Legislative Package

City of Alexandria Legislative Package for the Virginia General Assembly.

Page updated on Feb 27, 2019 at 12:16 PM

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

City Council’s Legislative Subcommittee met with the City’s General Assembly delegation on October 3, 2018 to discuss the City’s preliminary 2019 Legislative Package.  From this meeting, the Legislative Subcommittee proposed forty-seven issues for Council's consideration to be lobbied in Richmond during the 2019 General Assembly. 

A work session with the City’s Legislative Delegation will be held on November 27 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Work Room in advance of final adoption of the Legislative package.

The current Legislative Package is presented in two parts. The first part recognizes key initiatives for the City that would greatly benefit from the support and collaboration of State legislation. The second part aligns with the City's mission, vision, and values on legislative issues of interest and concern to our community. 

The 2019 General Assembly Session will be a “short” 46-day Session, beginning January 9, 2019 and ending February 23, 2019.  

The Council Legislative Subcommittee will meet weekly beginning on January 4, 2019 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 2019 Legislative Package on November 27, 2018.


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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