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Focus on Fairfax
Dec. 6, 2018
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This Saturday I will hold my final informal office hours of 2018 at Main Street Bagel in the City of Fairfax. I will be there from 9 to 11 a.m., so stop by to ask questions, share ideas, or to just say hello. The 2019 session of the General Assembly is only a month away, and it looks like there will be lots of interesting issues - including everything from tax conformity, to sports betting, to reducing eviction rates.
Sometimes You Don't Need a Bill!
I am often reminded that a lot of good ideas can be implemented without legislation. Two recent issues brought to me by constituents are excellent examples.
DMV ID Cards
Many people don't realize that the Virginia DMV will issue official ID cards for those who don't want a driver's license. An astute constituent asked whether DMV proactively contacts senior citizens who may not be renewing their license about this option. The point? If a senior citizen (or anyone for that matter) is the victim of identity theft or bank fraud, being able to authenticate identity becomes critical. Lack of an official ID can prevent resolving issues in a timely manner. An email to DMV Commissioner Rick Holcomb confirmed that DMV does not currently do this. However, he quickly offered to add a statement to driver's license renewal notices to let the recipient know that if they no longer wish to drive or are no longer able to safely operate a motor vehicle, they can apply for an ID.
Screening Infants for CMV
I had never heard of cytomegalovirus (CMV) before being contacted by a constituent a few months ago. CMV is a common virus that infects people of all ages - and most people infected show no symptoms. However, the virus can be potentially harmful to infants. According to national statistics, CMV affects one in every 200 babies - with one in five of infected babies developing permanent health problems, including hearing and vision loss and mental disability. Quick treatment, usually with an antiviral medication, is important. However, most infants born with CMV won't show obvious signs of problems for two or more years after birth. So, the constituent asked, wouldn't it be a good idea for Virginia to add CMV to its newborn screening tests?
Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dan Carey put me in touch with an expert at the Virginia Health Department's Newborn Screening and Birth Defects Surveillance Program. Unlike some other states, adding to the program is not done legislatively. Rather, a panel of experts is convened to make recommendations. That is probably a good policy - but what about CMV? Good news! The Health Department agreed that this is an issue worth pursuing and will charge the Virginia Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Advisory Committee with making recommendations. Why a committee on hearing? Of infants who test positive for CMV, 96.4% do not pass the state-mandated newborn hearing test - making this the perfect time to test for CMV. If all goes as planned, recommendations will be presented at the committee's September 2019 meeting.
While I can't guarantee that every idea can be implemented, please know that Virginia has many wonderful public servants who are ready to listen. Please send your ideas my way!
A Busy Time of Year!
As we prepare for the 2019 General Assembly session, I am busy putting together my legislative agenda. This past Monday was the deadline to submit draft legislation for pre-filing. So far I have sent in 22 drafting requests. The only problem? In odd years each member of the House is limited to 15 bills. Ouch! Looks like I will need to do some prioritizing (or find other willing patrons). I am looking forward to sharing these with you in the next few weeks.
I hope to see many of you this Saturday at Main Street Bagel! As always, it is my pleasure to serve our community.


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David Bulova
Delegate, 37th Virginia House District
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9900 Main Street,
Plaza 102
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 310-6752

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Richmond, VA 23219
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