Paris Agreement – Tell Trump “Mother Earth Matters!”

Dear Friend,

We are all disappointed over President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.  This was a stupid and short-sighted decision.  It was not in the best interest of the United States or Mother Earth!

We cannot accept this decision.

Now is the time to live by that old adage: “We must be the change we want to see.”  

Governor McAuliffe has said that he will join with other states to create larger markets in which carbon permits could be bought and sold.  These larger markets would provide companies with more emission-cutting opportunities in which to invest.  Join me in asking our statewide candidates to commit to this approach and other carbon emission reduction strategies.  This is too important to not take action!

I need you to stand with me in making Virginia a leader in combating global warming and climate change.  Please donate to this effort. We must not be losers in Trump’s game of playing to his “base.”

Thank you for caring.

Sincerely,

Senator Barbara Favola   

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

MEDIA RELEASE: Inova Health System Implements Grant to Train More SANE Nurses, Press Event Tomorrow

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

 

Contact:

Julia Chun

julia.district31@gmail.com

703-835-4845

 

Inova Health System Implements Grant to Train More SANE Nurses

~Press event to be held tomorrow to recognize grant~

ARLINGTON - Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) will speak at a ceremony at Inova Hospital on Thursday, June 1, 2017 with Attorney General Mark Herring, Delegate Levine and others to celebrate Inova’s recent grant of nearly $560,000 from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Program to help support the addition of four full time and two part-time forensic nurses called Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE).  Details of the press event are below.

 

Event Details

Date: Thursday, June 1, 2017

Time: 9 - 10 a.m.

Location: Fairfax Inova Hospital, Physician’s Conference Center, 3300 Gallows Rd., Falls Church, VA 22042

 

Senator Favola chairs the Virginia Advisory Committee on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, which provided policy guidance to the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice on gaps in services to survivors of sexual assaults.  

“It became obvious that one of the first steps in empowering survivors and holding perpetrators accountable was making SANE exams easy, accessible, and conducted in a supportive environment.  As we delved into this objective, we realized that more nurses needed to be trained in gathering the forensic evidence that define a SANE exam,” said Favola.

Until the receipt of this grant, Inova’s clinic was staffed with only one full-time and one part-time SANE nurse, resulting in long wait times for survivors and negatively affecting the collection of important evidence because some survivors did not want to wait for the exam.

According to the Ewing Forensic Assessment and Consultation Team (FACT) at Inova, Inova has experienced a 44% expansion in cases since 2013, increasing the need for greater SANE resources.  The number of survivors served by FACT annually is expected to double from 600 to 1,200.

Sen. Favola was instrumental in requiring Virginia’s local law enforcement agencies to submit all physical evidence recovery kits (PERKs) associated with an official report  to state labs for analysis, including older PERKs.  She also passed a bill in 2017 that would require local law enforcement officials to inform survivors if a DNA hit is identified in the forensic review process.

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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MEDIA RELEASE: Sen. Barbara Favola’s nutrition bill aimed at older adults to be signed by Governor on Wednesday in Herndon ceremony

MEDIA RELEASE

Sen. Barbara Favola’s nutrition bill aimed at older adults to be signed by Governor on Wednesday in Herndon ceremony

ARLINGTON - Senator Barbara Favola’s (D-Arlington) Senate Bill 1437 requires the Commonwealth Council on Aging to assist and advise the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services on strategies to improve nutritional health, alleviate hunger, and prevent malnutrition in older adults.  This bill will be signed by the Governor in a 1 p.m. ceremony at the  Herndon Senior Center, also known as Harbor House, on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, the last day of Older Americans Month.

“Food insecurity is something that no American should suffer from.  If we care about empowering older Virginians to live healthy lives, we must tackle the problem of food insecurity.  The generation that nurtured us, sent a man to the moon, gave us the Internet and defined America on the world stage is suffering from malnutrition and diseases associated with malnutrition,” said Favola.

Approximately 14% of older Virginians (age 62 and over) suffer from food insecurity.  Moreover, it is important to note that:

  • Food Insecure older Virginians are 53% more likely to report a heart attack; 52% more likely to develop asthma; 40% more likely to report an experience of congestive heart failure.

  • Malnutrition causes an average prolonging of hospital stays by 4-6 days

  • 1 in 3 older Virginians admitted to hospitals is malnourished

Senator Favola  applauds Governor McAuliffe for signing the measure into law.

 

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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Sen. Favola calls on first time voters to vote

By Eden Brown

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

State Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31) believes Virginians can turn the Virginia House of Delegates around from its current Republican control if enough new voters come out and vote in the November 2017 elections. Those who have just gotten the right to vote — immigrants and students — sometimes don’t know the legislative elections for their state assembly are just as important as the federal elections that take place every four years.

Speaking to a “We of Action Virginia” group at the Shirlington library on May 1, Favola said she is energized by the increased interest in Virginia politics. She highlighted the importance of keeping a Democrat as governor of Virginia. “We have to elect a Democratic governor even if you aren’t a Democrat,” she urged the group. “Independents, Progressives, moderate Republicans need to think about what could happen here if we end up like North Carolina, with a GOP governor and GOP control of the state assembly. When that happened in North Carolina, wIthout the moderating influence of a Democrat in the governor’s role, there were no brakes on the extreme legislation that started getting passed. In July 2016, after the North Carolina legislature passed ‘the “bathroom bill”, eliminating anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, the National Basketball Association pulled the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte to protest the law,” Favola said.

Favola cited a few of the more conservative GOP candidates for office: “Corey Stewart, chairman at-large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, who seems to have a love affair with the Confederate flag,” she said. “I was with him during my tenure on the County Board when we were both being interviewed by a news outlet and he never acknowledged the important contribution of immigrants to our economy.”

She also highlighted Karrie Delaney, who will be attempting to unseat GOP Del. Jim Lemunyon (D-67) in Fairfax/Loudoun County. Lemunyon, Favola said, is “one of those Republicans who package themselves as moderates, but they vote with the Republican leadership every time.”

Favola described the difficulty of trying to pass health-care friendly legislation in Richmond: she took on the Medicaid expansion issue, which she felt qualified to do since she used to have oversight on the Medicaid program when she was in the federal government. She shepherded the expansion legislation through the General Assembly, dealing with every objection raised by the GOP. Every reasonable request the GOP raised — and there were many — the Democrats accommodated, because “we wanted 400,000 people to have this insurance. But when it came time to pass the legislation, it was the week Eric Cantor lost his primary, and the GOP said they had to withdraw their support because Tea Party candidates might take advantage of the situation and they would lose their seats. House majority leader, Eric Cantor, was defeated by a Tea Party-backed economics professor who had hammered him for being insufficiently conservative; Cantor was criticized for being soft on immigration. “It was clear it was ‘incumbency protection.’ not the welfare of Virginians, that was a priority,” Favola said. “The way the districts are drawn leaves no incentive for negotiation,” she said. Favola will be pursuing the redistricting issue this summer given the importance of better bipartisan cooperation.

Favola also described other transformational legislation which had been hard to pass in an assembly dominated by the GOP: Virginia had stopped benefits to foster children over the age of 18 (and under 21). Favola wanted to maintain support for youths who otherwise could become victims of sex trafficking or homeless. Legislation prohibiting the possession of a weapon by people who had committed two-time misdemeanor sexual assaults was also a bill sponsored by Favola, and which ran into major GOP headwinds.

Favola said she hopes the trend in Virginia, to elect a governor who is not of the the U.S. president's party (this has been the trend for 40 years with one exception), will hold. That said, she said Ed Gillespie, the presumed frontrunner on the GOP side, has a well-funded campaign and is the architect of the strategy that gave 38 districts to the GOP: he is someone Democrats and moderates will have to pull together to defeat in November.

Favola told the group to hold elected representatives accountable, and to educate themselves on who the candidates are, referring them to the website: www.vahousedems.org.

Apr. 15 Take Action Brunch with Ralph Northam

You are cordially invited to a delicious brunch at my home to support Lt. Governor Ralph Northam.  Ralph is seeking the Democratic nomination for Governor.  We will hear about important issues facing the Commonwealth and Ralph is interested in hearing your thoughts about our collective future.

Date: Saturday, April 15

Time: 11:30am to 1:30pm

Place: 2319 18th St. N. Arlington, VA 22201

A link is provided to the official invitation with suggestion donation levels.  Please know that any size donation is appreciated and new-comers are welcome as my guests.

https://act.myngp.com/northam/favola

Barbara Discusses Safety Net Issues with SALT

It was an honor and a pleasure to discuss safety net issues with advocates from Social Action Linking Together (SALT). SALT members were influential in helping me pass key reforms to the TANF program over the past few sessions. We increased the ongoing dollars available to TANF moms and dedicated dollars to job training programs in local communities. I am particularly proud that my legislation to enable foster kids to access scholarship dollars for certificate or trade related training programs passed. More still needs to be done, but I am confident that SALT will continue to make its voice heard.

Newly Renovated Arlington DMV Customer Service Center

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Today, I joined DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb and Delegates Alfonso Lopez, Mark Levine, and Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette to celebrate the newly renovated Arlington DMV Customer Service Center.

Today’s DMV is different than the one you may have visited as a teenager getting your first driver’s license. Today, you can get your birth certificate or an E-ZPass, or even apply to register to vote, right at your Arlington Customer Service Center.

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The DMV is constantly enhancing its service offerings to better assist customers. For example, I learned today that residents can take the driver’s license knowledge exam in 23 different languages, enabling customers to test in the language in which they feel most comfortable.

Heartbroken Over the Republican Healthcare Plan

I am heart broken over the Republican plan that makes health insurance unaffordable. Once again, hard working Virginians will have to decide whether to pay their rent, buy food or visit a doctor.

Here is some of what our Governor had to say about the new Congressional health care legislation.

“Around 400,000 Virginians have signed up for health insurance through the ACA’s federal exchange. Eighty-four percent of them rely on federal subsidies to keep their coverage. Stripping any of these individuals of coverage or forcing them to sign up for more costly but less comprehensive coverage will be unacceptable here in Virginia and across the nation – particularly if those actions are taken to fund a tax cut for the wealthy.

Quality affordable health care is not a privilege, it is a necessity of a productive life and taking away health care access or making it more expensive doesn’t just hurt the families involved – it harms entire economies. The Affordable Care Act is not perfect – but it has helped millions of Americans access health coverage that is the bedrock of economic opportunity. On behalf of the people of Virginia, I hope our leaders in Washington will take the proper time and care to put people ahead of politics and only take actions that will build on the ACA to make health care more accessible and affordable, not less.” -Gov. Terry McAuliffe

We Must Fight Divisive Rhetoric & Hurtful Actions

The 2017 session has reached its conclusion. Although there was bi-partisan support around budgetary issues, there was way too much hurtful rhetoric and Trump-like actions aimed at immigrants, our LGBT friends and neighbors and voters who are susceptible to disenfranchisement. Since Democrats are in the minority in both chambers, we will be relying upon Governor McAuliffe to veto some “North Carolina” like bills that passed the General Assembly and will hit his desk.

Silver Lining:

The silver lining in this session came on the budget front. We were able to fund a 3% pay increase for State employees; a 2% increase for teachers, with some flexibility in the funding language, and a considerable pay increase for State police. This move was intended to address problems with recruitment and retention. We made progress in funding more community-based services, specifically supportive housing, for those suffering from mental illness and steps were taken to help address the opioid crisis.

Hurtful Actions:

However, I, along with my fellow Democratic warriors had to fight a number of bills that do not represent our values as Virginians and Americans. Chief among these was HB 2000, a sanctuary cities bill that would codify that “no locality shall adopt any ordinance, procedure, or policy that restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws.” I spoke against this bill in committee and on the Senate floor.

HB 2000 attempts to require local law enforcement officials to go beyond their usual best “community policing” practices to do the role of the Federal government in immigration enforcement. This bill will affect the ability of police to develop a trusting relationship with the immigrant populations they serve. As you know, this trust is critical if police are to gather information about criminals and underground behavior. Moreover, the impact of this bill is a heightened level of confusion between the role of local law enforcement and the Federal ICE Agency. Confusion that our local governments strongly argued would be detrimental to our safety.

Once again, a bill was passed that gave State sanction to religious leaders who wish to deny the sacrament of marriage to our gay brothers and sisters. Religious leaders already have the right to decide whom they will marry, this bill was not necessary and it sent a very hurtful message about who we are and what we stand for.

Voter Suppression:

Additionally, there were a number of bills that Republicans passed in an attempt to suppress people's right to vote, bills that overarchingly affect people of color, students, and seniors. Republicans know that the demonizing rhetoric of President Trump is harming their chances at the polls--so voter suppression is their answer. It is easier for these folks to pass measures that protect their jobs rather than committing themselves to representing the will of the people, and that is simply un-American and unacceptable!

Safety Valve:

I am thankful that we have a Governor who stands as a brick wall against these offensive and divisive bills, but I am ashamed that they have even gotten this far. Please join me to continue the fight for our Democratic values.

Metro Safety Compact:

HB 2136 was passed this session, which authorizes Virginia to become a signatory to the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission Interstate Compact. The compact establishes a safety oversight authority for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). It does contain an emergency clause, which means it won’t go into effect until the State of Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Congress all approve the Compact. The bill includes measures necessary to better ensure the safety of riders and employees, including safety in the event of a homeland security emergency in the national capital area; and financial and operational improvements necessary to ensure that WMATA’s performance is at least as efficient as its closest comparable transit systems in the United States.

Workforce Development Initiatives:

Although my budget amendment to extend child care services and other services to welfare moms while they completed a 2-year educational program failed, the budget conferees did allocate $7.5 million from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant for community employment and training programs. Employment Services Organizations will receive $2.0 million of this allocation. This money will help struggling mothers and struggling communities get a second chance.

My other Legislative Initiatives:

Now that the session has concluded, I can say that nine of my bills have made it through both the House and the Senate, and are awaiting the Governor’s signature. I am particularly disappointed, however, that my medical marijuana bill did not pass. I promise to keep trying; we did make some headway with a few moderate Republicans.

Children's Safety: A proposal to require the investigation of alleged child abuse or neglect on children age 2 or younger. This early intervention could help reduce the number of infant fatalities in the Commonwealth. Last year children younger than two counted for nearly half of all child fatalities.

Trade and Certificate Programs: A bill to grant scholarships to foster kids taking trade or certificate programs through the Community College System will soon become law. This effort will help us reach our goal of 100,000 additional degrees or certificates by 2020 and our most vulnerable kids will be given an opportunity to achieve their dreams. This is hailed as an important anti-poverty measure.

Better Oversight of Community-Based Programs: My bill to create better reporting on incidents of serious injury from licensed community-based programs serving those with intellectual or developmental disabilities passed.

Sexual Assault: I worked with the Attorney General’s office on a bill to require that sexual assault survivors be informed if physical evidence submitted prior to July 1, 2016, contains DNA evidence.

My bar bystander bill finally made it through its last hurdle. This bill would encourage bartenders and others who serve or sell spirits in an ABC licensed or permitted establishment to undergo training to help prevent risky situations from culminating into sexual assaults. Preliminary evaluations of similar training programs have shown that these programs reduced reported sexual assaults in nearby college towns by 11 percent.

Aging Issues: A bill that directs the Council on Aging to educate consumers on malnutrition and provide strategies for defeating this issue also passed. Today, 13.9% of Virginia seniors are food insecure.

Governor’s Vetoes

The Governor has already vetoed a couple of bills that I spoke against on the floor including one that legalizes switchblade knives. There is no need to add to the list of weapons that can be lawfully and easily transferred from one person to another and concealed from public view.

On Tuesday, February 21st, I attended the Governor’s veto ceremony to nix a bill that would remove State dollars from supporting preventive services at Planned Parenthood. The State contract that Republicans tried to void supported testing for sexually transmitted infectious diseases. Virginia women and Virginia communities need access to preventive care, or we are all at risk. Let’s not permit ideologically driven politicians to continue to risk women’s health for political gains.

Thank you for all of your support this past session and I look forward to continuing my service to the constituents of the 31st District. Rest assured, I will always fight for our Democratic values. It is an honor and a pleasure to represent you.