Legislative Update: A letter (and video!) to SCAN from Senator Barbara Favola
This week we welcome Senator Barbara Favola to the blog! A longtime supporter of our issues and a SCAN Honorary Board Member, we’re thrilled that she’s giving us an important update following the end of Virginia’s legislation session last month.
The 2013 General Assembly legislative session ended last week and it was a whirlwind. Senate Democrats held together and got a commitment from Governor McDonnell to participate in the Medicaid Expansion Program after certain reforms are in place.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Py8G_hZO6E&feature=youtu.be]Expanding Medicaid would enable up to 400,000 working Virginians gain access to health care coverage and this expansion would also create some 30,000 jobs.
The Governor’s commitment in this area helped me and 16 other Democrats vote for a comprehensive Transportation Funding Plan that wasn’t perfect but it was good.
Two of my foster care bills are on their way to the Governor’s desk. One of these bills enables foster youth between the ages of 18 and 21 who are released from the Department of Juvenile Justice to access Independent Living Services. The other is a joint resolution that directs the Department of Social Services to conduct a study on foster care and adoption assistance payments for individuals up to 21 years of age. Federal dollars are available to fund extended subsidies but Virginia is not accessing these dollars.
Thank you for the advocacy that many of you demonstrated in support of my legislative efforts to protect children and families. I look forward to providing you with periodic updates on Virginia’s participation in the Medicaid Expansion program.
Senate of Virginia
About Senator Favola:
Senator Barbara A. Favola represents Virginia’s 31st district, which includes parts of Arlington and Fairfax counties, and a portion of Loudoun County.
She served on the Arlington County Board for fourteen years (1997-2011) and chaired that body three times. During her service with the County, Senator Favola was the Board’s leading advocate for children, youth and families, and her contributions to the community include establishing mental health services in the public schools.
Throughout her public life she has been a vigorous supporter of universal human rights.
In the Virginia Senate, Barbara is focusing her legislative efforts on public safety, women’s reproductive rights, health care expansion, K-12 education funding, social services, foster children and domestic violence issues. She is also dedicated to environmental stewardship and maintaining the ban on uranium mining. Senator Favola serves on Virginia’s Senate Local Government Committee, Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee, and Transportation Committee. She is now the Chair of the Women’s Reproductive Health Caucus.
In 2012, Senator Favola was given a 100% rating from the Virginia League of Conservation Voters and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia for her efforts during the legislative session to support the environment and women’s rights, respectively. She also received the Virginia Peters Nonprofit Friend of the Year Award from the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND). Senator Favola was appointed to the Executive Board of the Women’s Legislative Network of NCSL (National Conference of State Legislators) as the Democratic Representative for the Southern Region.
Senator Favola and her husband Douglas Weik have been residents of Arlington and the 31st district since 1982. Their son, Donald P. Weik, is a senior at George Mason University.