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Focus on Fairfax Newsletter of Delegate David Bulova
January 2008

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It has been an exciting first full week in the General Assembly, but I am glad to be heading back home for the weekend. Waiting for me is a very excited 8-year old girl who will turn 9 on Saturday! To celebrate, we are inviting a few of her closest friends for a sleep-over. My son has conveniently arranged to sleep over at a neighbor’s house…

Originally, I was going to talk about some of the bills I got through committee this week. However, literally two minutes before I was about to send this email, I read the Washington Post article on a bill coming to the House floor on Monday that would require car buyers to pay the 1% Northern Virginia auto sales tax directly to DMV (through the mail, online, or going to a DMV office), rather than through the dealer. It is important to note that dealers already collect a 3% State-wide sales tax. Why we would want to make purchasers go through that extra hassle is beyond me. Plus, the purchaser would no longer be able to roll the tax into the car financing. Part of the issue is that the language has been tacked on to a bill to repeal the abusive driver fees. From my perspective, these are two completely different issues and I can’t fathom voting for a measure that will ultimately cause unnecessary hours of consternation to Northern Virginians. I am sure that there will be much more debate, but wanted to let you know that I am very concerned about this bill.

Aside from the sudden rush of adrenaline today, I did want to share with you some other interesting issues that we are currently debating.

The Per Diem Debate: With most bills still in committee, floor debate has been relatively sedate. However, an interesting discussion erupted over House per diem rates. The House and Senate each establish their own per diem rate, which applies to both legislators and their legislative aides. This year, while the Senate increased their rate to keep pace with inflation, the House kept it the same. Per diem is especially important for legislative assistants, who, like mine, have to maintain a place to live at home and an apartment here in Richmond during the Session. The decision not to raise the rate came from the fact that raising the rate two years ago was used as a campaign weapon – with flashy brochure headlines like, “Did you know your delegate voted to increase his own salary last year?” Unfortunately, our legislative assistants get caught in the middle. I am hopeful that both parties can agree publicly not to use this as a campaign issue and provide our legislative assistants with the increase they need.

Human Papillomavirus: Next week we vote on whether to delay implementation of a requirement for all girls entering sixth grade to be vaccinated for human papillomavirus (HPV). HPVs are a diverse group of viruses, some of which are sexually transmitted and can lead to cervical cancer. Although the vaccine has been deemed safe by the FDA, many questions still linger. I have raised the issue at a number of community events, with decidedly mixed reactions. Much of the debate comes down to whether the immunization should be mandatory, since unlike other diseases with mandatory immunizations, HPV is not communicable in a school or other public setting. As a concession to that concern, the bill passed last year has a strong parental opt-out provision. Even organizations such as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, while supportive of the vaccine, are split on whether it should be mandated. My gut says that perhaps we should step back and give it another year before implementation. I value your feedback on this important issue.

I look forward to reporting on more issues and some of my legislation next week. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts and concerns – and don’t forget to mark your calendar for my Town Hall meeting in Fairfax on February 2nd. See for more details.


David Bulova

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Delegate David Bulova

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Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 310-6752
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Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 698-1037
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