A. The governing body of any locality which is a member, or hereafter becomes a member, of any organization or association including an organization or association having members outside of the Commonwealth which has as its principal objective one or more of the purposes set forth in subsection B hereof, is authorized to appropriate funds to such organization or to provide goods and services to such organization, all for the purpose of advancing the welfare and economic interests of such locality and the citizens thereof.
B. Funds may be appropriated or goods and services may be provided, only to an organization which has as its objective one or more of the following purposes: identification of problems hindering the growth, development and economic functioning of the region in which such locality is located; development of comprehensive plans for the growth and development of the region as a whole and the promotion of interjurisdictional cooperation; development of appropriate policies and cooperative mechanisms among the participating localities for improving the administration of public services; development of concerted action among participating localities for the benefit thereof and for the benefit of the region as a whole; defense and strengthening of local government; and taking of such other action in connection with the foregoing as will advance the best interests of the entire region and of the participating localities; however, all funds for the development of plans or planning in Virginia shall be expended through commissions created under Article 2 (§ 15.2-2210 et seq.) of Chapter 22 of Title 15.2, and other related or existing agencies authorized by the Commonwealth, to the extent that such commissions or other agencies are authorized by law to develop such plans or planning. Provided further, that no locality shall appropriate funds, unless specifically authorized by the General Assembly, to any organization or association having members outside of the Commonwealth (i) when such association or organization possesses the power of taxation or the right of condemnation and (ii) unless the locality has the right to withdraw from such association or organization at any time.
1964, c. 30, § 15.1-20.1; 1997, c. 587.