Division of Legislative Services > Legislative Record > 2006

Virginia Joint Commission on Technology and Science

May, 2006

The Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS) created several advisory committees at its organizational meeting in May 2006. The Traffic Safety and Technology Advisory Committee, the Social Security Number Advisory Committee, and the Real ID Act Advisory Committee held their first meetings in June.

A complete listing of the JCOTS Advisory Committees and an in-depth summary of each meeting is available on the JCOTS website.


The various advisory committees were created to study bills referred to JCOTS for study by the 2006 General Assembly, as well as to study and discuss current issues in technology and science policy identified by JCOTS members. Each advisory committee will be chaired by a JCOTS member, and will consist of representatives from the private and government sectors appointed by Delegate Joe T. May, chairman of JCOTS. The goal of the advisory committees is to assemble relevant viewpoints and expertise to thoroughly address the issues. Each advisory committee will then report
to JCOTS at the end of interim with various
recommendations for consideration.

Traffic Safety and Technology Advisory Committee

The advisory committee, chaired by Senator John C. Watkins, held its first meeting on July 6. The group reviewed and discussed the ways that new technologies might be used to positively impact traffic management and congestion, as well as improve traffic safety. While technology is not the single answer to the transportation issues currently facing the Commonwealth, the group agreed that the utilization of technology might likely be a piece of a larger solution. Some of the ideas discussed included the use of open-road tolling, and the 5.9 gigahertz intelligent transportation
technology. The advisory committee will hold its next meeting on September 19, 2006, in Charlottesville at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Vehicle Research Center.

Social Security Number Advisory Committee

The advisory committee, chaired by Delegate Joe T. May, was assembled to review HB 1510 (Patron-Delegate Plum). The bill would place additional restrictions on the use of social security numbers by private entities and individuals by amending the Personal Information Privacy Act. The growing threat of identity theft, coupled with the increasing amount of information stored and transmitted in electronic format, underlies both the bill and the discussions of the advisory committee. The group will use future meetings to continue to discuss HB 1510, as well as to examine the availability of social security numbers on public records and the dissemination of personal information on court documents.

Real ID Advisory Committee

The advisory committee, chaired by Delegate Kenneth C. Alexander, was assembled to review the technology implications of compliance with the federal Real ID Act. The Real ID Act, designed to provide more secure verification of state-issued driver's licenses, would require states to keep a database of digitally imaged source documents provided by driver's license applicants (such as a birth certificate), as well as to make their database available to all other states. The group raised several concerns about the implementation of the act, such as interoperability and data security. The group also began discussion of the possibility of the inclusion of a biometric element on driver's licenses.

Future Meetings

Additional meetings for these and other advisory committees will be scheduled throughout the 2006 Interim. Information can be found on the newly redesigned JCOTS website. The new website is designed to be more informative and user friendly, and to provide features such as a message board to receive public comment and feedback about topics of study.

The Hon. Joe T. May

For information, contact:
Lisa Wallmeyer, Esquire, Executive Director
Patrick Cushing, Attorney


Division of Legislative Services > Legislative Record > 2006

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