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Focus on Fairfax Newsletter of Delegate David Bulova
September 2008

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The beginning of September is a time to celebrate and a time to remember. Last week, after spending a beautiful Monday with my family at the St. Mary's Labor Day Picnic, it was off to the first day of school for the kids. This Thursday, we remembered those who perished during the terrible events of September 11th and celebrated the resilience of this great nation.

September also means that the 2009 General Assembly Session is only four months away! As I start to put together my legislative agenda, I am once again holding informal office hours at Main Street Bagel so that I can hear from you about issues affecting our community. The first event will take place on Saturday, September 13th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The format is casual and no appointment is needed. See www.davidbulova. com for additional information.

As always, there is a lot to report and only so much time. The following are just a few interesting issues/opportunities affecting our community. Please feel free to ask follow-up questions and make suggestions for future newsletter topics.

Government Reform and Accountability: Government has a moral obligation to use our tax dollars wisely. In addition, as our revenue forecasts indicate that additional budget cuts will be necessary, all of us will be looking for ways to make government work even more efficiently. That is why I am pleased to announce that Virginia has initiated a new web site that allows citizens to submit ideas for improving government performance. The site also contains an interactive feature that allows others to vote on the ideas that have been submitted. I hope you will take advantage of this powerful new tool. More information can be found at www.ideas.virgini

Credit Freeze Legislation: Several constituents who received my 2008 Report from Richmond asked for more information about new legislation that allows individuals to restrict access to their credit reports. This new tool allows consumers to lock out anyone seeking to fraudulently open an account in their name.

Anyone who wants to place a freeze on their credit files may do so by sending a request and paying a $10 fee to each of the three major credit reporting agencies. By law, no fee will be charged to a victim of identity theft who submits a valid police report. Once the freeze is in place, a personal identification number (PIN) will be issued from the credit reporting agency. The PIN can then be used to remove the freeze on a temporary or permanent basis. Remember, though, to give yourself a few days if you need to lift the freeze for any reason – such as when you purchase a car, take out a mortgage, or apply for a new credit card. For more information, contact each credit reporting agency separately: Equifax Security Freeze (; Experian Security Freeze (; and, TransUnion ( m).

If you have time, the Providence District Council is also hosting a workshop on how to protect yourself from identity theft at the Dunn Loring Administration Building (the corner of Gallows Road and Idylwood Road) on Tuesday, September 16th at 7:15 p.m.

Identity Theft and Medicaid Cards: While in Virginia we are continually looking for ways to remove social security numbers (SSNs) from documents that can be easily stolen or accessed, there is a debate in Congress over the use of SSNs on Medicaid cards. According to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, medical identity theft is the fastest-growing form of identity theft in the nation. While the display of SSNs on Medicaid cards may not be the largest cause of identity theft, our system is only as strong as our weakest link. As other agencies and the private sector aggressively move to remove SSNs from identification cards, those looking to steal identities will naturally focus their efforts where these proactive measures have not been taken.

A bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate (S.2908) to require the removal of SSNs from Medicaid cards. While the Social Security Administration is very supportive, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is resisting the measure. The reason? They maintain that it would cost $500 million to change cards held by 40 million individuals. That is a whopping $12.50 per card. Ouch! I find it hard to believe in this day in age that this could possibly be the case – especially given that so many other agencies have successfully stopped the use of SSNs on identification cards. I have written Senators Warner and Webb, as well as Congressman Davis, asking them to support this measure. If you are interested, I hope that you will consider doing the same.

HOT Lanes: Love them or hate them, HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes are coming to Northern Virginia. Regardless of how you may feel, it is very important to ensure that the concerns of residents are heard by the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Flour/TransUrban partnership. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like to have a representative from VDOT attend your local homeowner or civic association meeting. In addition, make sure that you are an informed commuter. Visit www.virginiah to sign up for email alerts about construction activities, work schedules, and lane closings.

I am looking forward to providing additional updates over the next few months and to hearing your ideas and feedback. Hope to see you for coffee!


David Bulova

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Delegate David Bulova

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Delegate Bulova at ...

Fairfax Office
9900 Main Street,
Plaza 102
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 310-6752
[email protected]

Richmond Office (During General Assembly Session)
Capitol Square, General Assembly Building
Room 405
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 698-1037
[email protected]

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