The meeting was called to order by Council President Mark McConn at 7:00 PM.
The state senators and delegates discussed economic growth, education, transportation, and law enforcement. Virginia's economy is growing but at a slower rate than the national growth. Main reasons for the reduced growth are the federal contract cuts and federal government hiring freezes.
With transportation, improvements and traffic congestion were the main topics. The Silver Metro expansion will do very limited traffic congestion reductions but it will increase economic growth along the Dulles Toll Road corridor. Currently, Northern Virginia wastes about 900,000 hours every day in traffic. By focusing on the most traffic congestion projects, the improvements will reduce these hours by 10% per year. Some concerns were expressed about tolling our way out of traffic congestion. Because of Maryland's strict land-use planning, another major bridge crossing is very unlikely. Since the transportation bill was passed in 2013, NOVA has received over $350M with Fairfax County getting $40M.
For education, state funding and Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) budgets were discussed. State funding to FCPS has increased by 24% over the five years. The major issue is assessing overhead costs that is roughly current 33%. SOL Commission is assessing alternative methods of testings for some students. Therefore, decreasing the overhead would improve the budget challenges.
Law enforcement was the final topic. Human trafficking is a growing concern and the General Assembly is passing laws for enforcement. State Police Troopers will start to wear body cameras. Another legal issue is digital assets after death. Lastly, the state is addressing sexual assaults on college campuses given the recent UVA case.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 9:50 p.m.
Respectively submitted by,
Sully District Council