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Focus on Fairfax

September 14, 2023

Dear Friends and Neighbors,


As baseball legend Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” While the General Assembly convened last Wednesday to vote on the long-delayed budget (I voted yes), the Governor could still propose amendments or even veto provisions. Today, the Governor signed the Budget Bill (HB6001) as passed by the General Assembly. Meaning that it is truly over, for now. 


While the press has covered many of the higher-level items of the budget, I know my constituents enjoy getting into the details! But before I do that, a couple of other items.


House and Senate Page Program


Attention parents! Each year, students from across Virginia become part of the General Assembly family by participating in the Senate and House Page programs. This is a unique opportunity for our future leaders to get a first-hand look at how government works and build friendships that last a lifetime. Applicants must be 13 or 14 years old on the first day of session (second Wednesday of January). Click here for more information and the application process. The deadline is October 16. Don’t hesitate to contact me if I can help answer any questions.




I’ve proudly represented the 37th District in the House of Delegates since 2006. As many of you know, the recent redistricting process resulted in new boundaries and district numbers. Most of 37th District is now in the new 11th District. 


The new 11th District consists of the City of Fairfax and the current 37th District precincts of University, Villa, Monument, Mosby #1, and Eagle View #1. New precincts include Hunters Branch, Blake, Oakton, Flint Hill #2, Difficult Run, Oaktree Crossing, Penderbrook, Island Pond, and Centrepoint. I am thrilled to be running for re-election in the new 11th District and look forward to meeting my new constituents. I am, however, very sorry to lose my Centreville precincts and areas south of Braddock Road, including Middleridge, Country Club View, and Fairfax Club Estates. Should I be fortunate enough to be re-elected, please consider yourselves honorary constituents.


Visit Who’s My Legislator to find out how redistricting affected your community. 


Budget Package


The primary disagreement between the House and Senate (and Governor) revolved around tax policy. The final budget includes:


  • Rebates. One-time rebates of $200 for single filers and $400 for joint filers, totaling approximately $906M.

  • Standard Deduction. Increases the standard deduction to $8,500 for single filers and $17,000 for joint filers. The current deduction is $8,000/$16,000.

  • Military Retirement. In 2022, the General Assembly passed a bill to exempt up to $40,000 in military retirement benefits from the income tax for individuals over age 55. The budget removes the minimum age provision.

  • Sales Tax Holiday. Reinstates the sales tax holiday for school supplies, emergency preparedness products items, and Energy Star and WaterSense products. The tax holiday will be held the third weekend in October.


Not included in the budget were the Governor’s proposals to decrease the corporate income tax rate from 6% to 5% and to cut the top individual income tax rate from 5.75% to 5.5%.


In terms of expenditures, the adopted budget takes a cautious view of the fiscal environment and assumes that revenue growth will likely slow. As a result, the focus is on one-time initiatives over increasing ongoing programs or creating new programs. Approximately $3.5B is directed toward non-recurring activities while $1.1 billion goes toward ongoing programs. I think this is a prudent approach.


  • Economic Development. $200M for the Business Ready Sites Program. This program is a key component of Virginia’s economic development strategy by identifying potential industrial sites and assisting with site preparation and development.

  • Direct Aid for Schools. $908M increase for the state’s share of school funding.

  • Teacher Salaries. $55M for an additional 2% salary increase for teachers effective January 2024 (this is on top of an already approved 5% increase).

  • School Support Positions. $153M to temporarily lift the cap on funding for school support positions. Support staff include maintenance workers/custodians, food service staff, technology support, etc. The cap was put in place in response to the 2008 Great Recession and was never lifted. This had the impact of shifting the entire cost burden to Fairfax County Public Schools. Making this provision permanent will be a big focus of the 2024 General Assembly (and one of my top priorities).

  • Flexible Education Funding. $418M in one-time flexible funding. School systems are encouraged to use the funding to address COVID-19 learning loss.

  • Higher Education Affordability. $137M to increase access and affordability of higher education, including $63M in undergraduate financial aid.

  • Workforce Development. $8.4M to the community college system for workforce development and career and technical education programs.

  • Developmental Disability Waivers. $10.5M to add an additional 500 DD waiver slots. DD waivers are essential for providing children and adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities with a wide range of critical support services.

  • Mental Health Services. $156M in new spending to support mental health services, including $58M to create crisis receiving centers and crisis stabilization units and $34M permanent supportive housing for individuals with serious mental illness.

  • Community Services Boards. $22M to partially fill a long-standing funding gap for local community services. The Fairfax-Falls Church CSB provides essential services to individuals with mental illness, substance abuse disorders, and developmental disabilities.

  • Crime Prevention. Funding for crime prevention, including $15M for Operation Ceasefire, $5M for the Firearm Violence Intervention and Prevention Program, and $10M for the Safer Communities Program.

  • Water Quality Improvement Fund. $645M for water quality projects, including $30M for the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (one of my budget requests).

  • Climate Change Resilience. $100M for the Resilient Virginia Revolving Loan Fund. This funds my legislation from last year and helps localities and private businesses to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

  • State Employee Raise. $61M to provide most state employees, including university employees) an additional 2% raise effective December 2023 (this is on top of an already approved 5% increase).


Another useful piece of information is how much additional funding will be provided to Fairfax County Public Schools. Direct aid to Fairfax County will go from $959,115,532 in FY23 to $1,006,832,068 in FY24. Direct aid to the City of Fairfax will go from $11,066,754 in FY23 to 11,517,141 in FY24.


Click here for a useful document by the Commonwealth Institute that compares the final budget to proposed budgets by the Governor, House, and Senate. You can also download a presentation by the House Appropriations staff that provides a great overview by policy area.


Summer Homework – Legislative Commissions


Although we are a part-time legislature, General Assembly members are appointed to various commissions that meet throughout the year. This allows us to focus on specific issues and develop recommendations for action outside of the pressure of the regular session. 


Here are a few highlights of the commissions on which I serve:


  • Chesapeake Bay Commission. This is a tri-state commission made up of legislators from Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Our most recent meeting was in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where we discussed efforts to meet Bay restoration targets as well as potential solutions to the growing problem of PFAS contamination, otherwise known as “forever” chemicals. Other recent meetings have focused on the problem of invasive blue catfish and declining blue crab stocks.


  • State Water Commission. This commission is charged with studying all aspects of water supply – including quality and quantity. Our August agenda focused on water supply improvements being implemented through the American Rescue Plan Act and a shortage of certified water treatment plant operators. We also discussed the impact of proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency PFAS standards on water suppliers like Fairfax Water. 


  • Housing Commission. Our August meeting included a presentation on economic, demographic, and housing market trends in Virginia. Bottom line: we desperately need more affordable housing! Earlier that day, I led a workgroup to discuss derelict buildings, the foreclosure process in homeowner associations, and the need for electric vehicle charging stations in new multi-family housing communities.


  • Early Childhood Care and Education Commission. The commission includes legislators as well as representatives from businesses, economic development, local government, school divisions, parents, and early care and education providers. The commission is brand new, but we have already started to tackle a wide range of topics, including affordability, accessibility, and how to attract and retain quality providers.


It is an honor to serve you in the House of Delegates! As always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback!



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Delegate David Bulova

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Fairfax Office

P.O. Box 106

Fairfax Station, Virginia 22039

(703) 310-6752


Richmond Office

(During General Assembly Session)

Capitol Square

Pocahontas Building

Room E204

Richmond, Virginia 23219

(804) 698-1037


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