How Much Have We Lost?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015 Pre-Session Fairfax County Public Hearing

Every year, the Fairfax County Delegation has a public hearing where anyone from Fairfax County can provide testimony to our entire delegation.  We hold it at the Fairfax County Government Center in the Supervisors' Meeting room.

These hearings are always a reminder of how broadly our actions are felt and how many people depend on state government safety net to sustain their quality of life.



Just so you can have a flavor of what we hear, this year we heard from multiple speakers:
  • Chairman Sharon Bulova
  • School Board Chairman Tamara Kaufax
  • Community Service Boards
  • Northern Virginia Training Center Speakers - NTVA Parents + ARC of NOVA
  • Marijuana Legalization & Medical Marijuana Advocates
  • Homeowners' Rights/Anti-Homeowners Associations Speakers
  • Fairfax County Council of PTA's
  • Fairfax Bar Association
  • Veteran's Treatment Docket Advocates
  • Early Childhood Intervention Advocates
  • Anti-Tax Speakers
  • Human Services Advocates - Northern Virginia Family Services, Alliance for Human Services, Social Action Linking Together, childcare service advocates,
  • League of Women Voters
  • NAACP
  • Multiple advocates for autistic children
  • Conservation & Environment Advocates
  • Gun Violence Prevention Advocates
  • Public Employee Advocates - SEIU, Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, Fairfax Education Association
  • Environment/Climate Change Advocates
  • Government Ethics Advocates
These hearings are always a reminder of how broadly our actions are felt and how many people depend on state government safety net to sustain their quality of life. 

6 comments:

  1. Who on the gods' green earth would want gun-safety prevention?

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  2. Tess - Thanks for pointing out the typo. Fixed!

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  3. I'm sorry I missed Chairman Bulova's remarks. Can you provide a synopsis please? Good luck in Richmond!

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  4. Here are Bulova's remarks.

    Scott S.

    Chairman Bulova’s Remarks
    Delegation Public Hearing
    January 10, 2015


    Good morning. On behalf of the Board of Supervisors, I would like to welcome all of you to the Fairfax County Government Center, and thank you for providing this opportunity to make a few remarks. I know you have a busy day ahead of you, so I will keep my comments brief.

    Last month, we discussed the County’s Legislative Program with you at our legislative work session, where we highlighted K-12 as a key funding issue for Fairfax County. I was pleased that we were able to have a robust discussion on that topic, reflecting our shared commitment to our youngest Virginians.

    As we all know, Fairfax County is often described as a wealthy community, and we certainly are very fortunate. But it is also true that we have many individuals and families struggling financially, so I would like to reiterate some of the remarkable statistics we shared with you at our meeting last month. More than 52,000 students in Fairfax County Public Schools qualify for free and reduced lunch. While that figure may seem shocking, what is even more shocking is this – only four school divisions in the state have more total children than we have children living in low-income households.

    We in Fairfax County understand that the state’s fiscal situation is difficult – we share those challenges at the local level, as the effects of federal sequestration and a struggling economic recovery have led us to project a $100 million deficit for FY 2016. In spite of these fiscal challenges, we continue to make significant local investments in K-12 – Fairfax County spends $955 million (123%) more than the state requires, to ensure our children receive a high quality education. But it hasn’t been easy.


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  5. Bulova Comments, Part 2:

    We are pleased that both the General Assembly and Governor McAuliffe were able to protect K-12 from recent funding cuts, and we thank you for your efforts on that front. In the longer-term, we still need your help. Only two years ago you and your colleagues in the General Assembly reached agreement on a landmark transportation bill to address the stifling congestion that had become part of daily life in Northern Virginia. That effort took many years and required significant compromise, but was ultimately successful due to your persistence in finding real, long-term solutions. Local governments throughout the state were proud to work with you to achieve that result, and I believe that is the type of effort needed to make crucial investments in K-12. In 2002, the General Assembly’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) performed a comprehensive review of state funding for K-12 education – perhaps the time has come for another such review, as an important first step.

    Tough budget times often lead to tough decisions, but also to opportunities. We all know how critical our public school system is to our economic success, as investments in our schools are a fundamental part of the strong business climate we have created. In fact, the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce included language in their 2015 Legislative Program stating, “…the future growth of the Northern Virginia economy, and consequently Virginia’s economy, is dependent on proper investment in K-12 education, which occurs only if the Commonwealth fully funds the Standards of Quality and provides a more fair calculation of the Local Composite Index.”

    It is my hope that we will again work in partnership to address this vital need, as well as collaborating on the long-term transition of Virginia’s economy away from its reliance on federal spending. Fairfax County is well-positioned to participate in a new, more entrepreneurial economy, and maintaining our strong K-12 system is a key component of our efforts to attract and retain businesses.

    Finally, we are also distributing a memo to you today which provides additional analysis of the Governor’s proposed budget, and the potential impact to Fairfax County. As always, our legislative staff will be working with you throughout the session on particular issues of importance to the County.

    We appreciate the support you gave us last year on the County’s legislative priorities, and we hope to achieve similar results this year. Thank you in advance for your efforts on behalf of Fairfax County, and we look forward to working with you throughout the session.

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  6. Can we get some independent oversight of the Fairfax police? The Geer incident is troubling to say the least.

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