Commissions, Task Forces, Working Groups

Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse

Nationally, prescription drug and heroin abuse has reached epidemic proportions. Since 2000, deaths from prescription drug overdoses in Virginia have more than doubled, while deaths from heroin overdoses have doubled in the past two years. The Task Force consists of relevant state and local agencies, health and behavioral health care professionals and organizations, law enforcement, and other stakeholders who are working together to reduce prescription opioid and heroin addiction, curtail related criminal activity, and enhance the health, safety, and well-being of all Virginians. 

The 30 Task Force members, along with 80 more community representatives serving on five work groups, have recommended six new pieces of legislation and numerous actions that can be taken immediately to help reduce prescription opioid and heroin addiction. 

Click HERE to read Executive Order 

Task Force On Combating Campus Sexual Violence

Nationwide, colleges and universities are increasingly aware of the necessity to combat sexual violence on campus. While institutions of higher education are typically safe environments for students to thrive, both academically and personally, sexual violence is an issue that colleges and universities should confront and strive to prevent. Virginia's colleges and universities have signed a Joint Declaration pledging to work together to prevent sexual violence. 

In collaboration with Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, Governor McAuliffe asks college campus leaders, law enforcement, mental health, and advocacy groups, to seek and recommend solutions that will bring critical awareness and identify best practices to aggressively combat sexual violence on campus.  A final report is due June 1, 2015. 

Click HERE to read Executive Order  

Governor’s Task Force on Improving Mental Health Services and Crisis Response  

Through this Executive Order, the Governor is calling on leaders in the mental health field, law enforcement communities, the judicial system, private hospitals, and individuals receiving mental health services, to seek and recommend solutions that will improve Virginia’s mental health crisis services and help prevent crises from developing.  

Click HERE to read Executive Order  

Railroad Safety and Security Task Force 

Created shortly after a freight train derailment spilled crude oil in the James River near Lynchburg, the Task Force seeks to make Virginia a national leader in preventing, preparing for, and responding to similar events. The Task Force includes state agencies, officials, and subject matter experts who will make recommendations and take action to enhance Virginia’s capability to protect lives, property, and the environment along our many rail lines.

Next meeting: January 12, 2016 from 1-2 pm at the Patrick Henry Building  

Please click HERE to view the Railroad Safety and Security Task Force Initial Report and Recommendations.

Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission 

This Commission will evaluate the recommendations made by then-Governor Kaine’s Climate Commission, determine what actions were taken on those recommendations, and issue an updated final report. The Executive Order gives the Commission one year to complete its work. 

Click HERE to read Executive Order 
Click HERE for Commission Agendas and Updates

Virginia Cyber Security Commission

Threats to critical systems present a growing and complex challenge. In order to guard against the risks and marshal appropriate resources to meet potential threats, it is important to incorporate optimal policies and develop enhanced standards to protect the Commonwealth’s cyber security infrastructure from unforeseen incidents. While rapidly advancing technologies create substantial security risks, they also present significant opportunities for producing more efficient and protected proprietary networks, strengthening the Commonwealth’s cyber security framework, and advancing vital prospects for economic development.  

Click HERE to read Executive Order

Governor’s Children’s Cabinet

Governor McAuliffe created this six-member body in August, 2014, to help Virginia’s children with childhood development programs, basic health care needs, age-appropriate mental health services, services for at-risk youth, academic readiness, and access to good nutrition and stable housing. 

Click HERE to read Executive Order

Secure Commonwealth Panel

The Panel monitors and assesses the implementation of statewide prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery initiatives at all levels in the Commonwealth.  Its 33 members facilitate cabinet-level coordination among all state agencies related to emergency preparedness, and issue quarterly reports on how their efforts are progressing. 

Click HERE for Panel agendas and updates.

Resilience Dashboard

The Department of Homeland Security, Science & Technology, has partnered with the Office of the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security in developing a dashboard to help regions better define and measure resilience.  In conjunction with the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), this project has been comprehensively engaging Virginia experts and stakeholders to discuss their definitions, indicators, gaps and successes when it comes to regional resilience. The goal of this project is to develop a model process for communities to assess their overall resilience by considering their policies, threats, and other factors.

The first seminar was held in Glen Allen, VA in December 2015 and focused on identifying state governance structures, programs, and overarching policies contributing to resilience. The second meeting was held in Hampton Roads and kicked off a series of regional meetings.  The third was in Roanoke addressing the needs of Southwest Virginia and the last in Northern Virginia.

A summary of the meetings can be found here

For more information, please contact Brooke Bell at