Division of Legislative Services > Legislative Record > 2007

HJR 144: Telework Opportunities

December 5, 2007

The Joint Subcommittee Studying Telework Opportunities for the Public and Private Sector in Virginia completed its two-year study at its December 5, 2007, meeting in Richmond. The joint subcommittee made several recommendations relating to telework:

  • Define telework in the Code of Virginia as working remotely at least one day per week. Currently, the Code defines telework as working remotely, but leaves it up to each agency to determine a standard for teleworking. Thus, in reviewing the adoption of teleworking at state agencies, there are no common standards. In reporting the number of teleworkers at each agencies, some agencies may use a standard of "occasionally" working remotely, working remotely at least once a month, or working remotely at least once a week. The definition will provide some consistency.
  • Codify the Governor's goal of having 20% of the eligible state workforce telecommuting by January 1, 2010. Currently, the Code provides a goal of having 25% of the eligible state workforce participating in alternative work schedules by July 1, 2009. The joint subcommittee recognized that the 20% goal would be a difficult goal to meet, especially if telecommuting is redefined as one day per week.
  • Formally codify the Office of Telework and Broadband Assistance in the Governor's Office. The Governor established this office through Executive Order 35 (2006). The joint subcommittee felt that the role of this office was important, and should be solidified through codification. However, in recognizing that the need for such an "ombudsman" for telework should diminish as telework becomes more widely adopted, the joint subcommittee voted to put a 10-year sunset on the office. It was envisioned that such legislation would be modeled on other agencies and positions statutorily created in the Governor's Office, such as the Governor's Office for Substance Abuse Prevention.
  • When state agencies implement a telework program and recognize savings, allow the agency to keep a portion of the savings to use for other agency programs, as an incentive to adopt a policy. On the other end of the spectrum, the joint subcommittee also recommended establishing a monetary penalty for not establishing a telework program (such as a reduction in the next budget's appropriation to the agency), and to use such funds to reward agencies that have successfully
    implemented a program.
  • Add adoption of a telework program as one of the metrics reviewed on the executive branch's management scorecard system.

Sara Wilson, director of the Department of Human Resource Management, indicated that the management scorecard was currently under review, and she assured the committee that telework would be added and that legislation would not be necessary to accomplish this goal.

  • Support the efforts to introduce legislation that would create a tax credit program for private companies establishing telework programs.

Delegate Frederick and Mark Herring introduced such legislation in 2007, and Delegate Frederick stated that they planned to reintroduce the legislation in 2008. The original legislation established a cap on the program at $2 million; the joint subcommittee recommended that the cap be established at $1 million in light of the current budget outlooks. In addition, it was recommended that a telework definition be included such that qualifying expenses and projects must relate to persons teleworking at least one day per week. It was also suggested that in pursuing the bills, the patrons seek out savings in the budget to offset the cost of the potential new credit.

  • Amend the Code to allow members of a public body to have voting rights and their presence count towards a quorum whether they are physically present or participating via teleconference or video conference.

The Hon. Timothy D. Hugo

For information, contact:
Lisa Wallmeyer, Patrick Cushing, Amigo Wade, DLS Staff


Division of Legislative Services > Legislative Record > 2007

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