegislative citizen members shall be appointed for a term of four years. Appointments to fill vacancies, other than by expiration of a term, shall be for the unexpired terms. All members may be reappointed. However, no House member shall serve more than six consecutive two-year terms, and no Senate member shall serve more than three consecutive four-year terms. No nonlegislative citizen member shall serve more than two consecutive four-year terms; however, a nonlegislative citizen member appointed to serve an unexpired term is eligible to serve two consecutive four-year terms immediately succeeding such unexpired term.

The remainder of any term to which a member is appointed to fill a vacancy shall not constitute a term in determining the member's eligibility for reappointment. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments.

B. The Board shall select a chairman and vice-chairman from its membership. The Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services shall not be eligible to serve as chairman. The Board shall meet at least three times a year at such times as it deems appropriate or on call of the chairman. A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum.

C. The Board shall organize itself in such a way as to allow it to fulfill its powers and duties.

D. The Department of Veterans Services shall provide staff to assist the Board in its administrative, planning, and procedural duties.

2. That the provisions of this act shall become effective on January 1, 2020.