Compare the Candidates – Biographical Profiles and Positions on the Issues

November 5, 2013 Virginia General Election

Candidates for House Of Delegates 39th District, Virginia

Joe G. Bury - R
www.joebury.comwww.joebury.com
7347 Bloominton CourtSpringfield VA 22150
Vivian E. Watts - D
www.vivianwatts.comwww.vivianwatts.com
8717 Mary Lee LaneAnnandale, VA 22003
(703) 978-2989
75
Biographical
General (political statement of goals, objectives, views, philosophies)
Joe G. Bury

Joe Bury for Delegate is a campaign for Change; yet the word "change", is not a new word in Joe's vocabulary. Joe has been a Community Activist since 1997, having served on numerous Boards and Commissions in the Northern Virginia area, including his Homeowners? Association.

Vivian E. Watts

As a resident of the 39th District for over 30 years, I've worked with many dedicated citizens to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods, in Fairfax County, and in Virginia. Each year, I take on the challenge of bringing these issues and your concerns to the General Assembly. I am proud to have raised my family and lived in the 39th District for over 30 years. I've worked hard in my local PTA and neighborhood, in community service clubs and civic organizations, and on many citizen studies and task forces to make Fairfax County a great place to live. As your Delegate, and as a former Secretary for Transportation and Public Safety I have worked hard to improve the quality of life in Fairfax County and in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Personal (gender, age, marital status, spouse's name and age, children's name and ages, home town, current residence)
Joe G. Bury

Joe was born to first-generation Slovak and Polish-American parents and raised in the rural community of Roscoe; a former steel-and-coal town located approximately 40-miles southwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Joe met his wife, Carla Menares Bury, in Alexandria in January of 1994. The couple was married in April 1996. Joe often quips, as he reminds his son Joseph and daughter Gabriela, that the most important decision he ever made was marrying his wife. After getting that right, everything else, followed.

Vivian E. Watts

Born 1940; married since 1960; children born in 1962 and 1965; 4 grandsons; Virginia resident since 1963.

Education (times and places of schools, colleges, major, degrees, activities, sports)
Joe G. Bury

Bury has a bachelor's degree in English from University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. in Management Systems & Cybernetics from George Washington University.

Vivian E. Watts

B.A. cum laude, University of Michigan, 1962; English major with minors in Mathematics and Psychology

National Merit Scholar and Valedictorian, Trenton ( Michigan) High School

Profession (professional and work experience outside politics)
Joe G. Bury

Bury works as the owner, principal, and as a consultant at Joseph Bury Marketing.

Vivian E. Watts

RESEARCHER FOR ARTHUR YOUNG AND COMPANY (1984-85)

Researched issues with potential impact on state/local government financial management, i.e. Garcia, insurance liability, customs clearance, court records computerization, client tracking, etc.

CONGRESSIONAL LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT (1979-80)

Responsibility for Procurement Conference, payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, electric power generation.

STATE LEGISLATIVE AIDE (1979-81)

Tracked state budget and pension reform and developed over 25 statistically accurate redistricting plans.

Military (branch, years of service, active duty experience, highest rank, medals, honors, type and date of discharge)
Joe G. Bury

Shortly after securing a Department of Defense "Secret" Security Clearance in the fall of 2007, Joe began working for a major Government Contractor on a Joint Forces Systems Engineering Project; moving over to a U.S. Army National Guard and Reserves Program where he has worked since last fall.

Vivian E. Watts

No response

Civic (past and present organizations, charities involvement)
Joe G. Bury

Joe served on the City of Alexandria's Commission on Persons with Disabilities and Community Services Board during the mid and late '90s. After moving to Springfield with his wife, two weeks after "9-11", Joe became active in the Fairfax County Republican Committee (FCRC) and began serving as Garfield Precinct Captain in Lee District, a position he still holds. Joe also became involved in his Homeowners' Association (HOA) and later served as Board President. Over the past six years Joe has been appointed by both Republicans and Democrats alike, to numerous committees and boards associated with the Fairfax County Public Schools System:

Adult & Community Education Committee;

Career & Technical Education Advisory Committee;

Superintendent's Business & Community Advisory Council; and

The Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee.

Vivian E. Watts

FAIRFAX COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (1977-79)

As Director or Research and Legislation provided research and strategy support for taxation, economic development, and transportation.

CHAIRMAN, FAIRFAX COUNTY FISCAL COMMISSION (1978-79)

Directed comprehensive review of tax structure, intergovernmental revenues, budget and appraisal procedures, including compilation and editing of 125-page report.

CHAIRMAN, EFFICIENT USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES (1978)

Developed evaluation framework for school closings and produced 40-page report.

FAIRFAX AREA LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS

President (1975-77) of 600 member organization.

As Fiscal Chair authored "Alternatives to the Real Estate Tax" and " Fairfax County's Tax Base".

Arts Council of Fairfax County, Advisory Panel (2001- )

Advisory Council, Salvation Army Northern Virginia Adult Rehabilitation Center (1993- )

Advisory Committee to the Court Appointed Special Advocates (1994-98) and Children's Justice Act Programs

Board, Annandale Rotary (1994-96)

Board of Trustees, Virginia Museum of Natural History (1992-96)

Chair, Virginia Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee (1992-94)

Board of Directors, Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia (1991-97)

Citizen Advisory Committee, Northern Virginia Transportation Coordinating Council (1990-94)

Public Member, National Council of Engineering Specialty Boards (1991-94)

Task Force on Growth and Transportation, Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments (1990-93)

Member, Washington Board of Trade Transportation Committee (1990-93)

Virginia Vice-Chairman, DO IT Coalition (1990-92)

National Academy of Public Administration Advisory Panel on Department of Transportation National Transportation Policy (1990-91)

Executive Boards, Fairfax-Falls Church and National Capitol United Way (1978-92)

National Board, Women Executives in State Government (1986-87)

Board and Founding member (1977) of Fairfax County Committee of 100

Board, Girl Scout Council of the Nati [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Religion (current and past religious affiliations, beliefs)
Joe G. Bury

The Burys belong to St. Raymond of Penafort Roman Catholic Church in Springfield, where Joe has been a Lector/Reader for the past several years.

Vivian E. Watts

Unitarian

Political (dates and titles of previously held political offices)
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

MEMBER VIRGINIA HOUSE OF DELEGATES (1996 -

Committee Assignments: Courts of Justice; Finance; and Science & Technology. Prior Assignments: Health, Welfare & Institutions 1996-04; Chesapeake and Its Tributaries 1996-02; Labor 1996-00

Current Legislative Appointments include: Board of Veteran Services, Governor's Biotechnology Advisory Board, Subcommittee Studying Virginia's Land Conservation Tax Credit. Prior Appointments include: Criminal Justice Services Board; Chair, Victim Witness Advisory Committee; Commission on Northern Virginia Regional Transportation Authority; Commission on Mandated Health Insurance Benefits; Child Support Review Panel.

FAIRFAX CASA (COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATES) (1993-2000)

Executive Director of non-profit serving over 650 children in abuse and neglect cases annually.

U.S. ADVISORY COMMISSION ON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (1990-94)

Author of two books on Criminal Justice through U.S. Department of Justice grant.

CONSULTANT, TRANSPORTATION AND FINANCE (1990-93)

Clients included National Institute of Corrections, National League of Cities, Arthur Anderson Consulting, Ernst & Young, and National Association of Public Administration.

VIRGINIA SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC SAFETY (1986-90)

State Agencies under Secretariat:

Transportation, Corrections, State Police, Motor Vehicles, Alcoholic Beverage Control, Correctional Education, Military Affairs, Emergency Services, Criminal Justice Services, Parole Board, Aviation, Fire Programs, Alcohol Safety Action Program, Commonwealth's Attorneys Services, (Virginia Port Authority prior to 7/88).

Exercised budgetary and legislative oversight for

29,395 employees, $2.77 billion in annual operating funds, and $100 million annually in building construction, and addition to highway and transit construction.

Major Secretarial initiatives

Gained legislative approval of 1/2 billion dollar annual state transportation revenue increase;

Initiated and c [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Accomplishments (significant accomplishments, awards, achievements)
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

NUMEROUS HONORS, including

Northern Virginia Technology Council "Champion of Technology" (1999)

Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court "Kassabian Award" (2004)

Sheriff Association's "Outstanding Legislator" (2003)

Human Services Coalition "Outstanding Elected Official" (2002)

Northern Virginia Technology Council "Champion of Technology (1999)

Virginia Network for Victims and Witnesses of Crime Outstanding Service Award (1999, 1997)

First "Honorary Member of the Fairfax County Police Child Services Unit" (1999)

Lossie J. Tucker Meritorious Service Award (1994)

Tysons Rotary Citizen of the Year (1987)

Annandale Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year (1986)

Founding member of Fairfax County Committee of 100

Washington Post "Citizen of the Year" (1977)

Reasons & Objectives
Achievements If Elected
Joe G. Bury

1. Economic recovery

Strengthening our economy and creating new jobs will be my priorities in Richmond. I will support measures that will stimulate small and medium sized business to grow including tax incentives and measures aimed at stimulating economic diversity. It's not just more jobs, but higher paying jobs that we need for Northern Virginia to flourish.

2. Control Spending

In Richmond I will resist any new unnecessary spending or attempts to raise our taxes to fix our budget shortfall. It's not taxes we need but rather a thorough clean-up of government, a diligent inspection to plug the holes of government waste. The money we spend must go to those areas that need it most, especially our education system and our crumbling infrastructure.

3. Transportation

The number one obstacle to development in Northern Virginia is our nightmarish traffic situation. We need a two-pronged approach to tackle this problem. First we must encourage measures to take cars off the road, through the use of telecommuting and improved use of intelligent transportation systems. I support tax credits and other incentives for entrepreneurs, individuals and companies who will design and develop improved transportation or traffic mitigation systems. Second we must direct a greater share of the budget to modernizing our transportation infrastructure in Northern Virginia. For years we've paid more than our share in taxes. It's time we received our fair share in infrastructure modernization.

4. Signature Project

I will initiate a signature project that will promote the growth and transplantation of the nation's "Energy Industry" to Virginia. That effort will also include growing and/or transplanting all facets of the "Alternative Fuels Industry" to Virginia as well. By acting early in the next legislative session, Virginia could easily become home to our nation's next triangle by 2015: The Northern Virginia/Richmond/Norfolk "Energy Triangle."

Source: www.joebury.com/issues/default.aspx (10/21/2009)

Vivian E. Watts

No response

Areas to Concentrate On
Joe G. Bury

1. Economic recovery

2. Control Spending

3. Transportation

4. Signature Project

I will initiate a signature project that will promote the growth and transplantation of the nation's "Energy Industry" to Virginia. That effort will also include growing and/or transplanting all facets of the "Alternative Fuels Industry" to Virginia as well. By acting early in the next legislative session, Virginia could easily become home to our nation's next triangle by 2015: The Northern Virginia/Richmond/Norfolk "Energy Triangle."

Source: www.joebury.com/issues/default.aspx (10/21/2009)

Vivian E. Watts

BUDGET and TAXES

Despite our actions last year to restore budget integrity, Virginia's position as the 44th lowest tax state did not change.

COMMUNITY CONCERNS

The 39th District is a wonderfully diverse and active community, and our quality of life must be protected.

CRIME

As a member of the House Courts Committee, I have been part of crafting "the toughest anti-gang laws in the nation."

EDUCATION

We need smaller class sizes, especially through the 3rd grade.

ENVIRONMENT

I love the outdoors -- backpacking, wilderness camping, rafting. Virginia has many treasures that must be preserved and resources that can assure a productive future economy.

HIGHER EDUCATION

College must be available to all with ability, not just ability to pay. The quality of Virginia's institutions must be protected not taken for granted.

HUMAN SERVICES

I've seen the frustration in those who feel helpless to protect their loved ones, the courage of those facing health challenges, and the compassion of people reaching out to help those who no longer can care for themselves.

SENIORS

Many residents of the 39th District are well-beyond 39!

TRANSPORTATION

For the last 20 years I've been working to effectively address transportation problems. I'm certainly not finished.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views.htm (10/21/2009)

Schools & Education
Education, a General Statement
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

When my children were in Fairfax schools, I was a local PTA president. I also served as the Chair of a countywide School Bond Campaign. I remain just as dedicated to quality education for all children. Together, we can equip our children to take their place in building the American dream.

I've always believed that smaller class sizes are important. However, after seeing the difference that smaller classes are making in targeted Project Excel schools within the 39th District, I now believe smaller class sizes are critical. Academic performance definitely improves. Perhaps equally important, smaller classes make it possible to actively involve all the kids. By the time they reach adolescence these kids will have a well-established sense of belonging and acceptance, under-cutting much of the initial appeal of gangs.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-education.htm (10/21/2009)

School Budget
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

In 2004, I successfully negotiated a permanent increase in state school funds that will come to Fairfax as part of the hard fought budget compromise. This increase equals almost a penny on the real estate tax rate, or $14 million in FY2005. Most importantly, it is the first time the formula has been changed in over 30 years to give Fairfax more money based purely on the number of school children we have...not on how wealthy we are. I explained the victory this way in my newsletter:

The gross unfairness of more and more state school funds being adjusted for the locality's wealth is well-illustrated right here in Northern Virginia. Fairfax County has 3 times as many students as our neighbor, Prince William. We both gained about 5,000 new students between 2003 and 2005. And, yet, Prince William got $45 million MORE in state funds while Fairfax got $29 million LESS under the equalization formula.

Fairfax is being penalized because of our higher average personal income. 50% of the 2003-2004 state subsidy calculation was based on our income per person in 1999 -- the heyday of dot.com salaries and capital gains. Even if that segment of the economy was still booming, we can't tax income; we only can tax real estate. Many of you know first hand that the assessed value of the house you've lived in for 25+ years does not reflect your current income and ability to pay.

Real estate values are 40% of the state subsidy calculation but, since the local sales tax base only accounts for the remaining 10%, tourist areas -- like Virginia Beach -- get large school subsides from the state, despite all the local revenue they get from hotel, restaurant, a 50-cent per pack cigarette tax and general sales taxes. I've repeatedly introduced bills to change the formula to reflect a locality's actual ability raise local funds. They've failed, in part because all localities want more state funds.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-education.htm (10/21/2009)

Academic Standards
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

While students, teachers, and schools must be held accountable, being able to use rapidly-changing technology throughout life will depend upon a student's ability to engage in structured thinking and analysis. Higher standards must not stop with rote memory.

Regarding the proper role of testing, Virginia SOL tests should target remedial help and not be the sole measure used to deny school accreditation or to fail a student. I fully support the bi-partisan appeal of my General Assembly colleagues throughout the state to restructure the Federal No Child Left Behind program. To quote Delegate Dillard, Chairman of the House Education Committee, 'We've all heard of the tail that wags the dog...[this] is the dog's tail on steroids...? Specifically, the federal program should honor state tests that are more demanding; special education students should be tested based on their Individual Education Program; non-English speaking students should be enrolled for two years before their scores are included in measuring a school's performance, and tutoring should be the first option offered to students in failing schools. Modifications also are needed to reduce excessive paperwork.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-education.htm (10/21/2009)

Teacher Salaries
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Each teacher deserves an opportunity to teach, not just manage. I will continue to work hard to ensure a top-quality, sound academic and vocational education by attracting and keeping quality teachers and raising teacher salaries, which are currently $3,000 less than the national average.

(2000 NEWSLETTER) ...Annual teacher salaries were only increased 1.7% and even that modest increment was hard to fund because for the first time since 1981, the Governor's budget did not include any teacher salary increase.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-education.htm (10/21/2009)

Two-Year College Transfer Grant Program
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

COMMUNITY COLLEGES

(2005 NEWSLETTER) ...Springfield Medical Education Campus -- There is a great demand for trained medical support, from lab technicians to direct patient care. It made no sense to have a waiting list of persons seeking a health care career, with empty classrooms in a brand new building that could be used to train them. We added $2.3 million to the budget to bring the faculty on-board in order to fully utilize this facility.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-education.htm (10/21/2009)

Higher Education
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Many coming to the Washington, D.C. area chose to live in Virginia because of its excellent higher education system. Over the years, it defined Virginia as not just a sleepy southern state. Those hold a degree from one of our institutions know its value would drop if the reputation of the institution dropped.

The quality of our universities is also one of the key elements to economic development throughout the Commonwealth. I served on the Governor's Biotechnology Advisory Commission from 2002-2005. Biotechnology is but one area of research -- but a major one -- where Virginia is well-situated to play a leadership role in the future, whether in medicine, agriculture, communications, marine science, or basic research. With enlightened stewardship, Virginia can continue to lead.

LACK OF FUNDING

(RESPONSES TO CONSTITUENT LETTERS - MARCH 20, 2001) ...I do not accept that Virginia being the 10th most expensive state in which to attend college is adequate.

(CAMPAIGN - 1999) ...resources alone do not guarantee an education relevant to the demands of the next century. Being able to use rapidly-changing technology throughout life will depend upon a student's ability to engage in structured thinking and analysis.

TUITION

A portion of any tuition increase should always go into increasing the financial assistance available to students. I believe that this requirement should be part of the agreement described in the next paragraph.

RESTRUCTURING HIGHER EDUCATION

(2005 NEWSLETTER) ...Complex legislation created 3 levels of self-direction for Virginia's public universities and colleges, including community colleges. Institutions must submit a 6-year plan that balances tuition, student aid, and access and that meets statewide goals and accountability standards. If its plan is approved, the institution can gain greater control over faculty positions, research, intellectual property, and contracts.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-education.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Standards for Teachers
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

While students, teachers, and schools must be held accountable, being able to use rapidly-changing technology throughout life will depend upon a student's ability to engage in structured thinking and analysis. Higher standards must not stop with rote memory.

Regarding the proper role of testing, Virginia SOL tests should target remedial help and not be the sole measure used to deny school accreditation or to fail a student. I fully support the bi-partisan appeal of my General Assembly colleagues throughout the state to restructure the Federal No Child Left Behind program. To quote Delegate Dillard, Chairman of the House Education Committee, 'We've all heard of the tail that wags the dog...[this] is the dog's tail on steroids...? Specifically, the federal program should honor state tests that are more demanding; special education students should be tested based on their Individual Education Program; non-English speaking students should be enrolled for two years before their scores are included in measuring a school's performance, and tutoring should be the first option offered to students in failing schools. Modifications also are needed to reduce excessive paperwork.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-education.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Student Loans, and Scholarships
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

A portion of any tuition increase should always go into increasing the financial assistance available to students. I believe that this requirement should be part of the agreement described in the next paragraph.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-education.htm (10/21/2009)

Transportation
Traffic & Transportation, a General Statement
Joe G. Bury

The number one obstacle to development in Northern Virginia is our nightmarish traffic situation. New businesses will not come here and existing business will not expand unless they are afforded an infrastructure worthy of the 21st century. We need a two-pronged approach to tackle this problem. First we must encourage measures to take cars off the road, through the use of telecommuting and improved use of intelligent transportation systems. I support tax credits and other incentives for entrepreneurs, individuals and companies who will design and develop improved transportation or traffic mitigation systems. Second we must direct a greater share of the budget to modernizing our transportation infrastructure in Northern Virginia. For years we've paid more than our share in taxes. It's time we received our fair share in infrastructure modernization. The result will be a better quality of life for Northern Virginia families, greater productivity in the workplace, cleaner air, and less fossil fuel consumption.

Source: www.joebury.com/issues/default.aspx (10/21/2009)

Vivian E. Watts

As a delegate in 1985, my work was key to changing the highway funding formula to more than double Fairfax's share of state funds. As Secretary, among other achievements, I increased Metro funding 4-fold, forged 80% private funding to improve 16 miles of Rt 28, negotiated VRE use of railroad right of way, crafted the private toll road legislation for the Greenway, and chaired development of the first Northern Virginia unified land use and transportation plan. These landmark initiatives continue to be models for most of the current "new" ideas to solve transportation problems.

In 2005 , I supported the use of the budget surplus funds to fund transportation; however, most of this money had to go to pay off the debt from the last administration. Even worse, because we've run out of maintenance funds, Northern Virginia transit and construction funds are now diverted to fix potholes throughout the state.

If transportation had continued to be funded at the level established when I was Secretary under Governor Baliles, Virginia would have spent over $3.5 billion more in the last decade on transit and road improvements, making congestion substantially less than it is today.

Both as a legislative leader in changing the transportation formula and as Secretary, I increased Metro funding 4-fold. I will continue to work for more transit funding and am very concerned that, because budget language is overriding the Code, transit funds are being taken away from urban areas to be used for statewide road maintenance. I was shocked in 2005 that the Family Foundation labeled additional money for Metro as anti-family and caused the Senate bill to be killed by a party-line vote in House Finance Committee. I believe users of Virginia roads should pay a larger share of the cost of the transportation system, rather than currently less than half of what they did in 1990.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/ (10/21/2009)

Transportation Funding
Joe G. Bury

I support tax credits and other incentives for entrepreneurs, individuals and companies who will design and develop improved transportation or traffic mitigation systems. Second we must direct a greater share of the budget to modernizing our transportation infrastructure in Northern Virginia. For years we've paid more than our share in taxes. It's time we received our fair share in infrastructure modernization. The result will be a better quality of life for Northern Virginia families, greater productivity in the workplace, cleaner air, and less fossil fuel consumption.

Source: www.joebury.com/issues/default.aspx (10/21/2009)

Vivian E. Watts

INCREASED SHARE

The formula I helped get passed in 1985, automatically increases funding for local secondary roads with annual population growth. The formula I got passed as Secretary dedicates 15% of all construction funds to transit. I continue to push to change the formula for regional primary roads.

I passed a bill in 2002 (HB771) to ensure that Northern Virginia's needs are fairly considered on an even playing field. It requires that transportation priorities be established using the same criteria statewide and that transit and road needs be considered side by side.

PROTECTING SCARCE TRANSPORTATION DOLLARS

I am not only fighting for increased funding, I believe it is crucial to prevent transportation dollars from being siphoned-off to fund other needs. I co-patroned HJ527 in 2005 to protect all transportation funds through a constitutional amendment and introduced. I also patroned budget amendments in 2004 and 2005 to stop Northern Virginia construction and transit funds from being used to fund maintenance statewide.

REFORMING VIRGINIA'S DEPARTMENT OF TRANPORTATION

As Secretary, I cut construction time by 20% and increased employee efficiency by over 30%. After a decade of increasingly poor performance, it is crucial that reform efforts begun by Governor Warner in 2002 are continued. We must have accurate reporting of on time and on budget performance. Political promises can not be allowed to override honest budgeting. In 2002, fully 1/3 of the projects that had been promised in the next 6 years by the previous Governor had to be cut because funds never had existed to fund them.

In 2003, I was pleased to be the chief co-sponsor of legislation (HB2259) to put changes into law to plug prior abuses and allow us to hold VDOT accountable for on-time and on-budget performance.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-transportation.htm (10/21/2009)

Dulles Rail
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

I believe in finding win/win opportunities to make business full partners in funding their needs. 80% of the cost of widening 16 miles of Rt 28 from 2 lanes was paid for by a tax on business property that I negotiated. This is the finance model that will extend rail to Dulles.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-transportation.htm (10/21/2009)

Telecommuters
Joe G. Bury

First we must encourage measures to take cars off the road, through the use of telecommuting and improved use of intelligent transportation systems.

Source: www.joebury.com/issues/default.aspx (10/21/2009)

Vivian E. Watts

No response

Tolls on Virginia Interstate Highways
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

As Secretary, among other achievements, I crafted the private toll road legislation for the Greenway.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-transportation.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Roads and Highways
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

As Secretary, among other achievements, I forged 80% private funding to improve 16 miles of Rt 28.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-transportation.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Drunk Driving
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

I am proud of my long involvement combating drunk driving. One of the most significant bills I got passed was HB924 (2001) aimed at hardcore drunk drivers. Virginia finally joined 45 other states that allow prosecutors to tell the judge/jury if a defendant unreasonably refused to take a breath test. "Experienced" drunk drivers previously took a chance that they might escape conviction on a technicality if there was no breath test evidence.

In 2004, we spent many hours on the Criminal Laws Subcommittee significantly strengthened drunk driving laws in reaction to the steady increase in alcohol-related traffic deaths nationally and in Virginia since 1999 after almost two decades of decline. There were more drunk driving fatalities than murders in 2002. Most of the tough new laws are directed at hard core drunk drivers, who make up more than 1/3 of arrests. 3rd time offenders will serve a mandatory 6 months in jail, permanently lose their driver's license, may lose their vehicle, and not get pre-trial bail. 2nd time offenders will automatically lose their license until trial and get 10 days in jail if convicted. Offenders with BAC's over .15 (almost twice the legal limit) will get extra jail time and ignition interlocks to prevent them from driving on a restricted or suspended license if they've been drinking. Offenders with BAC's over .20 (rather than .25 the current highest limit, at which most of us would be passed out) will have even greater restrictions. Anyone driving with a suspended license will face criminal charges, as will repeat offenders who unreasonably refuse to take a blood test. (Penalties described may vary depending on the time between offenses.)

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-crime.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Rail Transportation
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

As Secretary, among other achievements, I increased Metro funding 4-fold and negotiated VRE use of railroad right of way. I fully support the 2020 update of that plan, which includes a transit corridor between Springfield and Tysons Corner and rail out I-66.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-transportation.htm (10/21/2009)

Environment
Virginia's Environment, a General Statement
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

I still enjoy back country camping with my grandsons. I love the beauty and thrills of Virginia's whitewater. I smile when trillium re-appear behind our house each spring. Especially in times of great change, many of us reach to nature to regain our sense of stability.

But even as Virginia's lush vegetation, stream valleys, and open waters can be a source of peace, they cannot endure like the ancient Appalachians without our help.

We need to make critical land purchases now to buffer the Chesapeake Bay from run-off. The phenomenal increase in transit use revealed capacity restraints and the need to expand the system. Laws to control land use, protect ground water, prevent air and water pollution can't be effective without sound environmental impact research and the will to enforce them.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-environment.htm (10/21/2009)

Land Conservation Tax Credits
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

I was very pleased to have been appointed to the Joint Committee to Study the Land Preservation Tax Credit. I believe that it is essential and will do everything that I can to assure that stopping abuses by developers that have been cited does not undercut it. I am especially concerned that we preserve the ability to sell the credit because of the important incentive this represents to some of the lower income people I represent who back onto streams which are part of the Chesapeake water shed. The Tax Credit can play an important role in helping Virginia meet its commitments under the Chesapeake Bay Interstate Preservation Agreement.

I support transferable development rights, but want to be sure that the sale of the development right is in perpetuity and cannot be reversed by a Master Plan change. Based on my work on the Land Preservation Tax Credit Study, I look forward to taking an active role in assuring that Virginia's Historic Preservation Tax Credits also are fully implemented.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-environment.htm (10/21/2009)

Green Office Space
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

I was very pleased to have been appointed to the Joint Committee to Study the Land Preservation Tax Credit. I believe that it is essential and will do everything that I can to assure that stopping abuses by developers that have been cited does not undercut it. I am especially concerned that we preserve the ability to sell the credit because of the important incentive this represents to some of the lower income people I represent who back onto streams which are part of the Chesapeake water shed. The Tax Credit can play an important role in helping Virginia meet its commitments under the Chesapeake Bay Interstate Preservation Agreement.

I support transferable development rights, but want to be sure that the sale of the development right is in perpetuity and cannot be reversed by a Master Plan change. Based on my work on the Land Preservation Tax Credit Study, I look forward to taking an active role in assuring that Virginia's Historic Preservation Tax Credits also are fully implemented.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-environment.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia State Parks
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Virginia is dead last in funding for parks and natural areas, which limits their use and proper care. In 2005, I supported adding $2.6 million and 30 positions for maintenance and operations.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-environment.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Clean Air and Water
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Using part of the current budget surplus as required by law, we will deposit over $153 million into the Water Quality Improvement Fund to upgrade wastewater treatment plants. This is more than all previous years' deposits combined. 7,000 miles of Virginia rivers and streams, including our portion of the Chesapeake Bay, are on the national "dirty water" list. A study will recommend a source of ongoing funding to the 2006 General Assembly, since after 2010 the federal government could takeover clean up of the Chesapeake Bay.

In 2000, I supported crucial protection of Virginia's rivers, marshes, and, of course, the Chesapeake Bay through passage of Non-Tidal Wetlands Protection legislation. Its significance for controlling land use was underscored by how hard it was fought. At one point, a "compromise" proposal would have permitted development of 90% of the Great Dismal Swamp!

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-environment.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Recycling and Trash
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Throughout the last decade, a number of our poor counties accepted large private trash "dumps" to increase local tax revenue and create jobs. Between 1993 and 1998, the annual increase would fill a line of trash trucks stretching bumper-to-bumper from the Atlantic to the Pacific. By 1999, Virginia had become second in the nation in the amount of out-of-state trash coming into the state, causing concerns about ground water contamination and transport spills. Unfortunately, not only has Congress failed to grant state's the power to limit trash under interstate commerce, but in 2005 the General Assembly agreed to allow waste dumps significantly closer to water supplies.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-environment.htm (10/21/2009)

Crime & Public Safety
Virginia Crime, a General Statement
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Virginia has the toughest anti-gang laws in the nation. Effective enforcement is key. Not only do we need increased local, state, and federal manpower, we also need to ensure they work cooperatively to penetrate into gangs and break-up their vicious activity. State and local law enforcement need federal authorities to enforce immigration laws.

The increased savagery and number of violent crimes being committed in and around the 39th District is of great concern. As a member of the Criminal Law subcommittee of House Courts, I began working on anti-gang legislation in 2000. According to the head of the Fairfax County Police anti-gang unit, Virginia now has the toughest laws in the country.

I will continue to work to strengthen our laws wherever needed, such as making it a criminal offense to brandish a machete in the 2006 session. Law enforcement needs your help, too. Please report any suspicious activity or gang graffiti by using the police non-emergency number: 703 - 691 - 2131. Your eyes and ears in the community may give police an important link in their investigative and prevention efforts.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-crime.htm (10/21/2009)

Gangs
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Most proposals to combat gang activity are taken seriously and passed by the General Assembly. In 2005, we created "gang free zones" around schools, which carry increased penalties for gang activity. We created witness protection. And local police and prosecutors are now able to close down houses that harbor gang activity in the same way they can close down houses of prostitution. In 2004, we added 3 new prosecutors to work across county and city lines in Northern Virginia to effectively build cases against gang organizers; made bail harder to get; directed that schools be informed if any student is arrested for gang activity; and made it a crime to recruit or intimidate someone into joining a gang.

Earlier bills I got passed also are relevant to gang activity. In 1996, HB212 increased the penalties for conspiracy and solicitation to commit a crime when minors and handguns are involved. In 1997, my bill to treat the aggravated malicious wounding of a pregnant woman with the intent to kill the fetus the same as murder was rolled in SB495 and passed. This is a particularly heinous form of gang vengeance.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-crime.htm (10/21/2009)

Sex-related Crimes
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

In 1997 (HB1926), I worked with police to come down hard on the "date rape drug," which is widely available largely because drug traffickers push this cheap drug among young users as a way to enhance the effect of cocaine, heroine, and alcohol. Seizures of "roofies", "roach", "row-shay" (to list just some of the street names) nationwide exceed most other illicit drugs. It is small; it is cheap; and an overdose can kill. When I learned that police weren't going after it because the penalties were too low, I got legislation passed to make the penalties for giving, distributing, or possessing Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) the same as cocaine, marijuana, and other Schedule I drugs. In addition, just as rape can be prosecuted under Virginia law if the victim was too drunk to resist, use of a "date rape drug" is punishable by 5 years to life. As an accessory, a person who gives the victim the drug can draw the same sentence.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-crime.htm (10/21/2009)

Identity Theft
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

The entire social security number will no longer appear on driver's licenses, student IDs, or voter cards. DMV must replace all licenses and ID cards by July 2006, but replacement of voter registration cards will not be complete until 2011.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-community.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Victims of Crimes
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Two playmates witnessed the random, brutal stabbing of an 8-year-old Alexandria boy, Kevin Shifflett, in the spring of 2000. My legislative study and changes in the law allow child witnesses to such violence to testify via closed-circuit television. HB 2014 (2001); HB2058 and HB 2059 (1999); and HJ 280 (1998).

Crime victims feel helpless when prosecutors believe the evidence is not strong enough to file charges. An alternative is to sue the suspect for damages, which requires less proof. In 2001 (HB2189), I removed a major hurdle to this means of pursuing some measure of justice by extending the 2-year statute of limitations on civil suits related to a crime.

Also in 2001, my bill (HB1661) prevents insurance companies from discriminating against victims of domestic violence in providing insurance including health, accident, life and property damage.

When I was Secretary of Transportation and Public Safety, Virginia became the first state to process and use DNA evidence. We are a leader in the development of a criminal DNA records bank to assist in solving violent crime. Virginia became the 6th state to use computerized finger-print identification which cleared a huge backlog of unsolved burglaries and other property crimes.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-crime.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Crimes Against Children
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Working with a frustrated Fairfax police investigator whom I'd gotten to know as Director of CASA (program to help abused children), I crafted HB1731 (1999) to allow police to step-in and make an arrest before a child is physically contacted by a sexual predator who is cultivating him/her through the Internet. I was delighted when the Fairfax County Police Child Services Unit made me their first "Honorary Member" for this work.

In 2005 (HB2564), I was able to get passed long-overdue reform to provide consistently greater criminal penalties against parents or grandparents who sexually abuse their child or use the child in the commission of any sexual crime, such as pornography.

In 2003 and 2004, I was shocked that bills to require that if it did not breach the tenets of their church structure clergy must report suspected child abuse -- as doctors and teachers must -- were defeated despite strong support from all but one denomination who spoke. The view that prevailed was that the clergy's first duty was to minister to the adult.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-crime.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Domestic Violence
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Working closely with prosecutors, in the 1999 Session, I was able to re-define the level of injury or force that must be proven in marital rape and largely ended the great discrepancies in prosecution and sentencing throughout the state (HB1732). In 2004, the separate offense of marital rape was done away with completely.

I also carried successful legislation -- HB2017 (1997) and HB583 (1998) -- to ensure that police can respond rapidly to domestic violence calls with accurate information about past incidents and have the power to make arrests upon evidence of probable harm.

In 1999 (HB1874), my bill made it clear that protective orders require stalkers to stay out of visual and voice contact as well as physical contact.

In 1997 (HB1044), my bill prevents persons charged with specified felony sex offenses who have been previously convicted of one of those offenses from being released on bail.

In 2003, I worked with House Majority Leader Griffith (R) to established a civil process to review violent sexual offenders being released from prison. It is estimated that 20-25 per year will be committed to a secure mental institution upon a determination that they are a danger to society.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-crime.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Rape
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

In 1997 (HB1926), I worked with police to come down hard on the "date rape drug," which is widely available largely because drug traffickers push this cheap drug among young users as a way to enhance the effect of cocaine, heroine, and alcohol. Seizures of "roofies", "roach", "row-shay" (to list just some of the street names) nationwide exceed most other illicit drugs. It is small; it is cheap; and an overdose can kill. When I learned that police weren't going after it because the penalties were too low, I got legislation passed to make the penalties for giving, distributing, or possessing Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) the same as cocaine, marijuana, and other Schedule I drugs. In addition, just as rape can be prosecuted under Virginia law if the victim was too drunk to resist, use of a "date rape drug" is punishable by 5 years to life. As an accessory, a person who gives the victim the drug can draw the same sentence.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-crime.htm (10/21/2009)

Economy
Virginia Economy, a General Statement
Joe G. Bury

Strengthening our economy and creating new jobs will be my priorities in Richmond. Businesses will start hiring if we create the right environment for them to grow, diversify and develop. I will support measures that will stimulate small and medium sized business to grow including tax incentives and measures aimed at stimulating economic diversity. It's not just more jobs, but higher paying jobs that we need for Northern Virginia to flourish.

Source: www.joebury.com/issues/default.aspx (10/21/2009)

Vivian E. Watts

No response

Jobs
Virginia Jobs, a General Statement
Joe G. Bury

Strengthening our economy and creating new jobs will be my priorities in Richmond. Businesses will start hiring if we create the right environment for them to grow, diversify and develop. I will support measures that will stimulate small and medium sized business to grow including tax incentives and measures aimed at stimulating economic diversity. It's not just more jobs, but higher paying jobs that we need for Northern Virginia to flourish.

Source: www.joebury.com/issues/default.aspx (10/21/2009)

Vivian E. Watts

No response

Business
Virginia Business, a General Statement
Joe G. Bury

Strengthening our economy and creating new jobs will be my priorities in Richmond. Businesses will start hiring if we create the right environment for them to grow, diversify and develop. I will support measures that will stimulate small and medium sized business to grow including tax incentives and measures aimed at stimulating economic diversity. It's not just more jobs, but higher paying jobs that we need for Northern Virginia to flourish.

Source: www.joebury.com/issues/default.aspx (10/21/2009)

Vivian E. Watts

No response

Virginia Business Tax Incentives
Joe G. Bury

I support tax credits and other incentives for entrepreneurs, individuals and companies who will design and develop improved transportation or traffic mitigation systems.

Source: www.joebury.com/issues/default.aspx (10/21/2009)

Vivian E. Watts

No response

Energy
Virginia Energy, a General Statement
Joe G. Bury

For the past 24 years the 39th district has been lacking visionary and courageous leadership. I make my case for change because I believe that we need leadership that is not rooted in the past, we need leadership that looks forward for solutions that will keep the 39th district and Virginia as a whole competitive for our children's generation. I will initiate a signature project that will promote the growth and transplantation of the nation's "Energy Industry" to Virginia. That effort will also include growing and/or transplanting all facets of the "Alternative Fuels Industry" to Virginia as well. By acting early in the next legislative session, Virginia could easily become home to our nation's next triangle by 2015: The Northern Virginia/Richmond/Norfolk "Energy Triangle."

Source: www.joebury.com/issues/default.aspx (10/21/2009)

Vivian E. Watts

I support a Renewable Portfolio Standard that would require that a certain percentage of the state's electricity come from renewable resources with preference to zero-emission resources. I oppose drilling for natural gas off Virginia's coastline.

Coal-fired power plants -- most built in the 1940's and 50's -- are the greatest source of air pollution in Virginia. Unfortunately, recent federal Clear Skies rules allow these plants to continue to pollute even when they're upgraded. Other east coast states are reacting by passing state regulations and I believe that Virginia should join these initiatives. Technology could remove 95% of pollutants, equivalent to taking 4 million cars off Virginia roads.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-environment.htm (10/21/2009)

Renewable Energy
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

I support a Renewable Portfolio Standard that would require that a certain percentage of the state's electricity come from renewable resources with preference to zero-emission resources. I oppose drilling for natural gas off Virginia's coastline.

Coal-fired power plants -- most built in the 1940's and 50's -- are the greatest source of air pollution in Virginia. Unfortunately, recent federal Clear Skies rules allow these plants to continue to pollute even when they're upgraded. Other east coast states are reacting by passing state regulations and I believe that Virginia should join these initiatives. Technology could remove 95% of pollutants, equivalent to taking 4 million cars off Virginia roads.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-environment.htm (10/21/2009)

Alternate Energy Development
Joe G. Bury

For the past 24 years the 39th district has been lacking visionary and courageous leadership. I make my case for change because I believe that we need leadership that is not rooted in the past, we need leadership that looks forward for solutions that will keep the 39th district and Virginia as a whole competitive for our children's generation. I will initiate a signature project that will promote the growth and transplantation of the nation's "Energy Industry" to Virginia. That effort will also include growing and/or transplanting all facets of the "Alternative Fuels Industry" to Virginia as well. By acting early in the next legislative session, Virginia could easily become home to our nation's next triangle by 2015: The Northern Virginia/Richmond/Norfolk "Energy Triangle."

Source: www.joebury.com/issues/default.aspx (10/21/2009)

Vivian E. Watts

No response

Immigration
Virginia Immigration, a General Statement
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Illegal immigration is a problem that exists because federal immigration authorities are not doing their job. Our borders are porous; illegal aliens brought to ICE (formerly INS) by local authorities are routinely released back to the community unless they have a criminal record; and federal laws against employing illegal aliens are virtually un-enforced. I am determined to prevent criminal activity from becoming entrenched through victimizing non-citizens and posing a greater and greater threat to the community at large.

DMV Proof of Legal Residency -- As a matter of national security, I supported the bill (HB1954 in 2003) that requires that everyone applying for a drivers license, as of January 1, 2004, must have proof that he is a citizen or is legally residing in the United States. Licenses will be issued only for the length of time the person is authorized to stay in the U.S. However, to try to keep un-tested and un-insured drivers off the road, in 2005, I supported a un-successful bill that would have provided for driving certificates that could not be used for identification and opposed a bill that would have denied a license to anyone who could not complete the entire test in English.

Higher Education -- In 2003, I voted for an absolute bar on an illegal alien receiving in-state tuition. However, I also fully supported the Governor's amendment which tied the decision as to whether the parents or student had paid state and local taxes in Virginia for at least 3 years and whether the student had applied for legal residency. The House rejected the Governor's amendment and the bill was vetoed. (HB2339)

Denial of Government Services -- I supported this bill (HB1798 - 2005); however, I did so only after determining that under federal law, it would not apply to life-threatening situations or to services that protect public health such as tuberculosis screening and treatment.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-community.htm (10/21/2009)

Illegal Immigration
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Illegal immigration is a problem that exists because federal immigration authorities are not doing their job. Our borders are porous; illegal aliens brought to ICE (formerly INS) by local authorities are routinely released back to the community unless they have a criminal record; and federal laws against employing illegal aliens are virtually un-enforced. I am determined to prevent criminal activity from becoming entrenched through victimizing non-citizens and posing a greater and greater threat to the community at large.

DMV Proof of Legal Residency -- As a matter of national security, I supported the bill (HB1954 in 2003) that requires that everyone applying for a drivers license, as of January 1, 2004, must have proof that he is a citizen or is legally residing in the United States. Licenses will be issued only for the length of time the person is authorized to stay in the U.S. However, to try to keep un-tested and un-insured drivers off the road, in 2005, I supported a un-successful bill that would have provided for driving certificates that could not be used for identification and opposed a bill that would have denied a license to anyone who could not complete the entire test in English.

Higher Education -- In 2003, I voted for an absolute bar on an illegal alien receiving in-state tuition. However, I also fully supported the Governor's amendment which tied the decision as to whether the parents or student had paid state and local taxes in Virginia for at least 3 years and whether the student had applied for legal residency. The House rejected the Governor's amendment and the bill was vetoed. (HB2339)

Denial of Government Services -- I supported this bill (HB1798 - 2005); however, I did so only after determining that under federal law, it would not apply to life-threatening situations or to services that protect public health such as tuberculosis screening and treatment.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-community.htm (10/21/2009)

Deportation of Illegal Immigrants
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Illegal immigration is a problem that exists because federal immigration authorities are not doing their job. Our borders are porous; illegal aliens brought to ICE (formerly INS) by local authorities are routinely released back to the community unless they have a criminal record; and federal laws against employing illegal aliens are virtually un-enforced. I am determined to prevent criminal activity from becoming entrenched through victimizing non-citizens and posing a greater and greater threat to the community at large.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-community.htm (10/21/2009)

In-state Tuition for Illegal Aliens
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Higher Education -- In 2003, I voted for an absolute bar on an illegal alien receiving in-state tuition. However, I also fully supported the Governor's amendment which tied the decision as to whether the parents or student had paid state and local taxes in Virginia for at least 3 years and whether the student had applied for legal residency. The House rejected the Governor's amendment and the bill was vetoed. (HB2339)

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-community.htm (10/21/2009)

Voting Proof of Identity
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

DMV Proof of Legal Residency -- As a matter of national security, I supported the bill (HB1954 in 2003) that requires that everyone applying for a drivers license, as of January 1, 2004, must have proof that he is a citizen or is legally residing in the United States. Licenses will be issued only for the length of time the person is authorized to stay in the U.S. However, to try to keep un-tested and un-insured drivers off the road, in 2005, I supported a un-successful bill that would have provided for driving certificates that could not be used for identification and opposed a bill that would have denied a license to anyone who could not complete the entire test in English.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-community.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Social Services to Illegal Immigrants
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Denial of Government Services -- I supported this bill (HB1798 - 2005); however, I did so only after determining that under federal law, it would not apply to life-threatening situations or to services that protect public health such as tuberculosis screening and treatment.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-community.htm (10/21/2009)

Health
Virginia Health, a General Statement
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

One of the reasons I enjoy serving at the state level is that we are still close enough to really see what works. There should be no automatic, doctrinaire solutions. One type of service in one area of Virginia is best delivered by the private sector; in another area, non-profits know community needs best; while in some areas government has to step-in to fill service needs. The challenge is to find the right balance and to assure that government oversight of taxpayer funded programs is well-focused accountability and not simply red-tape.

Often when I cast a vote in the legislature, I see the faces of someone I've met in an Alzheimer Center, a kid I went to school with in rural Michigan, a parent who must have help to keep their retarded child at home, or a volunteer whose passion leaves them frustrated with lack of professional support. I believe that the common good has to embrace the "least" among us. We must never lose sight of the individual human being, whose increased level of functioning will make us all stronger.

In 2005, in response to arrests made for purchasing bear gall bladders, I was pleased with the state's immediate response to my call for an education program on all such laws. I will introduce a bill in 2006 that parallels other states in allowing for legal sale of legally killed game.

In 1999, I changed state regulation of acupuncture so that patients can go directly to an acupuncturist without being referred by a physician and the acupuncturist is not barred from dispensing herbal preparations and nutritional supplements (HB2061). Further reform resulted recognition of acupuncture through establishing its own board under the Board of Medicine.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-human-services.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Children's Health Care
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

In 2001, only half of children of working poor were covered by a health insurance program launched 2 years earlier. Virginia was the only state that required mothers to give information about an absent father and, in Fairfax, lack of information about the father was the biggest reason for denial of coverage. My bill (HB1982) made disclosure voluntary. Under the Warner administration, Virginia became a national leader in enrolling uninsured children by simplifying the application process, removing barriers to enrollment, making application sites more widely available, and promoting the program aggressively statewide.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-human-services.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Mental Health Care
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

In 2004, we funded 700 new mental retardation slots for individuals on the urgent waiting list, 300 slots for at home services, and 80 slots for developmentally disabled. Although more is needed, this funding is especially important to aging parents concerned about transitioning an adult child into alternative care. I also supported increased funding for psychotropic drugs.

Since erratic behavior could be related to a serious physical condition, in 2002, I introduced legislation to require a medical screening before a person is admitted to a mental health facility. While having ready access to a doctor in rural areas is a problem, the underlying issue really is who will pay for medical care. It's often easier to get a poor person admitted to a mental health facility than to a medical hospital.

In 2002 Virginia finally joined 39 other states by having an independent ombudsman to investigate complaints of abuse or physical conditions in facilities. It was a 3-year battle against administration objections to this safeguard. Legislation to establish an Ombudsman office was driven by tragedies revealed in a federal investigation of deaths in Virginia facilities. One woman who had spent 558 hours in restraints in the two months before she died. A letter, responding to her attempts to get help, arrived 19 days after her death: "... Since we have not heard from you in over 90 days ... assume you have no new concerns ... we will close your case with us."

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-human-services.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Nursing Homes, Hospices and Assisted Living
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

NURSING HOMES

Virginia is one of the few states with no minimum staffing standards for nursing homes. With the high number of frail elderly in nursing homes on Medicaid and the acuity required to be placed in a nursing home under Virginia's minimally-financed Medicaid program, it is especially critical that we join the 37 other states who have minimum staffing requirements.

Virginia's lack of standards is directly related to the fact that reimbursement rates for Medicaid patients in nursing homes run $500 below actual monthly costs on average. It would cost the state $24.5 million (matched by $24.5 million in Medicaid) to require that patients in every nursing home throughout Virginia have at least 3.5 hours of direct care services per 24 hours.

ASSISTED LIVING

Many elderly and others who cannot take care of themselves but are not seriously ill enough to require medical care in a nursing home are in Assisted Living Facilities. Many of these facilities are comparable to what nursing homes were 15 years ago, as Virginia's Medicaid standards have made it tougher to qualify for nursing home care.

In 2005, I was pleased to work with a number of key legislators and responsible assisted living operators to create much-needed protection for over 30,000 people who are in assisted living throughout Virginia. Our legislation creates

? oversight for dispensing medications,

? better mental health screening,

? licensure of operators so that the bad apples can't just close one home and open another, and

? emergency help for residents in unsafe homes.

Fines were substantially increased from just $500 to up to $10,000 (the maximum fine currently possible for veterinarians), but we also provided that fines could be used to remedy conditions. We also increased the number of inspectors and their training. Finally, we modestly increased state funding for needy residents by $50 per month, but the total is still far below actual costs.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-seniors.htm (10/21/2009)

Medical
Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Limitations
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

The cost of medical malpractice insurance is becoming prohibitive, especially for emergency and obstetrical physicians. However, legislation to cap lawsuits did not pass because Virginia's cap is already the 3rd lowest in the nation. This should drive Virginia insurance rates down and a 2005 study will determine if Virginia doctors are in fact subsidizing the cost of lawsuits in other states.

In 2003, a series of news articles about doctors who continued to practice after numerous, serious incidents affecting patients, led to comprehensive reform. The disciplinary standard was lowered from gross negligence to simple negligence and 3 years must now lapse before a doctor who's lost his license can be re-instated. In addition, reporting requirements for institutions and healthcare professionals who witness questionable actions were significantly strengthened.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-human-services.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Medical Malpractice Damage Caps
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

The cost of medical malpractice insurance is becoming prohibitive, especially for emergency and obstetrical physicians. However, legislation to cap lawsuits did not pass because Virginia's cap is already the 3rd lowest in the nation. This should drive Virginia insurance rates down and a 2005 study will determine if Virginia doctors are in fact subsidizing the cost of lawsuits in other states.

In 2003, a series of news articles about doctors who continued to practice after numerous, serious incidents affecting patients, led to comprehensive reform. The disciplinary standard was lowered from gross negligence to simple negligence and 3 years must now lapse before a doctor who's lost his license can be re-instated. In addition, reporting requirements for institutions and healthcare professionals who witness questionable actions were significantly strengthened.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-human-services.htm (10/21/2009)

Medical Insurance
Health Insurance, a General Statement
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

Policies issued on or after July 1, 2000 by health insurers, HMO's, and health care subscription contracts must cover

* childhood immunizations (subject to co-payment provisions);

* hospitalization or out-patient costs for anesthesia required for major dental work on a child under age 5, a severely retarded or mentally disturbed person, or a person with a limiting medical condition; and

* specific, medically necessary prescription drugs without additional cost sharing. Insurers must act on requests within one business day.

In 2001, I got a bill passed (HB2704) to require insurance and HMO coverage when pharmacists provide services which otherwise would be performed in a doctor's office.

Also in 2001, we extended Medicaid coverage to breast and cervical cancer treatments. This captures $2 of federal funds for every $1 in state funds.

In 1996 through 1999, we passed bills requiring insurance policies to include contraceptives if they cover outpatient prescriptions; an annual OB/GYN visit, as well as mammograms and pap smears; annual prostate cancer screening; hospice care; and diabetes equipment, supplies and outpatient self-management training. Policies must also cover treatment of biologically-based mental illnesses, including depressions and drug and alcohol addiction, at the same level that physical illnesses are covered.

In 2001, only half of children of working poor were covered by a health insurance program launched 2 years earlier. Virginia was the only state that required mothers to give information about an absent father and, in Fairfax, lack of information about the father was the biggest reason for denial of coverage. My bill (HB1982) made disclosure voluntary. Under the Warner administration, Virginia became a national leader in enrolling uninsured children by simplifying the application process, removing barriers to enrollment, making application sites more widely available, and promoting the program aggressively statewide.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-human-services.htm (10/21/2009)

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

If an HMO denies you a medical procedure that is later found to be necessary, you cannot recover the damages you suffer -- even if the decision results in death or disability. For the second year, an attempt to correct this major lack of accountability, which also severely limits patient and doctor choice, was killed by a party vote in 2000.

Policies issued on or after July 1, 2000 by health insurers, HMO's, and health care subscription contracts must cover

* childhood immunizations (subject to co-payment provisions);

* hospitalization or out-patient costs for anesthesia required for major dental work on a child under age 5, a severely retarded or mentally disturbed person, or a person with a limiting medical condition; and

* specific, medically necessary prescription drugs without additional cost sharing. Insurers, after reasonable consultation with the prescribing doctor, must act on requests within one business day.

In 2001, I got a bill passed (HB2704) to require insurance and HMO coverage when pharmacists provide services, such as diabetes training, which otherwise would be performed in a doctor's office.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-human-services.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Medically Uninsured or Underinsured
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

In 2001, I got a bill passed (HB2704) to require insurance and HMO coverage when pharmacists provide services, such as diabetes training, which otherwise would be performed in a doctor's office.

In 2000, my bill (HB923) passed to require a pro-rata refund of premiums when long-term care insurance policies are cancelled or adjusted.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-seniors.htm (10/21/2009)

State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

In 2001, only half of children of working poor were covered by a health insurance program launched 2 years earlier. Virginia was the only state that required mothers to give information about an absent father and, in Fairfax, lack of information about the father was the biggest reason for denial of coverage. My bill (HB1982) made disclosure voluntary. Under the Warner administration, Virginia became a national leader in enrolling uninsured children by simplifying the application process, removing barriers to enrollment, making application sites more widely available, and promoting the program aggressively statewide.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-human-services.htm (10/21/2009)

Justice
Virginia Criminal Justice System, a General Statement
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

During most of the last decade, Virginia has been second only to Texas in the number of executions. One reason is that 21 days after a person has been convicted in Virginia, new evidence cannot be considered. While I have voted for the death penalty, I vowed during my service as Virginia Secretary of Transportation & Public Safety (yes, prisons as well as pavement!) that I would do all I could to erase the 21-Day Rule. With the active involvement of many religious organizations and the credibility of DNA analysis, in 2001, we moved a long way towards this goal this session. Appeals can now be granted based on new biological evidence. However, we couldn't get enough votes for a one-year moratorium on executions while the Virginia Supreme Court completes its study of other kinds of evidence, such as another person's confession.

In 2004, the 21-Day rule was carefully lifted for non-biological evidence. A person gets only one appeal and court review must find the evidence meets the highest standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" before the appeal can proceed. The new law excludes anyone who pled guilty. Unfortunately, this also includes plea bargains or "Alfred plea" even if the new evidence includes another person's confession.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-crime.htm (10/21/2009)

Virginia Death Penalty
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

During most of the last decade, Virginia has been second only to Texas in the number of executions. One reason is that 21 days after a person has been convicted in Virginia, new evidence cannot be considered. While I have voted for the death penalty, I vowed during my service as Virginia Secretary of Transportation & Public Safety (yes, prisons as well as pavement!) that I would do all I could to erase the 21-Day Rule. With the active involvement of many religious organizations and the credibility of DNA analysis, in 2001, we moved a long way towards this goal this session. Appeals can now be granted based on new biological evidence. However, we couldn't get enough votes for a one-year moratorium on executions while the Virginia Supreme Court completes its study of other kinds of evidence, such as another person's confession.

In 2004, the 21-Day rule was carefully lifted for non-biological evidence. A person gets only one appeal and court review must find the evidence meets the highest standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" before the appeal can proceed. The new law excludes anyone who pled guilty. Unfortunately, this also includes plea bargains or "Alfred plea" even if the new evidence includes another person's confession.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-crime.htm (10/21/2009)

Guns
Virginia Guns, a General Statement
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

In 2000, my bill (HB309) made it illegal for a person to sell a gun if they can't legally own a gun. Closing this loophole creates an even playing field between small licensed dealers who go through criminal and mental health background checks to get a license and large chain stores, like K-Mart, that have only one corporate license covering all their stores. This legislation also lays the groundwork to cover people who go from gun show to gun show, acting like dealers, but who are un-licensed because they don't have a place of business.

In 2004, I voted against a bill that passed which overturns all local gun laws. For example, Fairfax County must have General Assembly approval to ban guns in county offices, recreation centers, or parks.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-crime.htm (10/21/2009)

Veterans
Veterans, a General Statement
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

I was successful in 2005 in getting two Services Officers located in Northern Virginia; one conveniently located near the Shirley Industrial Park off Edsal Road. See Veterans under Human Services for further details. In 2000, I was embarrassed when I learned that Virginia would be one of the last states to contribute to the campaign to build the National World War II Memorial. My resolution HJ210 (2000) had the full support of the General Assembly to get the administration to release Virginia's contribution.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-seniors.htm (10/21/2009)

Abortion
Virginia Abortion, a General Statement
Joe G. Bury

No response

Vivian E. Watts

I believe the very complex decision of when life begins should be a personal choice. I will continue to defend that position in all of the challenging and complex ways that it comes before the Virginia General Assembly, including a women's right to chose to have an abortion under Roe v. Wade; the right of a person to have an advanced medical directive carried out that bars heroic efforts; and the advancement of stem cell research in the treatment of disease and disabilities.

I also will support the availability of birth control that prevents implantation of a fertilized egg and educational efforts to prevent un-wanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. If the fertilized egg is defined as a fetus as was attempted in 2005, it would outlaw 40% of commonly used birth control as an abortion. In fact, a bill was killed in 2005 that would have assure that using a contraceptive that prevents a fertilized egg from being implanted in the womb would not be termed an abortion.

In 2005, the federal court struck down a law passed in the 2003 session, which I voted against, that barred most abortions after the 15th week, because it had no provision for medical decisions to protect the life of the mother. The 2000 Supreme Court ruling in Nebraska v. Carhart was based on a thorough review of medical testimony regarding the rare need to end a pregnancy after the 14th week but before viability outside the womb. Abortions in this this time frame are typically forced by the woman's dangerously deteriorating health related to diabetes or poor kidney functioning.

In 2003, I voted against a bill requiring parents who consent to their daughter having an abortion to do so before a notary, which I thought was an invasion of privacy especially in a rural setting. Since 1979, Virginia law has required written informed consent before an abortion, which I support. In 2001, I voted against requiring women to wait 24 hours after receiving required information.

Source: www.vivianwatts.com/views-human-services.htm (10/21/2009)

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