Veto Session Ends – Drama Continues

Dear Friend:

The Veto Session ended with some successes and some disappointments.  I highlight actions on issues that I feel are important to you and the Commonwealth in the paragraphs that follow.  It is important to note that the Governor’s veto is sustained unless 2/3 of each body vote to override the veto. If the Governor amends legislation, then a majority of members from each body is needed to pass the amendments.

Gratefully, the Governor signed all of my bills without any amendments and vetoed the "Country Club Bill," at my request and with the urging of others as well.  I am delighted to report that Arlington County and the two country clubs in Arlington have come up with a mutually acceptable framework for moving forward with the application of a real estate assessment.

In a surprise move, the Chair of the Committee on Local Government created a subcommittee on School Facilities and I was appointed to that subcommittee.  Stay tuned for updates on the work of that subcommittee.  I am also interested in any thoughts you might have on how the state can help localities pay for capital improvements to our schools.

As you may have read, the House of Delegates, once again, passed a budget that included Medicaid Expansion.  Language in the budget refers to a work requirement and opens the door for possible subsidies to moderate-income families seeing exorbitant increases in their health insurance premiums.  Of course, I explained to the body that states that participated in Expansion saw the slowest rate of increase in health insurance premiums.

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We are waiting for the Senate to act on a budget.

Help me continue to fight for our values in Richmond! I am raising funds to help the Democrats flip the Senate in 2019. Donate whatever you can.

Successes

Sanctuary Cities: The Democrats were able to sustain every veto that the Governor issued on a total of 10 bills.  These bills were damaging to labor, immigrant relations, or the economy. For example, a sanctuary city bill that would have required local governments to work more closely with Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and violate important principles necessary to developing trust among the immigrant communities they serve, was vetoed by the Governor and sustained by the House of Delegates.

Local Option - Living Wage: Another example of success was a sustained veto on a bill that would have prohibited local governments from requiring that a living wage be paid by contractors doing business with a local jurisdiction.  This living wage option is completely at the discretion of the local government. Moreover, if it is a requirement in an RFP, then all entities bidding on the contract have to incorporate the living wage cost into the bid. No potential bidder is disadvantaged and no contractor has to bid on a specific RFP.  The living wage option gives local leaders the opportunity to govern based on a set of mutually shared values.

Partial Successes

METRO Funding: We do have a bill that dedicates $154M, annually, to METRO. This is Virginia’s proportionate share; some of the dollars can be used for operating costs and others for capital costs.  Unfortunately, a large portion of this amount, $104M, will be diverted from revenues available to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA). The remaining money, $22M, would come from the gas tax floor and $30M from state funds.

The Governor amended the bill to bring in $30M in new dollars to reduce the diversion of road dollars from NVTA.  The $30M was achieved by applying a new 1% increase in the TOT or hotel tax and a 5-cent increase in the grantor's tax.  This tax is paid by folks selling their homes. It is important to note that these taxes would only be applied in northern Virginia.

The tax amendments were defeated on a party-line vote in the House of Delegates.  It was very perplexing that a northern Virginia lawmaker, Delegate Tim Hugo, made the tax amendments a Republican-Caucus issue.  All other NoVA lawmakers, many others from around the state, and business groups supported the taxes, especially after we explained that road projects throughout the state would suffer if NoVA started competing for statewide dollars.  (One of the primary criteria for the allocation of state road dollars is congestion mitigation.)

I am advising local leaders to identify projects that will be deferred or abandoned because new money will not be available, and to also identify projects that NoVA will be bringing forth for statewide money.  This information will help us win the fight in 2019. Lawmakers who attempt to govern with “No Tax” pledges must be held accountable for the impacts of their votes.

Disappointments

Medicaid Expansion: The Senate Republicans are still trying to find a pathway forward for embracing Medicaid Expansion.  I am confident that we will reach the finish line with a budget that provides up to 400,000 Virginians with access to healthcare, but I worry about how long it will take us to adopt a budget.  Localities usually offer teachers their contracts by mid-May and we need to be sensitive to this deadline.

The Governor is showing great leadership on this issue and is working with moderate Republicans to come up with options for their consideration.  Any reasonable objection to Medicaid will be treated with a thorough analysis and appropriate amendments to address the concern.

It is an honor and a pleasure to represent you in Richmond.  Rest assured, I will always fight for our Democratic values. :) Keep in touch by signing up for my newsletter!

Finally, I will be holding a tele town hall meeting (a town hall meeting that I will be holding over the phone that you can dial into) on the evening of May 1. Stay tuned for more details to come!

Sincerely,

Barbara Favola

Representing parts of Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Contact: Julia Chun

703-835-4845

julia.district31@gmail.com

 

Sen. Favola Announces her 2018 Legislative Agenda

ARLINGTON, VA – Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) released today highlights of her 2018 legislative agenda.  

She will continue her fight to expand Medicaid and to reform Virginia’s Hate Crime statute to include the LGBTQ community and any group in the Commonwealth who may be a target of hate.  Expanding access to healthcare and making Virginia a more welcoming state are values that cut across several subject areas.

Her other efforts focus on the following subject areas.

K-12 Education

Sen. Favola’s K-12 education priorities focus on teacher recruitment and retention.  She has submitted legislation to re-design teacher preparation programs in Virginia colleges and universities to enable education majors to be in the classroom after four years of study rather than five.  This would reduce the opportunity cost of selecting teaching as a profession and accelerate the pipeline for teachers.

“As chair of the subcommittee on School Leadership and Academic Outcomes, it is clear to me that Virginia must do a better job of supporting teachers and making teaching a desirable profession,” said Favola.

Favola will also seek funding to support teacher mentor programs and leadership training for principals.

Equal Taxing Authority for Counties

Sen. Favola will work to grant counties the same taxing authority as cities.  Specific revenue streams that may be enhanced include the cigarette tax and the application of a meals tax, without requiring a referendum.

“Counties are providing the same services as cities and the discrepancy in taxing authority is really unfair.  Moreover, diversified revenue streams would help counter swings in the real estate economy while still supporting vital programs such as public school funding, public safety and the arts,” said Favola.

Children's Health and Public Health

Sen. Favola’s children’s health and public health efforts focus on the need to provide children with "trauma informed" care.  Based on recommendations from the Commission on Youth for which Favola is the Chairperson, her legislative efforts include advocating for an inter-agency task force in the Governor's Office to help ensure that trauma-informed care is integrated into the programs and policies that are administered at the local level.  

Sen. Favola is also submitting legislation to enable relatives of children in foster care to access financial support if they can provide a permanent home for the child.

“I would like to continue my work to care for the ‘whole child’ and provide every opportunity for our children to grow up healthy and ready to succeed.  It is particularly important to me to help our children who are struggling in the foster care system.  To that end, I am continuing my efforts to provide relatives financial support for providing a permanent home to kin who are currently in the foster care system.” said Favola.

Paid Family Leave

Sen. Favola’s paid family leave agenda has two parts:  One part focuses on requiring employers who already offer sick leave to allow employees to use sick leave to care for a family member.  A second part and more comprehensive proposal, requires employers to provide paid family leave to employees in organizations with 50 or more workers.  This expense would be covered in part by the employer and in part through a payroll tax on the employee.  Favola notes that specifics of the bill are still being negotiated.

“Families should not have to choose between putting food on the table and taking care of a loved one.  Paid family leave is one of the most important benefits to workers and their families.  It is time that Virginia made some progress in this area.” said Favola.

Gun Safety

Sen. Favola’s gun safety legislation is robust and includes several pieces of legislation that attempt to reach a better balance between 2nd amendment arguments and public safety.  Sen. Favola submitted a bill that enables local governments to prohibit the "open carry" of firearms in protests or demonstrations.  

Another bill requires that lost or stolen firearms be reported within 24 hours.  

In light of the Las Vegas killings, Sen. Favola also submitted a bill to prohibit mechanisms that enable a semi-automatic weapon to fire faster.

Domestic Violence Prevention

In the area of domestic violence prevention, Sen. Favola has resubmitted her 2015 bill that would take firearms away, for a designated period of time, from domestic abusers with two or more misdemeanors.

Women’s Health

In the area of women’s health, Sen. Favola’s legislation removes the unconstitutional statute on Virginia's books, frequently referred to as the TRAP law, that requires women's health centers that provide five or more abortions a month to meet certain physical standards of a hospital.  A recent Supreme Court decision, Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, ruled that these requirements are medically unnecessary and create an undue burden in accessing abortion services.  In Virginia, five women’s health centers have closed since 2011 because the cost of renovations were so expensive and burdensome.

“It is time to make access to basic primary and preventative care easier for women and families.  The clinics impacted by the TRAP law are frequently the only source of healthcare in underserved areas in the Commonwealth,” said Favola.

Details of these bills are available to the public at lis.virginia.gov.

Senator Barbara A. Favola represents Virginia’s 31st Senate district, which includes parts of Arlington and Fairfax counties, and a portion of Loudoun County.  Senator Favola currently serves on the Local Government, Rehabilitation and Social Services, and Transportation Committees.

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Highlights of my Legislative Agenda

Dear Friend,

I hope you have been enjoying the holiday season.  I have been working with various stakeholders, advocacy groups, and constituents on my legislative agenda for the 2018 General Assembly session that kicks off on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Here are the highlights of my legislative agenda for 2018.  We have worked together on many of these ideas, and I hope we will make significant progress on improving the lives of Virginia's children and families in the 2018 session.  I am introducing other bills as well, but these are the major subject areas where I will be spending most of my time and energy.  

K-12 Education

My legislative efforts will focus on teacher recruitment and retention.  As chair of the subcommittee on School Leadership and Academic Outcomes, it is clear to me that Virginia must do a better job of supporting teachers and making teaching a desirable profession.  To that end, I have submitted a bill that will redesign teacher preparation programs in our colleges and universities to enable education majors to be in the classroom after 4 years of study rather than five.  This will reduce the opportunity cost of selecting teaching as a profession and accelerate the pipeline for teachers.  Additionally, I will be asking for funding to support teacher mentor programs and principal leadership training.  

Equal Taxing Authority for Counties

Many NoVA school activists and School Boards are asking the General Assembly to allow counties to enjoy the same taxing authorities as cities.  Counties are providing the same services as cities and the discrepancy in taxing authority is really unfair.  Moreover, diversified revenue streams would help counties counter swings in the real estate economy while still supporting vital programs such as public school funding, public safety and the arts.  Specific revenue streams that could be enhanced include the cigarette tax and the application of a meals tax.

Hate Crimes

In Virginia in 2015, there were 155 hate crime offenses reported, including 71 assaults and 49 acts of vandalism or damage to property.  This represents a 21% increase over the prior year and an increase in hate crimes was recorded in nearly reported category.  Although the statistics may be alarming, shining the light on these crimes enables the state to identify trends and to better target educational and law-enforcement strategies. In addition to better enforcement of current laws, I will be introducing legislation that covers gender, gender identification, sexual orientation, and disability in the definition of a "hate crime."

Children's Health and Public Health

I will continue my emphasis on caring for the "whole child."  My legislative proposals focus on  the need to provide children with "trauma informed" care.  Based on recommendations from the Commission on Youth, I will also be advocating for an inter-agency task force in the Governor's Office to help ensure that trauma-informed care is integrated into the programs and policies that are administered at the local level.   Once again, I will be fighting to provide relatives financial support for providing a permanent home to kin who are currently in the foster care system.

Paid Family Leave

I will submit legislation that would require employers who offer sick leave to allow employees to use sick leave to care for a family member.  Moreover, I also want to move the conversation about comprehensive paid family leave forward.  To that end, I will be submitting a bill that covers paid family leave for employees in organizations with 50 or more employees.  This expense would be covered in part by the employer and in part through a payroll tax on the employee.  Specifics of the bill are still being negotiated.

Gun Safety

I will introduce a bill that would enable local governments to prohibit the "open carry" of firearms in protests or demonstrations.  Once again, I will submit a bill to require that lost or stolen firearms be reported within 24 hours.   I also have a proposal to prohibit mechanisms that enable a semi-automatic weapon to fire faster.

Domestic Violence Prevention & Women's Health

I will resubmit my bill from a few years ago to take firearms away from domestic abusers with two misdemeanors or more for a designated period of time. Once again, I will attempt to remove the unconstitutional statute on Virginia's books that require women's health centers that provide 5 or more abortions a month to meet certain physical standards of a hospital.  These requirements are medically unnecessary and are referred to as the TRAP law.

You can follow the status of my bills by clicking here.  If you have any questions or comments about these bills, please don't hesitate to email me or my staff at district31@senate.virginia.gov.  

Sincerely,

Barbara Favola

Representing Parts of Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun

Embarrassed about Trump-Like Politics? Send a Message – VOTE TOMORROW!

Dear Friend,

Polls are open Tuesday, Nov. 7, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the stakes could not be higher.  Ralph Northam and the Democratic ticket offer a vision that will move Virginia forward.  They will invest in our children and in our economy.  With Ralph Northam as Governor, Virginia will be a welcoming state, a state where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

On the other hand, Ed Gillespie has been endorsed by Steve Bannon.  Need I say more?

In a November 5 article by Paul Schwartzman with the Washington Post, Bannon said:

“Corey Stewart is the reason Gillespie is going to win,” Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist and Trump’s campaign czar, said in an interview.  “It was the Trump-Stewart talking points that got Gillespie close and even maybe to victory.  It was embracing Trump’s agenda as personified by Corey’s platform.  This was not a competitive race four weeks ago. You could have stuck a fork in Gillespie.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/as-gillespie-adopts-trumpian-tactics-in-virginia-bannon-credits-corey-stewart/2017/11/05/cb32b5ac-bf5b-11e7-97d9-bdab5a0ab381_story.html?utm_term=.90e82721ad6d

Folks, this race has tightened.  If you want to tell Gillespie that the Trump tactics of fear mongering and divisive politics have no place in Virginia, you must vote.

If you are unsure about your polling place, click here.

Thanks for caring.

Sincerely,

Barbara Favola

31st District - Representing Parts of Arlington, Fairfax & Loudoun

Stand up for your values: Vote Tuesday, Nov. 7

Tuesday, Nov. 7, is Election Day.  Polls are open 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.  Please exercise your civic duty and VOTE.  Your family and friends are depending on YOU!  I am supporting Ralph Northam and the entire Democratic ticket in this election and I ask you to join me. This is why:

Virginia’s Future with Ralph Northam & the Democrats

Ralph Northam will work to ensure that economic security is a reality for Virginia families.  Ralph will lead efforts to include everyone in a 21st century economy, an economy with good paying jobs and access to first-class public schools, affordable healthcare and college or job-training opportunities.  Ralph Northam will create a more inclusive Virginia, a Virginia that welcomes our LGBTQ friends, new immigrants, and individuals of all faiths and backgrounds.  Ralph trusts women to make their own healthcare decisions and will ensure access to safe and legal abortions.  Ralph Northam would create a cleaner and healthier Virginia, a Virginia we could be proud to leave to our children.

Virginia’s Future with Ed Gillespie & the Republicans

Mr. Gillespie has said that violent crimes can be blamed on immigrants and distorted the facts behind a historic restoration of voting rights championed by Governor McAuliffe.  In Gillespie’s Virginia, a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion would be eroded and health clinics would be closed.  Expanding Medicaid would not be a priority for Mr. Gillespie.  Instead, Gillespie would entangle Virginia in whatever flavor of healthcare President Trump is promoting at the moment.  Virginians would lose state dollars for public education because of tax-cuts promoted by Gillespie.  

The vision Ralph Northam offers is very different from the Republican agenda of fear, divisiveness, and government interference in our personal lives.  

The message we send on November 7 will be seen by the pundits as a referendum on Trump.  Need I say anything else?  Please make a plan for when you will vote on Tuesday.  Call your family, friends and colleagues to remind them to vote.  This is the most important action you can take to secure a brighter future for your children and the Commonwealth.  Thanks for caring.

Sincerely,

Barbara Favola

31st District - Representing Parts of Arlington, Fairfax & Loudoun

Less than one week left to vote absentee by mail--here are the instructions and deadlines!

Dear Friend,

On October 5, Barbara sent you an email about in-person absentee voting, but did you know that you can also vote absentee by mail?

There are more than a dozen reasons why you can vote absentee including if you'll be out of town or if you will be working 11 out of the 13 hours that the polls will be open.  To see all of the reasons you can vote absentee, click here.

To vote absentee by mail, follow these simple steps:

Important Deadlines for Absentee Ballots by MAIL:

  • Your application for a mailed absentee ballot must be received before Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 5 p.m.
  • Your marked  ballot must be returned to your local registrar by Tuesday, Nov. 7, by 7 p.m.
  • When you return your ballot by mail, please allow at least 7 days for the post office to accommodate delivery.

More information is available online at vote.virginia.gov.

As you know, this is a critical election and having a plan to vote by one of the following methods: in-person absentee, absentee by mail, or in-person on election day, will ensure your voice is heard.  Take action today and keep Virginia moving forward. 

Sincerely,

Julia Chun  

Chief of Staff

Panelists press for children’s-health programs, lament Trump proposals

 by BRIAN TROMPETER, Staff Writer  Oct 16, 2017 Updated Oct 16, 2017

by BRIAN TROMPETER, Staff Writer  Oct 16, 2017 Updated Oct 16, 2017

 Panelists Barbara Favola, Shelby Gonzales and Lisa Tatum discuss local, state and federal programs Oct. 13 at the Medical Care for Children Partnership Foundation's 2017 State of Children's Health Breakfast, held at the Inova Center for Personalized Health in Fairfax. (Photo by Brian Trompeter)

Panelists Barbara Favola, Shelby Gonzales and Lisa Tatum discuss local, state and federal programs Oct. 13 at the Medical Care for Children Partnership Foundation's 2017 State of Children's Health Breakfast, held at the Inova Center for Personalized Health in Fairfax. (Photo by Brian Trompeter)

President Trump’s recent executive orders regarding health care may lead to reduced coverage or higher premium costs, panelists said Oct. 13 at the Medical Care for Children Partnership Foundation’s 2017 State of Children’s Health Breakfast.

“I was extremely discouraged,”  said Shelby Gonzales, board member of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, regarding the president’s announcements the previous day.

Trump’s executive orders outlined national policy objectives that would create pathways for insurers to provide minimal coverage and expand the use of short-term health plans, which offer fewer consumer protections, said Gonzales, who delivered her remarks at the Inova Center for Personalized Health in Fairfax.

Many younger and healthier people might be attracted to those short-term health plans, thus taking away business from more comprehensive coverage programs and causing the financial risk pool to deteriorate, Gonzales said.

MCCP Foundation board member Ann Sullivan, the discussion’s moderator, said Trump’s declarations likely would not take effect for a long time.

“I took it more as a political statement,” Sullivan said, adding that both Congress and the president bore some responsibility for the health-care crunch.

Mary Beth Testa, a policy consultant with Richmond-based Voices for Virginia’s Children, told the audience how the non-profit group works to reduce the immediate effects of poverty and ultimately to eliminate that condition.

The group focuses on racial and economic concerns so all children in Virginia have the opportunity to succeed, Testa said.

Childhood trauma is another of the key issues underpinning the organization’s work.

“We believe we’re at a pivotal time in the commonwealth for really addressing childhood trauma and building on the momentum of local work and the efforts of direct-service providers to make some policy changes in this area,” she said.

Virginia has made progress, albeit very slowly, in addressing that issue, she said.

Voices for Virginia’s Children leaders remain concerned about poverty in the state. About 44,000 more Virginia children live in poverty now than during the economic recession nine years ago, Testa said.

About 95 percent of children in the commonwealth are covered by health insurance, but roughly 100,000 still are not enrolled, Testa said.

“For children to succeed in school and in life, they have to be healthy,” she said.

Testa urged the audience to vote on Nov. 7 and press political candidates ahead of Election Day for their plans to deal with pressing concerns for Virginia’s children. She left the audience with three messages:

• Good things are happening regarding childhood poverty, trauma and health coverage.

 • A lot more resources still are needed for those efforts.

• Everyone needs to participate for those initiatives to succeed.

Panelists at the event also briefed the those present on federal, state and local social-services initiatives.

The goal of such programs is to have recipients become self-sufficient, said state Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st).

Favola also was concerned about mental-health issues in Virginia and lamented that the state had not expanded Medicaid coverage. Doing so would have allowed 75,000 people to be eligible for Medicaid benefits as soon symptoms of mental-health problems began to manifest themselves.

Favola also has submitted legislation to provide on-site mental-health services in schools.

“We desperately want to provide more services early on,” she said. “You really don’t have physical health without mental health.”

In-Person Absentee Voting has Begun :)

Dear Friend,

In-person absentee voting has already begun in Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun Counties.  Keep reading below to find information about your county.

Did you know that being out of town, working outside of the county in which you live, or working and commuting 11 out of the 13 hours polls are open on November 7, qualifies you to vote absentee? It’s that simple. 

Moreover, those are just 3 of the 16 possible ways that you could be eligible to vote absentee. Click here for further details on eligibility requirements.

 

If you live in Arlington County,

You can cast your vote in-person at Courthouse Plaza, 2100 Clarendon Blvd, Suite 320, Arlington, VA during the following times:

Monday - Friday, September 22 - October 27, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Saturday, October 21, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Saturday, October 28, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Monday, October 30, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Tuesday - Thursday, October 31 - November 2, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Friday, November 3, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Saturday, November 4, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

CLICK HERE to get instructions on how to vote absentee by mail instead of in person in Arlington County.

If you have any questions about voting absentee in person, please feel free to contact Josh Katcher (josh.katcher@gmail.com). He is managing our local party’s efforts to get people to the polls early, and that includes getting a ride if you need one.    


If you live in Fairfax County, 

You can cast your vote in-person at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Pkwy, Conference Rooms 2/3, Fairfax, VA during the following times:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, September 22 - October 13, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Thursday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Monday, October 9, Columbus Day - OFFICE CLOSED

Monday through Friday, beginning October 16 - November 3, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Saturdays, September 30, October 7, 14, 21, 28 and November 4, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

 

You can also cast your vote in-person at the McLean Governmental Center, 1437 Balls Hill Rd., McLean, VA

Monday through Friday, beginning October 16 through November 3, 3:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Saturdays, September 30, October 7, 14, 21, 28 and November 4, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

 

Click here to get instructions on how to vote absentee by mail instead of in person in Fairfax County.

If you need a ride to the polls or can offer rides to other voters in need, please click here to fill out this form.


If you live in Loudoun County,

You can currently cast your vote in-person at the Leesburg Office of Elections ONLY, located at 750 Miller Dr., SE, Suite C, Leesburg, VA 20175, during regular business hours. 

Monday through Friday (September 19 through October 27) - 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday (October 30 through November 3) - 8:30 a.m. to p.m.
Saturday, October 28 and Saturday, November 4 - 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Office of Elections will offer extended hours the week prior to the election both at their Leesburg Office and the two satellite locations listed below – Cascades Senior Center and the Dulles South Multipurpose Center.  The extended hours also include the two Saturdays right before the election. 

Cascades Senior Center, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling, VA 20165

AND

Dulles South Multipurpose Center, 24950 Riding Center Dr., South Riding, VA 20152

Monday through Friday (October 30 through November 3) - 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 28 and Saturday, November 4 - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

If you are a Democratic Loudoun voter and need a ride, please call 703-771-3366 or fill out the contact form at www.loudoundemocrats.org


The stakes couldn’t be higher.  

Voting absentee not only ensures that you have a chance to vote, but also allows our state and local campaigns to focus their limited resources on those who haven’t yet voted. Making the decision to vote absentee really is a game changer for these local campaigns.   

Together we will keep Virginia moving forward.

Sincerely,

Senator Barbara Favola   

31st District - Representing Parts of Arlington, Fairfax & Loudoun

  

Addressing childhood hunger will enable children to perform better academically

Fairfax County Times.png

Dear Editor, 

At Tuesday’s Northern Virginia gubernatorial debate, candidates will lay out plans to voters in the Commonwealth. According to recent Monmouth University polling data, jobs, the economy and education are some of the most frequently mentioned issues important to Virginia voters. Addressing childhood hunger will enable our children to perform better academically, compete for better jobs, grow our economy and provide a more secure future for older Virginians.

Nearly two-thirds of low-income parents in the U.S. say a single unplanned expense would make it difficult to feed their families, a new report from Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign finds. Research shows that hunger has serious consequences for children, including lower test scores, weaker attendance rates, and higher risk of hospitalization and chronic diseases. Other studies show that adults who experienced hunger as a child may not be as well prepared physically, mentally, emotionally or socially for the workforce.

Nutrition programs like Breakfast After the Bell, an initiative championed by First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, increase access to school breakfast by bringing breakfast out of the cafeteria and into the classroom and have a significant impact on test scores, classroom behavior and the future success of students.

This year, Virginia was one of the top 10 states with the biggest growth in breakfast programs. Ending childhood hunger isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s also the smart thing to do. When kids consistently get the nutrition they need, they feel better, learn more, and grow up stronger. And that means a smarter, healthier, more productive Virginia.

Senator Barbara Favola (D-31) 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Thursday, July 20, 2017

 

CONTACT:

Julia Chun

703-835-4845

julia.district31@gmail.com

 

Virginia Senator Barbara Favola Speaks Out Against Gillespie’s Silence on Republican Bill to Repeal ACA and War on Women

ARLINGTON - Today, Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) stood with Virginia Delegate Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington) and Arlington County Board Member Katie Cristol to condemn Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie’s silence on the Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to deny women access to health care.

Sen. Favola noted that the Republican Senate bill was written behind closed doors with no public comment and no commitment to even give Senators time to read the bill before a vote.

“When folks do things behind closed doors, they are ashamed and they know they are doing something wrong.  This bill robs our working families of life and death health care coverage to give the rich tax breaks,” said Favola.

According to the Urban Institute and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 685,000 Virginians, including pregnant women, children, the disabled, and working families would lose their health care if the ACA were repealed.  

In speaking about the devastating impact to Virginia, Sen. Favola added, “Yet, Mr. Gillespie has been silent.  He doesn’t care about Virginians who are struggling to support their families.  This bill is so bad that Republican Governors across the country from Nevada to Ohio have come out against it.  But Mr. Gillespie will not stand up to Trump and fight for Virginians.”

According to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, Virginia ranks 48th in Medicaid expenditures and has one of the most restrictive eligibility plans in the Country.  The proposed per capita spending caps are based on a 2016 baseline and would have devastating impacts on Virginians.  For example,

  • Virginia’s Addiction Recovery and Treatment program, designed to fight the opioid epidemic, would not be covered;

  • Reimbursement for the Community Waiver program is projected to be $29,344 per year while the average cost of taking care of those with developmental disabilities is $80,000 per year.  Many receiving waivers are children.

Medicaid covers nearly half of all births in the State of Virginia, and 64% of Medicaid dollars cover individuals in nursing homes.  The majority of Medicaid recipients are women.  

Women’s Health:

Sen. Favola noted that both Trump and Gillespie were endorsed by the National Right to Life, an organization that supported Virginia’s transvaginal ultrasound requirement, and wanted to defund Planned Parenthood.  

“Gillespie would have denied State dollars to Planned Parenthood clinics in Virginia even though those dollars only funded screenings of sexually transmitted infections for low-income women.  This bill passed the General Assembly with only Republican votes.  Governor McAuliffe vetoed the bill but you can bet that Ed Gillespie would have signed the bill,” said Favola.

Both Trump and Gillespie also backed a 20-week ban on abortion.  

“This would take away a woman's constitutional right under Roe versus Wade to have control over her own body.  It’s pretty clear that D is for driving forward and R is for reverse and Mr. Gillespie like Mr. Trump will take Virginia backward,” said Favola.

Senator Barbara A. Favola represents Virginia’s 31st Senate district, which includes parts of Arlington and Fairfax counties, and a portion of Loudoun County.  Senator Favola currently serves on the Local Government, Rehabilitation and Social Services, and Transportation Committees.

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