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Focus on Fairfax

January 2, 2023

Dear Friends and Neighbors,


Happy New Year! I hope you and your loved ones have a joyful and prosperous 2023.


It is hard to believe that at high noon on January 11 we will gavel in for the 2023 General Assembly session. Odd years are “short” sessions, meaning we will complete (hopefully) our business in 46 days. Virginia packs a lot into these short sessions. On average, over 2,000 bills are introduced. In addition, General Assembly members and the Governor have an opportunity to propose amendments to Virginia’s biennial budget.


You can help shape this year’s session by sharing what is important to you. The easiest way is to email me. I greatly value the diversity of expertise and perspectives of my constituents. Hearing from you helps me to make more informed decisions. Send me a note anytime at info@davidbulova.com.


In addition, you can participate in two upcoming forums designed to receive community feedback.


Public Hearings on Proposed Budget Amendments


The House Appropriations and Senate Finance and Appropriations committees will hold virtual public hearings on the Governor’s proposed budget amendments (see below for details). There are four hearings, including one specifically for Northern Virginia. Speakers are asked to limit comments to three minutes or less. 


  • Date: Thursday, January 5
  • Time: Start at 10:00 a.m.
  • Location: Virtual


Those wishing to speak must register on Wednesday, January 4. Visit hac.virginia.gov to register and for more information.


If you are unable to attend, you may submit comments electronically. The public hearings will be livestreamed on the Virginia General Assembly web site.


Fairfax Delegation Public Forum


The Fairfax Delegation to the General Assembly will also hold its annual public forum. The forum is limited to Fairfax residents speaking for themselves and/or a community-based organization. Speakers are allotted three minutes on a first-come first-served basis.


  • Date: Saturday, January 7
  • Time: Start at 9:00 a.m. 
  • Location: Fairfax County Government Center in Conference Room 11


Those wishing to speak must register by noon on Thursday, January 5. More information (including how to register and how to watch remotely) can be found here.


Governor Youngkin’s Proposed Budget


Last month, Governor Youngkin presented his proposed budget amendments for consideration by the General Assembly. You can read his proposed budget at this link or you can watch the Governor’s remarks here. In addition, we received a report on the economic outlook from the Secretary of Finance. The key takeaway is “caution.” While FY2022 ended on a revenue high note, the budget assumes a recession beginning at the end of Q3 of FY 2023 and lasting two to three quarters.


In addition to the Governor, each member of the House and Senate may also introduce amendments. It is then ultimately up to the General Assembly to pass a budget. As often quoted in state capitals everywhere “The Governor proposes; the legislature disposes.”


Below is a summary of amendments proposed by the Governor. As always, there are things I agree with and disagree with – with the devil often being in the details. And, just because something is a good idea, it doesn’t make it a priority. In Virginia, we must balance the budget every year.


  • Tax Cuts $1 billion in tax cuts in addition to the $4 billion agreed to last year. Includes lowering the top individual income tax bracket rate from 5.75% to 5.5%, reducing the corporate tax from 6% to 5%, providing small business tax relief, and increasing the standard income tax deduction.


  • Economic Development – $450 million for the business-ready sites program and $60 million for workforce development. Virginia’s lack of large-scale sites ready for industrial development has been a key factor in losing projects to competing states.


  • Education – $50 million for laboratory schools in addition to $100 million in the current budget. New funding to expand the Virginia Community College System’s dual enrollment program, increase reading specialists in 4th and 5th grade, and hire math specialists in schools with poor math performance.


  • Public Safety – $100 million for initiatives to enhance law enforcement recruitment and fund violence intervention initiatives.


  • Natural Resources – $550 million for Chesapeake Bay restoration and climate resiliency, including $200 million for the Resilient Virginia Revolving Loan Fund (which was my bill from last year). The fund allows localities and private entities to take out low-cost loans for flood resiliency.


  • Mental Health – $150 million to reform Virginia’s struggling mental health safety net. This includes funding for prevention, crisis intervention, and post-crisis care services.


  • Washington Commanders $500,000 to further investigate a bid for the Washington Commanders to relocate to Virginia.


  • Hemp-Derived Products – $2.1 million to bolster consumer protections for hemp-derived compounds like delta-8 THC. This includes testing and inspections as well as enforcement of rules to prevent edibles from emulating products popular with children.


New Laws – Grocery Tax Decrease


Most laws passed by the General Assembly go into effect July 1. However, some laws have delayed enactments for a variety of reasons. This is the case for a decrease in the grocery tax, which went from 2.5% to 1% effective January 1. The tax cut includes food for home consumption and specific personal hygiene items. Click here for a full list of eligible items. The 1.5% that was eliminated is the state’s portion of the grocery tax. The General Assembly left in place the 1% local sales tax that goes fund local programs.


It is an honor to represent you in the General Assembly! Watch for updates on my legislation and our annual Town Hall meeting in early February.


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Delegate David Bulova

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Fairfax Contact Information

PO Box 106

Fairfax Station, Virginia 22039

(703) 310-6752


Richmond Contact Information

(During General Assembly Session)

Capitol Square

Pocahontas Building

Room E204

Richmond, Virginia 23219

(804) 698-1037


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