Legislative Package

City of Alexandria Legislative Package for the Virginia General Assembly.

Page updated on Jan 9, 2020 at 10:41 AM

Why Does the City Have a Legislative Package?

The Commonwealth of Virginia is a Dillon Rule state which limits the governing authority localities have to what is expressly granted to them by the legislature, by state statute, or written in their municipal charter. Localities in Virginia request legislation every year to grant them enabling authority for specific powers they do not have already. These requests generally originate from the City Council, City staff, and boards and commissions. 

The goal of the City’s Legislative Package is to clearly communicate the City’s legislative and budget priorities to legislators, staff, advocates, and the general public. The requests that form the Package generally originate from City Council members, City staff, and the City’s many boards and commissions. 


The City's Legislative Package

On October 15, 2019, City Council’s Legislative Subcommittee met with subject matter experts on City staff to discuss the proposals submitted for consideration for inclusion in the 2020 Legislative Package. Council reviewed the draft package on November 12, 2019 and accepted input from the community and other outside stakeholders at the November 16, 2019 public hearing. Finally, a Work Session was held with the City’s Legislative Delegation on November 27 where we received input on their priorities for the 2020 session, the post-election makeup of the General Assembly, and their feedback on the Legislative Package.

The proposed 2020 Legislative Package has the proposals organized into two sections — Legislative Principles and Legislative Priorities

The section of Legislative Principles is structured around the City’s Strategic Plan and creates a clear nexus between the City’s goals and the legislative and funding measures necessary for us to achieve these goals. The Legislative Principles are, generally, broadly crafted and focus on comprehensive legislative strategies rather than specific legislative tactics.

The Legislative Priorities are, generally, specific revenue and legislative proposals that the City has identified as the issues of greatest impact to the City. These are the issues the City intends to continue expending significant political capital on and the issues that we intend to ask our General Assembly delegation to engage in on behalf of the City.

The 2020 General Assembly Session will be a “long” 60-day Session, beginning January 8, 2020 and ending March 6, 2020.  

The Council Legislative Subcommittee will meet weekly beginning on January 10, 2020 and continuing until the Friday after the final day for bill introduction. These meetings allow the Legislative Subcommittee to review legislation with the input of City staff subject matter experts and recommend positions on legislation with an impact to the City. 

The City’s Legislative Director, Sarah G. Taylor, will represent the City in Richmond this session, and will report regularly on the status of legislative and budget issues that arise during the 2019 General Assembly Session.

The Honorable Members of Alexandria City Council adopted this 2020 Legislative Package on December 10, 2019.


2020 Virginia General Assembly Legislative Principles

This vision for our City drives and directs the work of City Council and City staff and is the foundation for the efforts that will make this vision of Alexandria a reality in our community. The work of City staff at the General Assembly each legislative session is key to ensuring that City staff and City Council have the legal framework, authority and funding necessary to achieve this vision for our community.

As we work to create and maintain distinct and vibrant neighborhoods throughout Alexandria, the City supports legislation that affords localities the authority necessary to encourage smart, appropriate development in our community, preserve the diverse, mixed-income character of our neighborhoods, and protect the historic fabric of our City.

As we work to be an inclusive city of kindness, the City supports legislation that safeguards and expands the protection of the most basic human rights of all residents of, workers in and visitors to our City and our Commonwealth and opposes legislation that attempts to restrict these same basic rights. The City supports legislation to ensure Alexandria is a livable community for all, with affordable housing, a living wage, and workforce protections available to all Alexandrians. The City supports legislation to ensure immigrants, refugees, and their families can fully participate in the economic, civic, social, and cultural life of our city and our Commonwealth.

As we work to provide a well-managed government for our residents, businesses and visitors, the City supports legislation and appropriations that fund or remove unfunded mandates from our local government, provide additional revenue or revenue authority in order to support core municipal operations and services, and support the City’s facility needs and plans. The City supports the preservation of existing state aid to localities, requests the full funding of all state funding commitments to localities, and opposes efforts to shift the costs of shared services to localities. The City supports legislation that affords localities flexibility and additional authority in the areas of hiring and procurement, so localities can provide services efficiently and in a fiscally responsible manner while also encouraging hiring local workers and the involvement of local businesses in municipal projects and services. The City supports legislation that enhances the ability of localities to take full advantage of renewable energy sources and remove barriers to the deployment of these renewable energy sources.

As we work to create a safe and resilient city for every resident, worker and visitor in the City of Alexandria, the City supports legislation that helps our well-trained staff protect the most vulnerable members of our community, including children, older adults, victims of domestic violence, individuals in behavioral health crisis, and those of differing abilities. The City supports common sense gun safety legislation, including “red flag” laws, stronger background checks for all gun buyers, and prohibiting the sale of assault weapons and certain ammunition, magazines and accessories. The City supports legislation that reforms our criminal justice system so it operates fairly and equitably for all members of our community, including the decriminalization of marijuana possession and the decriminalization of HIV. The City supports efforts to ensure that prisons and detention facilities are operated as part of the pursuit of justice rather than the pursuit of profit. The City supports legislation to reform Virginia’s negligence laws to more fairly compensate those injured in accidents, especially vulnerable road users.

As we work to achieve a community with flourishing arts, culture and recreation opportunities, the City supports legislation that would give localities the authority to determine the placement or relocation of Confederate statues and memorials located on city-owned property. The City supports funding for the preservation and interpretation of historic sites; in this 400th anniversary year of the arrival of the first slave ship to Virginia, the City specifically supports funding for the preservation, maintenance, interpretation and operation of historic sites related to the history of slavery in our community and throughout the Commonwealth.

As we work to create a strong economy in our community that benefits every resident, business and worker in our city, the City supports legislation to raise the minimum wage in Virginia and to enact a state prevailing wage. The City supports efforts to encourage and incentivize family-friendly workplace policies in businesses throughout the Commonwealth. The City supports legislation to modernize Virginia’s alcoholic beverage laws to ensure our small, local businesses can be competitive in the region as well as efforts to increase efficiency and minimize the impact of the distribution and delivery of alcoholic beverages on our neighborhoods. The City supports efforts to create new markets for recycling and recyclable materials in the Commonwealth, as an opportunity for both job creation and environmental stewardship. The City supports legislation that assists in the deployment universal, affordable access to broadband technology and efforts to ensure a fair and open Internet.

As we work to ensure children and youth in our community are thriving, the City supports legislation and budget priorities that fully fund K-12 education and acknowledge the true cost of K-12 education in education funding. The City supports efforts to ensure that our schools are safe and in good condition, free of environmental health and other hazards. The City supports legislation and budget priorities that invest in Pre-K programs, reduce the local match for the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI), and encourage flexibility and creativity in the delivery of VPI programs in our community. The City supports common sense gun safety legislation, including child access prevention laws to limit child access to guns and reduce suicides and unintentional gun deaths and injuries to children, as well as legislation prohibiting firearms of any kind of school property in the Commonwealth. The City supports legislation to protect vulnerable youth in our community, including legislation to ban conversion therapy practices that endanger LGBTQ youth.

As we work to create an environmentally sustainable city, Commonwealth, nation and world, the City supports legislation that assists in our efforts to expand our tree canopy and attain clean air and clean waterways. The City supports legislation that will allow us to increase recycling rates in our community and reduce the use of plastic bags, single use plastics and Styrofoam. The City supports efforts at the General Assembly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Commonwealth 50% by 2030, including efforts to decarbonize the statewide electricity supply, give communities choice over their electricity supply, and other policy strategies included in the City’s Environmental Action Plan 2040.

As we work to sustain and enhance the health of our residents, the City supports legislation that promotes mental and physical well-being for every resident in our community. The City supports legislation and funding that reduces inequities in our health system, increases access to healthcare for all residents, and provides a system of support for residents with behavioral health needs. The City supports efforts in the General Assembly to identify and maintain adequate resources to respond to the emergent needs of residents experiencing a mental health emergency, including increasing the number of psychiatric beds available in the Commonwealth. The City supports legislation to tax products with a significant public health impact, including e-cigarettes and vapor products, and increase the tax on tobacco products.

As we work to support a wide variety of safe, connected, multimodal transportation options in our city that enable access to daily activities in our community and our region, the city supports legislation and budget priorities that ensure Alexandria has safe, reliable and frequent mobility choices regardless of resources or ability. As we work to create a community where various forms of transportation use, and share, our roads safely and efficiently, the City supports legislation that protects vulnerable road users, including bicyclists and pedestrians. The City supports efforts in the General Assembly that help us achieve our Vision Zero goal to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries in our community by 2028.


2020 Virginia General Assembly Legislative Priorities


Increased State Investment in Infrastructure

As both an older and a growing community, the City of Alexandria views “infrastructure” through a wider lens than the traditional definition. Roads, sewers and schools are all, clearly, core infrastructure that needs continued and increased investment from the Commonwealth. In addition, the City believes that transit and affordable housing are long-term assets that help our community, and our residents, grow and thrive, and considers them “infrastructure needs.”

The City supports legislation and budget items that support the ongoing and increased investment in infrastructure in our community.

The City supports, and has requested, state funding to total 20-percent of the estimated cost to complete Alexandria’s legislatively mandated combined sewer overflow project by the 2025 deadline.

The top priority for the City’s 2020 Legislative Package is the continuation of our efforts to secure state funding for Alexandria’s legislatively mandated combined sewer overflow (CSO) project. 

The City supports efforts to protect existing multimodal transportation funding and identify revenue options that will fully restore funding to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA).

Dedicated funding for Metro and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) was a priority for Alexandria in 2018 and we were pleased that Virginia, Maryland, and the District came together to reach a historic funding agreement during the 2018 General Assembly session. 

The City supports all efforts to preserve dedicated funding for vital transit in the Commonwealth.

The City of Alexandria supports efforts to identify and utilize a broad package of statewide funding sources to restore funding to NVTA.

The City supports statewide programs and funding, as well as additional local tools and authority, to address the need for affordable housing in our community and the burden of housing costs on our most vulnerable residents.

Specific to the City of Alexandria, we support legislation to amend current code to include Alexandria among the localities where a state income tax credit is available to landlords with qualified housing units participating in the Housing Choice Voucher program. Currently, only 18.5% of multifamily properties in Alexandria accept vouchers. The expansion of this tax credit to landlords in Alexandria would encourage participation in the program and potentially expand the affordable housing stock in Alexandria.  

The City of Alexandria knows that affordable housing is a vital part of a strong economy and a thriving community, region and Commonwealth. We also know that there is no one solution to the need for affordable, workforce housing in our community and in communities across the Commonwealth – what works for a dense, urban community like Alexandria may not work for other localities in Virginia. 

The City supports the full funding of existing school construction funding options, including the Virginia Public School Construction Grant Program, as well as new, innovative funding and financing opportunities for new school construction as well as the renovation of older school facilities. 

The City supports legislation and appropriations to create innovative funding and/or financing opportunities for new school construction and renovation of older school facilities including, but not limited to, funding for the Virginia Public School Construction Grant Program, flexibility in bonding capacity, additional local revenue authority, and public-private partnership authority for localities.


Preservation and Expansion of Local Authority and Funding for Localities

As a Dillon Rule state, local governments in Virginia are significantly restricted in their authority, as localities in Virginia may only engage in an activity if it is explicitly sanctioned by the General Assembly. In addition to this limited authority, an overemphasis on statewide uniformity often hampers the ability of localities like Alexandria from responding in a timely fashion to emerging problems or problems that are unique to our community.

The City supports legislation and budget items that preserve existing local authority and funding for localities as well as the expansion of local authority and local revenue options.

The City supports efforts to modernize the local tax structure.

With ongoing discussion of the need for comprehensive tax reform in Virginia, the City is supportive of the reassessment, or elimination, of the limitations currently placed on cities, counties and towns by the General Assembly with regard to revenue authority. Local government revenues need to be diversified, as we are currently overly reliant on property taxes and have little to no authority to raise revenue from other sources.

Short of comprehensive tax reform, the City is supportive of opportunities for additional local revenue authority to increase funding for local needs, including transit, transportation, school construction and renovation, and other significant capital needs. 

The City supports legislation to modernize and reform the Communications Sales and Use Tax and protect the local portion of the revenue.

The Communications Sales and Use Tax (CSUT) was established in 2006 and took effect in 2007 and was implemented to replace a series of local taxes and fees on telecommunications services with one, consolidated tax levied by the state. A portion of the tax is distributed back to localities, with Alexandria receiving $9.2 million in FY 2019 from the CSUT.

The Department of Taxation estimated in a 2015 study that if the CSUT had been imposed on streaming services in 2014, it would have generated an additional $10 to $20 million for distribution to localities. In addition, pre paid calling services are not subject to the CSUT, while post-paid monthly calling services are.

The City supports legislation to broaden the coverage of the Communications Sales and Use Tax (CSUT) to include audio and video streaming services and pre-paid calling services. In addition, the City supports setting the tax rate for the CSUT at the same level as the state sales tax rate. Finally, the City opposes any efforts to transfer revenue from the CSUT to the state general fund for purposes other than those explicitly stipulated in the Code.

The City supports legislation to afford localities the authority to regulate firearms in government buildings and on government property. 

In our ongoing efforts to ensure that our community is safe and resilient, we continually confront the limited ability of localities, and duly elected local governing bodies, to enact gun safety measures in our city that our residents support – including in our own government buildings, libraries, recreation centers, parks, and public spaces. 

The Alexandria City Council has expressed unwavering support for a number of common sense gun safety proposals, including “red flag” laws and stronger background checks. In the context of local authority, the City supports legislation that would grant localities the authority to adopt or enforce ordinances, resolutions, or administrative policies to prohibit or restrict the possession, transportation, or carrying of firearms in public buildings or on property owned or used by a locality.

The City supports a study of the impact of the current 40-year constitutional limit on leases of city owned properties.

Currently, cities and towns in Virginia are limited by Article VII of the Constitution of Virginia to a 40-year lease term on property owned by a city for any non-public use. Counties in Virginia re limited in Code to a 75-year lease term. This has resulted in negative economic development impacts for cities because, although interest may exist to redevelop a city-owned parcel, the 40-year lease term is often too short for private sector development processes and economics. 

Because this would require a constitutional change, deliberate study of this issue is appropriate and necessary. 

The City supports increased State funding for positions in our community authorized by the State and funded through a combination of State and local funds.

From the Health Department to the Court Services Unit to the Commonwealth’s Attorney to the Sheriff’s Department, dozens of employees work in the City of Alexandria government in positions funded through a combination of State and local funds. Due to the high cost of living in our area and competitive job market, the City is often required to supplement these positions to a significant degree in order to ensure that salaries are competitive and high-quality employees can be recruited and retained. 

The City supports additional State funding for K-12 education costs, including the Cost of Competing, At-Risk Add On funding, and other outlays, to better reflect the true cost of education and the cost borne by localities.

The City of Alexandria is committed to the investment necessary to create appropriate, accessible 21st century learning environments for all children in our public schools. However, we believe that the Commonwealth needs to recognize and fund the true cost of public education in our communities in a way that is not only adequate, but equitable.

The City supports additional state funding for K-12 education, including:

  • Realistic and fully-funded Standards of Quality;
  • Recognition of cost of living variations in state funding formulas, to more accurately determine a locality’s true ability to pay, particularly for high cost of living areas;
  • Restoration of full funding for the Cost of Competing Adjustment (COCA) for support positions. Full funding of COCA would ensure that our schools’ salaries remain competitive and help us secure vital support positions such as nurses, School Resource Officers (SROs), school counselors and psychologists, technology support, and other positions critical to strong public schools; and,
  • Appropriate recognition in state funding formulas of the increased costs required to serve children with higher level, more specialized needs, including special education students, English language learners, and students living in economically disadvantaged households, to include At Risk Add-On Funding.


Access, Equity and Equality

The City is committed to ensuring that Alexandria is an “inclusive city of kindness;” but the full realization of this goal can only be truly achieved in partnership with the Commonwealth. The City is keenly focused on ensuring that all members of our community have access to justice and democracy, are afforded equal protection under the law, are paid a fair, equitable wage, and the work is being done to acknowledge and address the core issues of inequity and inequality in our community and our state.

The City supports legislation to allow localities to increase the current assessment on court costs in order to expand access to local law libraries.

The Alexandria Law Library – and law libraries across the Commonwealth –  offers access to a variety of legal resources to its users, which include mainly pro-se litigants, students, solo practitioners, and attorneys from small, local law firms. These resources include legal forms, consumer law information, and legal databases (such as Westlaw and Lexis Nexis). In addition, the law library provides access to no-cost notary services.

Law libraries in Virginia are currently the beneficiaries of a $4 fee on civil litigation filed in the Commonwealth. This fee has been set at $4  and has not been raised since since 1988. There has been a marked decrease in the number of civil suits filed which has led to a significant decrease in funding for law libraries across the state. The City notes that each $1 increase in the fee would result in $12,000 to $15,000 in additional annual revenue for Alexandria’s law library.The City supports legislation to allow localities that operate law libraries to increase the existing assessment on civil cases from $4 to no more than $7 in order to ensure access to this invaluable legal resource for all members of our community.

The City supports legislation to incrementally raise the minimum wage in the Commonwealth to $15 per hour.

Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages that are higher than the federal one, according to the U.S. Department of Labor – including our neighboring states of West Virginia ($8.75 per hour), Maryland ($10.10 per hour), and Washington, D.C. ($13.25 per hour).

To maintain the City’s livability, improve equity in our State, assist in attracting workers in a competitive labor market, and encourage further economic growth, the City supports legislation that would raise the minimum wage in Virginia, incrementally, to $15 per hour.

The City support efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in Virginia and supports legislation to address the core issues of gender inequality in our Commonwealth.

The City of Alexandria believes that in order to fully provide women in our Commonwealth – and across our nation – the protections that the government affords them, the United States Constitution needs to be amended to make clear that we believe that people ought not to be discriminated against on the basis of their gender. Virginia has the opportunity to be the 38th state to ratify the ERA and advance this effort to constitutionally protect women’s rights to education, welfare and a fair workplace. Alexandria supports this effort to ratify the ERA. 

The City supports legislation to ensure access to voting for all Virginia citizens.

The City believes that voting is a fundamental right in our democracy and must be protected.

The City supports legislation to ensure and expand access to voting for all citizens in our community, including allowing voters to use a photo ID that was a valid form of voter ID but has expired, expanding weekend early and absentee voting hours, and establishing a streamlined process in Code for the restoration of voting rights for felons who have made restitution, rather than relying on the good will of each governor to implement such a process by executive order.

The City supports passage of the 2019 constitutional amendments to reform the redistricting process in Virginia, so that the process is bipartisan and “gerrymandering” does not occur.

In the 2019 session, both houses of the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed joint resolutions (SJ306/HJ615) that would amend the Virginia Constitution to establish the bipartisan Virginia Redistricting Commission to draw district maps for both state and federal elections in the Commonwealth.  

The City supports the passage of these amendments in the General Assembly during its 2020 session, so the amendment can go before the voters in a referendum on Election Day in 2020 for final approval. This timing is critical in order to have the new redistricting commission in place ahead of the decennial census, when redistricting must occur.

The City supports legislation to enable undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license, which would provide access to the privilege of driving and serve as proof of identity, not citizenship.

Providing access to a driver’s license for undocumented immigrants would ensure that these individuals have passed a Virginia road skills and safety test and would enable those who need to drive do so safely. States that offer driver’s licenses to immigrants, regardless of citizenship, have experienced a reduction in vehicle fatalities and an increase in insured rates. In addition, research shows that those with driver’s licenses are more likely to work and participate more broadly in their local economy


Climate Change and the Environment

The City supports legislation to allow Virginia to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Language included in the budget bill approved by the 2019 General Assembly restricted the Commonwealth’s ability to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) — a critical avenue for reducing carbon emissions in the Commonwealth and addressing the negative effects of climate change, which is impacting the health and safety of people who live, work, and visit our community and our Commonwealth.

RGGI is an effective, market-based program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation by limiting CO2 emissions from coal and other fossil-fuel generation sources and incentivizing renewable energy resources like wind and solar to create a cleaner power sector. Moreover, RGGI generates revenue through auctioning CO2 allowances and reinvesting proceeds in energy efficiency, renewable energy, low-income weatherization, and related energy reduction opportunities. RGGI has been effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency and energy affordability in nine New England and Mid-Atlantic states for the nearly a decade.     

The City supports legislation to transition the statewide electricity supply to carbon-free sources.

Electricity represents 42% of Alexandria’s greenhouse gas emissions according to the most recent greenhouse gas inventory performed by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. To meet the City’s target of reducing community-wide greenhouse gas emissions 50% compared to 2005 levels by 2030 the City supports legislation that would establish a mandatory Clean Energy Standard for electric utilities in the Commonwealth that would require 80% of electricity to be supplied from carbon-free sources and would establish an energy efficiency portfolio standard to reduce demand.

As an alternative, or in combination with the above proposal, the City would support legislation that gives local governments control over their electricity supply choices, giving the City the authority to purchase an electricity portfolio on behalf of residents and businesses that is consistent with the City’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The City supports legislation to accelerate the electrification of transportation.

On-road transportation represents 30% of Alexandria’s greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to the City’s efforts to expand transit infrastructure and create more walkable and bikeable communities, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation can be reduced by switching from gasoline or diesel to electricity, especially in conjunction with policies that decarbonize the electricity supply. The City supports legislation that would establish a Low Carbon Fuel Standard – which prioritizes transportation electrification – that targets a 20% reduction in carbon intensity from transportation by 2030.

The City supports legislation that would promote more energy efficient buildings and reduce natural gas use in buildings.

A successful strategy to combat climate change must consider residential and commercial buildings, which are responsible for almost 40% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. 

Because the energy demands of buildings are so large, designing and constructing energy efficient buildings can lead to large and vital reductions in energy consumption. In addition, combustion of fossil fuels in residential and commercial buildings represents 15% of Alexandria’s greenhouse gas emissions, primarily from natural gas used for heating, hot water, and cooking applications.



2019 Virginia General Assembly Legislative Priorities 

Key Initiatives for the City

State Funding for Alexandria’s Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Project
Request and support state funding for 20-percent of the estimated cost to complete Alexandria’s legislatively mandated combined sewers overflow project by the 2025 deadline.

Funding for School Facility Renovations and New School Construction
Support the full funding of existing school construction funding options, including the Virginia Public School Construction Grant Program, as well as innovative funding and financing opportunities for new school construction as well as renovating older school facilities.

Protection of Funding for Localities
Support efforts to protect existing funding for localities and ensure that statutory changes made in addressing the allocation internet sales tax revenue include the existing funding formula currently in place for “brick and mortar” sales tax revenue, including funding for local governments.

Issues of Interest and Concern for the City

  • DISTINCTIVE & VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS
    Notification from Virginia Department of Historic Resources of Preservation Projects & Issues

    Request the introduction of and support legislation to require the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to notify Certified Local Governments, like Alexandria, of historic preservation projects and issues in which VDHR is engaged within the CLG. (Note: The City is pursuing non-legislative remedies to this concern but, should a legislative solution be necessary, this item will serve as the City’s legislative package position.)

  • INCLUSIVE CITY
    Human Rights and Non-Discrimination

    Oppose any legislation that would restrict—and support any legislation that would expand—human rights for residents of, workers in, or visitors to the Commonwealth.

    Access to Voting 

    Support legislation that makes it easier for Virginia citizens to exercise their right to vote.

    Redistricting Reform

    Support legislation to reform the redistricting process in Virginia, so that the process is nonpartisan and “gerrymandering” does not occur.

    Equal Rights for Women

    Support efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in Virginia and support legislation to address the core issues of gender inequality in our Commonwealth.

    Living Wage

    Proposal: Support legislation to raise the statewide minimum wage, or give localities the authority to do so for jobs within their jurisdictions.

    Affordable, Workforce Housing

    Support statewide options as well as additional local authority to address the need for affordable, workforce housing in our community.

    Evictions
    Monitor efforts by the Virginia Housing Commission and Virginia Coalition to Reduce Evictions on the issue of tenant protection and eviction and identify legislative proposals for City support.

    “Ban the Box”

    Support the incorporation of current “Ban the Box” policies into State law.

    Criminal Background Questions in Professional Licensing

    Support legislation that would limit questions regarding criminal history on any applications for professional licensure to only those crimes that are germane to performing the specific duties regulated by such licensure or that would be grounds for denial of the license.  

    Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

    Support or introduce, as a matter of public safety, legislation to enable undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license, which would provide access to the privilege of driving and serve as proof of identity, not citizenship.

    Immigration & Law Enforcement

    Oppose legislation that would require local law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws, unless federal law requires such enforcement.

    Immigration & Higher Education
    Support Attorney General Mark Herring’s legal advice that students who are not American citizens but had been approved under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program may be eligible for in-state tuition if legislation seeks to overturn this policy.

    Family & Unisex Restrooms in Public Facilities

    Support legislation requiring ADA accessible unisex or “family” restrooms in all newly built or significantly renovated, remodeled, or altered local government and school facilities.

  • WELL-MANAGED GOVERNMENT
    Net Metering for Localities
    Support legislation that would allow localities to get credit, or be paid for, excess renewable energy generated at a location owned, leased or operated by a locality. 

    Assessment of Court Costs to Support Law Libraries

    Support a “local option” for localities with publicly supported law libraries to increase court cost assessments on civil cases and utilize these funds to support their local law library.

    Decriminalization of Simple Marijuana Possession - SB 997 (Ebbin)
    Support Sen. Ebbin's legislation to decriminalize simple marijuana possession in Virginia. 

    Body-Worn Cameras for Law Enforcement
    Support the use of body-worn camera throughout the Commonwealth, but oppose legislation that creates an unfunded mandate for localities with regard to the review of storage of body camera footage. 

  • SAFE & RESILIENT COMMUNITY
    Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence 

    Request the introduction of and support legislation to make the abuse of household animals/pets, when done as a form of control and intimidation against a household member, a felony.  

    Expand Definition of Family or Household Member and Include Definition of Dating Relationships in Domestic Violence Statutes

    Request the introduction of and support legislation to expand the definition of "Family or Household Member" in the domestic violence statutes and include a definition of “Dating Relationship” to the domestic violence statues.  

    Emergency Protective Order “Check Boxes” Change

    Request the introduction of and support legislation to clarify the conditions placed on respondents on Emergency Protective Orders to better protect the petitioner.

    Common Sense Gun Regulations

    Support legislation to enact common sense gun regulations in Virginia.

    Gun Possession by Individuals Involuntarily Committed to Psychiatric Facilities
    Support the request for an Attorney General’s opinion and the formal study of the issue of gun possession by individuals involuntarily committed to psychiatric facilities in the Commonwealth.

  • FLOURISHING ART, CULTURE & RECREATION

    The “Appomattox” Statue
    Support legislation to give localities the authority to determine the placement of confederate monuments and statues on city property in their communities.

  • STRONG ECONOMY

    Communal ABC Permit
    Support legislation to create an ABC permit for local groups that would allow for open containers within a designated, managed common area during a permitted event.

  • THRIVING CHILDREN & YOUTH

    Funding the True Cost of K-12 Education
    Support additional State funding for the State’s portion of K-12 education costs, including the Cost of Competing, At-Risk Add On funding, and other outlays.

    Funding for the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI)
    Support legislation to increase the preschool allocation in the state budget, reduce the local match for VPI and allow localities and school systems to carry over unspent VPI funds from one fiscal year to the next.

    Local Option for Setting the Opening Day of School
    Support legislation that gives local school boards the authority to set their school calendar and determine the opening day of school.

    Centralized Statewide CPS Hotline
    Oppose legislation to create a mandated, statewide hotline to receive all calls in Virginia reporting suspected child abuse and neglect.

  • ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

    Net Metering for Localities
    Support legislation that would allow localities to get credit, or be paid for, excess renewable energy generated at a location owned, leased or operated by a locality.

    Stormwater Management
    Request the introduction of and support legislation to expand the Virginia BMP Clearinghouse list of accepted stormwater quality Best Management Practices (BMPs) to include practices recognized by the Chesapeake Bay Program.

    Plastic Bags 
    Support legislation to allow Virginia cities and counties to levy a fee on single use plastic shopping bags at large retail stores. 

    “Bottle Bill” 
    Support legislation to implement a beverage container deposit law in Virginia.

  • HEALTHY RESIDENTS
    Community Service Board (CSB) Budget Cuts
    Support the restoration of funding to CSBs for FY 19, the re-examination of the assumption that enrolling residents in Medicaid will provide sufficient funding to make up for cuts in FY 20 and beyond, and efforts to restore all future cuts to the CSBs that cannot be made up for through enrollment.

    Access to Dignity Items (Human Rights Commission, Alexandria Commission on Aging)
    Proposal: Support legislation to remove sales tax on dignity items, including incontinence supplies and feminine hygiene products.

    Opioid Crisis
    Support legislation and budget requests to address the Commonwealth’s growing epidemic of heroin and opioid addiction through community-based treatment and prevention programs and efforts to reduce the demand for and limit the supply of opioids in our communities.

    Expanded Prescriptive Authority for Expedited Partner Therapy 
    Support legislation to expand current Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) prescriptive authority to practitioners who are employees of the Department of Health, a locally administered health department or of a program managed by a local health district. 

    Inclusion of Adult Dental Benefit in Medicaid 
    Support legislation to include an adult dental benefit in Medicaid.

    Cigarette Tax Increase for Low-Income Healthcare 
    Support an increase in the cigarette tax (50 cents/pack in 2019, 75 cents/pack in 2020, $1.00/pack in 2021) across the Commonwealth to generate revenue towards expanding primary care for low-income Virginians who do not benefit from Medicaid expansion.

  • MULTIMODAL TRANSPORTATION

    Northern Virginia Transit/Transportation Funding
    Support efforts to protect existing multimodal transportation funding and identify revenue options that will restore funding to Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA).

    Pedestrian Safety
    Support legislation to require drivers to stop, not just yield, to pedestrians in crosswalks.

    Bicycle Safety
    Support legislation to allow localities to grant bicycles the same right to cross a street with a walk signal as pedestrians, when pedestrians have a leading pedestrian interval phase.

    Distracted Driving
    Support legislation that would expand prohibitions on the use of handheld devices by drivers to include any use of a handheld device that substantially diverts a driver’s attention away from operating their vehicle.

    Cut-Through Traffic in Neighborhoods
    Support legislation to strengthen localities’ efforts to prohibit the routing of through traffic on certain local roads.

    Automated Speed Enforcement
    Support legislation to allow localities to establish a speed enforcement program utilizing cameras to create a disincentive to speed in areas where pedestrian safety is of significant concern.

    E-Bikes and Scooters
    Monitor legislation related to e-bikes, scooters and other dockless shared mobility devices.

  • OTHER LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS FROM BOARDS & COMMISSIONS 

    Proposals from the Commission on Aging
    Support the legislative priorities of the Northern Virginia Aging Network.

    Proposals from the Commission on Persons with Disabilities
    Support the legislative priorities of the Commission on Persons with Disabilities.


    City Council Positions on 2019 General Assembly Legislation 

    Positions approved by City Council on January 8, 2019

    Positions approved by City Council on January 22, 2019  

    Positions approved by City Council on February 12, 2019


    Legislative Subcommittee Agendas (Current Year) 

    Friday, January 4, 2019

    Friday, January 11, 2019

    Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    Friday, January 25, 2019

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