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Focus on Fairfax
Jan.24, 2021
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
 
The 2021 General Assembly session began on January 13 and we are now in full swing. Legislation is working its way through the committee process and several bills have already been voted on by the full House. This year the House is meeting virtually. Thanks to our great IT professionals, all committees and subcommittees are being streamed live, with the ability to take testimony from across Virginia without having to come to Richmond. Special thanks as well to my son, Alex, whose room has been converted into my 37th District office!
 
COVID-19 Vaccination Presentation
 
I have received a number of emails expressing concern about the status of Virginia's vaccination process. Please know that I share those concerns and welcome feedback from constituents so that I can share personal experiences with the administration. During the last week, we have had a series of meetings between the General Assembly and leadership from the Secretary of Health and Human Resources. Identifying issues and making adjustments is the top priority. This past Friday, we were given a presentation from Dr. Danny Avula, Virginia Vaccine Coordinator, and Dr. Norman Oliver, State Health Commissioner. While a little long, it does a good job outlining where things stand and how Virginia plans to move forward. You can watch the presentation here.
 
Town Hall Meeting
 
Please join me and Senator Chap Petersen for our annual Town Hall meeting. This is a time-honored tradition that goes back well before I was elected and I hope will continue far into the future. Thanks to the City of Fairfax, we will be conducting this year's meeting virtually. Chap and I will provide an overview of issues being debated in the General Assembly and take questions and comments from constituents.
 
What: Virtual Town Hall Meeting
Date: January 30, 2021
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
 
The event will be live-streamed on the City's website and broadcast on Cityscreen-12 (Channel 12 on Verizon and Cox). Check my webpage closer to the event for information on how constituents can send in their questions. City of Fairfax Mayor David Meyer will serve as our moderator to ensure that we cover as many topics as possible within the allotted timeframe.
 
My Legislation
 
This year, each member of the House is limited to seven bills. Here is a summary of my legislation. Details can be found here.
 
Campaign Finance Reform - Virginia is one of a handful of states with no limits on campaign contributions, which has contributed to the spiraling cost of running for public office. In 2019, 20 House of Delegates races exceeded $1 million. I know that many of my colleagues agree on the need for reform. The difficult part, however, is coming up with specifics. HJR526 establishes a joint subcommittee to study and make recommendations for comprehensive finance reform for consideration by the General Assembly.
 
Early Childhood Education - Last year I was pleased to sponsor legislation to better coordinate early childhood education and to create a quality rating and improvement system for our publicly-funded early childhood programs. HB2105 builds on that effort by tasking the School Readiness Committee with developing recommendations for how to make early childhood education more affordable and to ensure that our providers are adequately paid.
 
George Mason University - HB1986 brings Mason up to Tier 3 status under the Restructured Higher Education Act. As dull as that sounds, Tier 3 provides Mason with critical operational and administrative flexibility in recognition of investments in fiscal best management practices, maintaining a high bond rating, and a commitment to its public mission. This rating puts GMU on par with UVA, Virginia Tech, William and Mary, VCU, and James Madison. I'm very proud to carry this legislation for my hometown university!
 
Cocktails-to-Go - I will admit to being a skeptic when the Governor temporarily allowed cocktails-to-go as part of the pandemic response. However, it has been a lifeline to our restaurants, and Gretchen and I have enjoyed take-out margaritas from Coyote Grille and Mai Tais from Hunan West. HB1879 extends cocktails-to-go until July 1, 2022 and establishes a study group to determine whether this can be done safely and permanently.
 
Drug Overdose Good Samaritan - When someone is experiencing a drug overdose, getting life-saving treatment is paramount. That is why Virginia passed a law to make sure that a person seeking medical help for an overdose victim does not hesitate for fear of being prosecuted for the possession of marijuana or underage alcohol use. However, while the person seeking medical attention is protected, the person who stays behind to aid the victim is still subject to potential jail time. HB1979 fulfills the intent of the original law (sponsored in 2015 by Senator Chap Petersen) by making sure both of these individuals are protected and don't second guess obtaining help
 
Invasive Plant Species - HJR527 requires the Department of Conservation and Recreation to facilitate a work group to study the sale and use of invasive plant species. These invasive plants seriously harm local ecosystems and cost government millions of dollars annually to remove. Sadly, many of these invasive plants continue to be sold commercially, with no indication of their invasive nature. As they say - when in a hole, stop digging. Special shout out to the volunteers who spend thousands of hours each year removing these invaders from our parks and stream valleys.
 
HOA/Condominium Associations Virtual Meetings - During the 2020 veto session the General Assembly put in place emergency legislation allowing HOA and condominium associations to meet virtually in order to meet their basic obligations. Even well before the pandemic many associations have struggled with participation and achieving a quorum. As it turns out, moving to a virtual format has increased participation in community meetings. I saw this over the summer and organizations like the Community Association Institute and the Realtors noticed this as well. HB1816 establishes a framework to allow HOAs and condominium associations to continue to meet virtually even after the Governor's emergency order expires.
 
I'm looking forward to seeing many of you virtually at the Town Hall meeting on Saturday, January 30 at 9 a.m. Thank you for the opportunity to serve!

Sincerely,

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David Bulova
Delegate, 37th Virginia House District
© 2020 David Bulova
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Delegate David Bulova
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Fairfax Office
9900 Main Street,
Plaza 102
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 310-6752

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(During General
 Assembly Session)
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Pocahontas Building
Room E204
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 698-1037
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