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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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.