News

Bill to aid Virginia foster youth expected to be included in budget

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Sarah Kleiner

Friday March 11, 2016

 

A budget amendment is expected to be approved today that will provide financial support to young Virginians who leave the foster care system at age 18 without a permanent family.

 

Members of the House and Senate agreed to include $1.9 million in new funding for the Fostering Futures program, an federal initiative that 30 other states and Washington, D.C., have already joined. An additional $2.1 million that the state already spends on foster youth who age out will be diverted into Fostering Futures. If the amendment is approved, Virginia will be eligible for about $4 million in a matching federal grant.

 

Advocates have tried to get the General Assembly to approve the legislation for several years.

 

One of the measure’s patrons, Sen. Barbara A. Favola, D-Arlington, said she was “absolutely thrilled” that conference committee members included it.

 

“This will make such a big difference for our most vulnerable kids,” Favola said.

 

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NBC29: Va. Lawmakers Working to Improve School Bus Safety

Virginia lawmakers are working together to craft a bill that would allow police to mail tickets to drivers who illegally pass school buses.

 

"We could not hold the violators accountable because it was too costly and too complicated to physically serve a summons," said 31st District Senator Barbara Favola.

 

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Gov. McAuliffe Welcomes Formerly D.C.-Based Startup to Clarendon

Basket, a startup that produces a mobile app for saving money while grocery shopping, has moved from the District to Clarendon.

 

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, County Board Chair Libby Garvey and Arlington Economic Development Director Victor Hoskins were among the officials on hand today to welcome the company to their new digs at 1220 N. Fillmore Street.


“Arlington County continues to attract cutting edge technology companies like Basket because of our high quality of life, well-educated workforce, and innovative business sector. Arlington County offers just the right synergy for companies like Basket,” said Senator Barbara Favola. “I applaud the Governor for his efforts to bring more jobs to Virginia and thank Basket for choosing Arlington. Welcome to our community!”

 

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The Post's View: Stepping down from the ledge of solitary confinement

The Editorial Board, The Washington Post

February 21, 7:03 PM

 

VIRGINIA HAS come a long way since advocates called attention to the state’s appalling practice of routinely condemning prisoners to the hell of solitary confinement, particularly in the Red Onion supermax prison. But there is still a ways to go. Isolation can have debilitating effects on human beings: Death-row inmates have reported that their impending execution does not upset them nearly as much as the prospect of continued, prolonged isolation, which often amounts to mental torture.

 

Another [strategy] is ending the practice of isolating juveniles, who are particularly at risk of mental damage when pulled out of the general prison population. This is a reform that state Sen. Barbara A. Favola (D-Arlington) wants Virginia to pursue. She has pushed a modest bill that commands state corrections officials to rethink how and when they deny juveniles contact with others. Rather than tell prison officials precisely how to cut back on juvenile isolation, it would merely require them to write regulations that “allow the use of room segregation only when other less restrictive options have been exhausted,” with an emphasis on using isolation to ensure safety rather than as a routine punishment. 

 

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Make juvenile solitary confinement safer and rare in Virginia

Letter to the Editor: Barbara Favola

Published in the Washington Post

February 10 at 5:19 PM


I agree with President Obama on the need to reform our solitary confinement laws, especially for children. It is time to change things. I introduced Virginia Senate Bill 215 as the first step in making juvenile isolation safer and rare in Virginia. If passed, the bill would direct the Board of Corrections to develop regulations that reflect evidence-based practices in rehabilitating youth. These regulations would require that isolation be used only as a last resort, identify conditions under which isolation may be permitted and specify short time intervals for staff to check on juveniles in isolation. The intent is to ensure that our juvenile-detention facilities achieve the best possible outcomes for our youths.

 

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Opower to invest $10.45 million in Arlington County

Published Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, 8:20 am


Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Opower (NYSE: OPWR), the global leader in cloud-based software for the utility industry, will invest $10.45 million to expand its headquarters operation in Arlington County. Virginia successfully competed against Washington, D.C. for the project, which will create 70 new jobs and retain 357 existing jobs paying above the average prevailing wage in the region.

 

Speaking about the announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Keeping Opower in Arlington County has been a high priority of my administration. This high-profile energy software company is growing rapidly and making a major impact on global challenges, and we are committed to further strengthening this important corporate partnership. The technology industry is booming in Virginia, and wins like this expansion help us continue to build on the momentum in this important sector as we grow, diversify and build a new Virginia economy.”

 

“I am thrilled that Opower chose to stay in Arlington,” said Senator Barbara Favola. “This $10 million dollar investment speaks to Arlington County’s high quality of life and business-friendly environment. I am committed to fostering relationships with innovative technological companies such as Opower, and ensuring that Arlington remains an attractive place to start or run a business and to raise a family.”

 

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Virginia Cigarette Tax Remains Lowest in Nation

Opportunity for increase in cigarette tax blows up in smoke.


Ken Moore, Inside NOVA

Monday, February 8, 2016

 

Dale Stein and the McLean Citizens Association couldn’t even raise a match before legislators in Richmond extinguished a possible increase in the cigarette tax for Fairfax County.

 

This week, Sen. Barbara Favola’s proposed legislation to increase the cigarette tax failed to pass committee. McLean Citizens Association was poised to vote on its resolution to support her bill and increase cigarette tax on Wednesday, Feb. 4.

 

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‘Cooling off’ domestic violence bill passes Senate

By Tracy Moyer, Staunton News Leader

8:57 a.m. EST February 4, 2016

 

STAUNTON - Legislators are working to change laws specifically for victims of domestic violence as they pass two bills this week for those in “dangerous situations.”

 

State Senate Bill 323, prohibits individuals under emergency protective order from transporting or possessing a firearm for 72 hours following the issuance of the protective order.

 

Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington, patroned the bill which passed the Senate 32 to 3 and now heads to the House of Delegates. Five senators abstained from voting on the bill.

 

“SB 323 provides an extremely important ‘cooling off’ period that reduces the likelihood that a dangerous situation will escalate with the use of a firearm,” Favola said after the bill passed the Senate. "Over 50 percent of women murdered with a firearm in 2011 were killed by intimate partners or family members.”

 

Favola said she is pleased her colleagues are acting on the “common sense measure” legislation that will help protect women and domestic violence victims.

 

Read more here.