Funding K-12 education is the best investment the Commonwealth can make. The State must honor its partnership with local governments in this important area. As our communities grow, so do classroom sizes. Barbara will work to provide adequate State funding to support a low teacher-student ratio and the best educational outcomes possible.
Click here to watch Barbara's video on education.
Environment & Green Jobs
During Barbara’s tenure on the Arlington County Board, she fought to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and bring green technologies to our community by encouraging sustainable office buildings. Creating green jobs and increasing the utilization of sustainable resources are issues that the Commonwealth should focus on to ensure that our economy remains competitive.
Barbara's position on uranium mining: "I am not convinced that uranium mining can be done safely. The extraction and processing of this element has caused serious problems, including contamination of ground and surface water and the release of radioactive mining waste. These by-products increase the propensity for birth defects, leukemia and childhood cancer for those living near the mining operation. I will always vote to protect the health of Virginia's families."
Click here to read more about Virginia Uranium's attempts to lift the ban on uranium mining in Virginia. (Washington Post, 6/16/11)
Barbara's statement on the hybrid tax included in the 2013 Conference Report on transportation funding: "I believe the $100 registration fee on hybrids needs to be reconsidered. Hybrids are the wave of the future and I want to encourage a more environmental approach to transportation, not penalize such an approach. Looking ahead, Terry McAuliffe is certainly more sympathetic to these arguments than Ken Cuccinelli but regardless of who is Governor next session, I will introduce legislation to address this issue. On balance, however, I determined that the Transportation bill accomplished enough positive things that it was worth supporting. A couple of elements that were appealing to me included $300M dedicated to Phase II of the Rail to Dulles project and the achievement of a nearly 40% increase in the transit budget. A strong regional component that allows between $300-$350M a year to be allocated to local projects was also a big plus. I look forward to working with my constituents as we proceed to implement this transportation package. We should all be proud that the legislative process delivered a solution that fixes a long-standing problem in the Commonwealth.
Northern Virginians spend hours in their cars commuting back and forth to work everyday. Barbara believes we must come up with new and innovative ways to improve our roads and decrease commuter times. It is important to focus on greener transportation methods such as public transit and the metro. Barbara will also work to encourage smart growth initiatives. It is this common sense approach to governing that is so needed at the State level.
"Transportation congestion continues to be a challenging problem for the region and I believe lawmakers should focus on solving the problem with an on-going source of revenue. A one penny increase in the gasoline tax that is applied in Northern Virginia and dedicated to Northern Virginia transportation projects would be a reasonable start."
As a breast cancer survivor, Barbara knows first-hand how important it is to make women's health a priority. She is a lifelong pro-choice advocate who has worked hard to make mammograms affordable, to protect a woman's right to choose and to end domestic violence. Barbara chairs the Women's Reproductive Health Caucus, which fights for equality for Virginia's women. But, Barbara knows we have so much more to do, and she will continue to be a champion for women's health and rights in Richmond.
Barbara strongly believes that same-sex couples should enjoy the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as their straight counterparts. Enabling individuals to form loving, lasting and legally binding relationships is good for a community and good for society. She has in the past, and will continue to support efforts to legally recognize same-sex marriage by both the Federal and Virginia government.Throughout her career, Barbara has spoken out many times to promote equality for all. She publicly opposed and worked to defeat the Marshall-Newman Amendment and has voted many times to include a proposal in Arlington's State legislative package that would expand Hate Crimes statute to include sexual orientation. Barbara has also appeared before the General Assembly defending Arlington's right to provide partner benefits.
Senator Favola has always been a strong proponent of finding the appropriate care for those individuals who are suffering from mental health illnesses. In 2014, she continues her fight to bring the appropriate care to Virginians who are in desperate need of it. She intends to extend the time that an individual can be hold under a Temporary Detention Order (TDO) from 4 to 24 hours. Senator Favola stated, “Ensuring the availability of a psychiatric bed is crucial to providing much needed care. Therefore, my bill would require a state facility to accept an individual with a TDO if no local bed is available.”
A Community for Everyone
On the Arlington Board, Barbara focused particular attention on programs to support and integrate individuals with intellectual disabilities. Given the recent Department of Justice Report on State Mental Health Institutions , we will have to change our approach and create community-based and tailored services for these individuals. She will work to ensure that the State honors this commitment.