Public Comments for 01/14/2022 Appropriations
HAC tabled two bills to create a Virginia-Korea Advisory Board. The arguments for doing so are obvious: 1) it is not sustainable to create a state agency for every nation in the world that wants be involved in Virginia economic development projects, and 2) it is unfair to single out one country over all others for this privilege. The fate of the bills to create VKAB begs the question: Were a bill to create a Virginia-Israel Advisory Board to be introduced today, wouldn't it be tabled as well? The Executive Director of VIAB should be a Lead Generation Contractor reporting to VEDP's Business Investment Administration, not the head of a state agency receiving a salary and benefits paid for by the taxpayers of Virginia. James Metz, email@example.com
We request that JLARC study the function of the Virginia-Israel Advisory Board (VIAB). We contend that VIAB's function does not fit the definition of "an Advisory Board." We charge, furthermore, that by virtue of VIAB's roll in soliciting Israeli companies to invest in economic development projects, VIAB's Executive Director is engaged in a conflict of interest. VIAB's Executive Director performs the function of a contractor generating leads for Foreign Direct Investment in economic development projects, while at the same time receiving a salary and benefits as the head of a state agency responsible for arranging economic development projects.