Senator Barbara Favola Wants People, Not Politics, in Virginia Budget
Richmond, Virginia — Feb. 29, 2012 — Today, at a press conference in Richmond, Senator Barbara A. Favola (D-Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun) stood with Democratic Members of the Senate to discuss Democratic priorities for the Virginia Budget.
Senator Favola told the press, “The Republican Senate budget funds yesterday’s education system, not tomorrow’s. The current Senate budget proposes to fund K-12 education at $400M less than we spent in 2007. This approach is not putting Virginia’s children and families first. I suggest to you that it is compromising our future.
“In these past five years, education funding in Virginia has been continually reduced, school enrollment is up, and we are seeing the consequences. In 2007, only two states had a smaller class size than Virginia. Today, 40 states have smaller class sizes. The Dept. of Education says that class size is one of the most important factors in student outcome.
“You’ve heard from my colleagues that there’s a trend going on here. The Republican budget is diverting money to private schools. They are attempting to put public school teachers on short-term contracts, subject to dismissal at will. These kinds of actions are undermining our public school system. It is a very dangerous approach, it is the wrong approach for Virginia and the wrong approach for our future.
“I think that you should know that business leaders around the Commonwealth have said that if we are to maintain our national ranking as the most business friendly state, we must be sure that Virginia is a magnet for the best and the brightest, for both workers and entrepreneurs, and to do that you need a top rate public education system.
“The way the budget has gone, in combination with some very extreme social measures, is devastating for our state. We’ve had a ‘personhood’ bill, an ultrasound bill that, as Senator Saslaw mentioned, for the first time in Virginia’s history mandates a medical procedure. And the governor just signed the Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, which in effect will close women’s health centers around the state. This is not what Virginia needs. I will not vote for a budget until we have some moderation, some respect for Virginia’s values, and until I’m convinced that women’s rights will not continue to be trampled.”
Richmond, Virginia — March 7, 2012 —In a statement issued today, Senator Barbara A. Favola (D- Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun) said, "I am confident that the Senate will adopt a budget in plenty of time to fund the next fiscal year's Programs- which start on July 1, 2012. Some Republicans are upset that the Democrats are not just 'going along' with their proposed plan, but I believe I have an obligation to fight for my constituents and the quality of life they cherish so deeply.
"I am working in good faith across the aisle to produce a budget that will serve all Virginians. There are certain areas, however, that are a priority to me and I am insisting that these areas get adequately funded. They include K-12 public education, safety net programs such as community-based health centers, transit funding- particularly rail to Dulles, and services for low-income children and the elderly.
"I hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will work with me to achieve my budgetary goals, understanding that the 'give and take' may take a bit longer than expected but will result in better public policy and a better budget."
In the Media:
"Favola and other Democrats charged that McDonnell and Republican lawmakers have wasted time on 'very extreme social measures,' time that could have been spent on more substantive issues.
“'We’ve had a ‘personhood’ bill, an ultrasound bill that … for the first time in Virginia’s history mandates a medical procedure. And the governor just signed the Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, which in effect will close women’s health centers around the state. This is not what Virginia needs. I will not vote for a budget until we have some moderation, some respect for Virginia’s values, and until I’m convinced that women’s rights will not continue to be trampled,' Favola said."
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