Fairfax County’s draft 2023 legislative agenda continues sounding the drum on several long-running themes, but includes a few new requests for the upcoming General Assembly session.
“Much of the program remains the same, especially with respect to our fundamental priorities,” said Supervisor James Walkinshaw (D-Braddock), chairman of the Board of Supervisors’ Legislative Committee, during a Nov. 1 public hearing.
But with Republicans controlling the executive branch and one of two halves of the legislature, have far the county’s package might get could be anyone’s guess.
Education is a top priority and supervisors want the state to fully fund its public-education obligations, including “costs of competing” funds in more expensive parts of the commonwealth, such as Fairfax County, Walkinshaw said.
Transportation funding also is a key imperative. Supervisors want restoration of $102 million in Northern Virginia Transportation Authority funding that was diverted to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in 2018, he said.
The board’s human-services priorities include increasing availability of accessible, affordable and integrated housing options; sustainable funding for behavioral-health programs and services; and state funding to address the ongoing substance-abuse epidemic, Walkinshaw said.
Supervisors will continue their push for bills that enhance environmental sustainability, help fight global climate change, encourage land donations for parks and educate landowners on how to protect water quality and prevent erosion.
The board will press for additional state funds for courts, jails, libraries, economic development, urban stormwater needs, voting equipment, affordable housing, and paid family and medical leave.
County supervisors also are pushing some new initiatives. One would allow the county to hire contractors to remove illegal signs from rights-of-way.
Another would clarify that Northern Virginia localities are authorized to post clear, appropriate signage requiring motorists to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and unsignalized intersections, Walkinshaw said.
Supervisors also want clarification that counties that do not maintain their own roads are authorized to reduce speed limits to less than 25 mph, but not below 15 mph, on highways in business and residential districts within their boundaries.
Supervisors are slated to adopt the 2023 legislative agenda Dec. 6 and hold their annual work session with the county’s legislative delegation Dec. 13. To view the draft legislative agenda, go to fairfaxcounty.gov/boardofsupervisors and click on links under “2023 Board Legislative Reports.”