2001 Legislative Package
As Adopted November 14, 2000
2001 Legislative Priorities
The following five items are the priority issues selected by the Civic Federation Delegates from the 2001 Legislative Package.
National Airport. Strongly protests the recent expansion of flights into and out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and strongly opposes any weakening of safety and environmental standards at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Crimes and Offenses Generally
Sodomy Laws. Supports repeal of the sodomy law as it applies to consenting adults.
Gun Control. Strongly supports requiring mandatory instant background checks on purchasers of all firearms at all gun shows and allowing up to seventy-two hours to complete the check if the instant check is inconclusive.
Local Income Tax. Opposes legislation that would allow a local income tax.
Truck and Highway Safety
Interstate 66. Opposes changes to I 66 inside the capital beltway unless such changes are part of a comprehensive regional transportation plan and are made with community consensus.
Civic Federation Principles
Because Arlington's population is changing rapidly, the Civic Federation adopts the following principles in order to maintain our quality of life, enhance the desirability of our community as a place to live and work, and meet future human and infrastructure needs:
- We oppose any efforts to change formulas for state funding that would result in decreases in funding for Arlington County government and public schools
- We urge the General Assembly to revise the state transportation funding formula to increase funding for growth areas such as Northern Virginia
- We strongly support increased funding for schools, mass transit, and highways
- We urge adoption of a statewide recycling goal of 40 percent of recyclable materials by the year 2005
1. Administration of Government, Generally
A. Public Employee Ethics. (1) Supports legislation requiring that state ethics brochures be provided to public officials and employees, who must certify in writing that they have read it before they assume their state or local government positions. (2) Urges legislation to replace the existing Virginia Senate and House Ethics Advisory Panels with a comprehensive state/local ethics commission.
B. Requirement of State-Owned Industrial Facilities to Develop Environmental Management Plans. Supports legislation to develop and implement pollution-prevention plans and to establish a state office to coordinate and provide technical assistance.
C. Initiative and Referendum. Requests the Governor of Virginia to appoint a bipartisan study commission to examine and weigh the potential assets and liabilities of Initiative and Referendum in Virginia.
Baseball Stadium Authority. Urges repeal of the Virginia Stadium Authority, Virginia Code section 15.1.227-71 and opposes use of public funds for professional sports facilities in Virginia. Supports return of professional baseball to the Nation's Capital.
National Airport. Strongly protests the recent expansion of flights into and out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and strongly opposes any weakening of safety and environmental standards at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. 
4. Conservation (environment)
Importation of Trash. Strongly urges Governor Gilmore, our congressional delegation, and the General Assembly to continue to pursue all available avenues to prevent additional importation of trash into Virginia.
5. Crimes and Offenses Generally
A. Sodomy Laws. Supports repeal of the sodomy law as it applies to consenting adults.
B. Sexual Orientation. Supports the addition of sexual orientation to the coverage of antidiscrimination and Hate Crimes laws.
C. Aggressive Panhandling. Requests the legislature to authorize the Arlington County Board to adopt an ordinance to make it unlawful for any person to panhandle in an aggressive manner, to panhandle within fifteen feet of an automatic teller machine, or to panhandle from any operator of a motor vehicle while standing in a roadway median or on a travel lane.
D. Handicapped Parking. Supports legislation to raise the reduced mail-in fine for parking in a handicapped space from approximately $100.00 to $300.00 (the current fine is $500 should you go to court).
E. Volunteer Enforcement of Handicapped Parking. Urges the Arlington County Board initiate training and deployment of volunteers to enforce handicapped parking violations in accordance with Section 46.2-1244 of the Code.
F. Red Light Cameras. Supports requiring the owner of a vehicle captured on film running a red light to be responsible for payment of the fine whether the owner or another person was driving. A defense for this crime could be providing a valid name and address of the offender or proof that the vehicle was stolen.
G. Crosswalk Safety. Supports legislation to require drivers to stop at all cross walks in which a pedestrian is trying to cross. Failure to do so would result in a $500 fine ($300 if mailed in) and 2 points.
6. Criminal Procedure
21-Day Rule. Urges passage of HB 1311 (Patron - Almand) to extend the period for consideration of potentially exculpatory evidence in capital cases from 21 days to 3 years.
7. Dangerous Weapons
A. Gun Control. Strongly supports requiring mandatory instant background checks on purchasers of all firearms at all gun shows and allowing up to seventy-two hours to complete the check if the instant check is inconclusive.
B. Unconcealed Weapons. Supports putting the same restrictions on unconcealed firearms as now are imposed on concealed firearms.
Employment. Urges prohibition of discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation.
9. Domestic Relations
Gay Marriage. Supports allowing gays and lesbians to marry in civil ceremonies and requires the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities be afforded married gays and lesbians as are afforded other married persons.
10. Energy Conservation and Resources
Recycling. Urges the General Assembly to increase recyclables to include such items as batteries, tires, styrofoam, metal, solvents, and building and paving materials.
A. Public School Opening. Supports enabling legislation to allow local School Boards to determine their public school calendar. Currently in Virginia, by state law, the school year cannot begin before Labor Day. This denies school boards the flexibility that may be needed when establishing the school calendar.
B. Standards of Learning (SOL). Urges a study by an accredited independent organization to determine of SOLs can be made a more effective measurement of student achievement.
12. Historic Preservation
Arlington House. Urges Arlington County Board members and state officials to join the Arlington County Civic Federation in seeking additional federal funding for repair work and maintenance at Arlington House, which is rapidly deteriorating.
Home Ownership Incentives. Urges Arlington County to develop incentives under 2000 General Assembly SB 87 to encourage law enforcement officers and deputy sheriffs to become homeowners and residents in Neighborhood Strategy Areas in Arlington.
A. Insurance Rates. Supports a law to prohibit insurance companies from raising rates when the insured motorists in accidents are found to be not "at fault."
B. Third-Party Notification. Supports policy-holder third-party notification so that vulnerable persons would not lose insurance coverage automatically if they should inadvertently miss a payment.
Limited Partners - Access to Information. Supports legislation that would permit citizen access to names and addresses of limited partners and their financial investments or other contributions in limited partnerships, which conduct business with state or local governments of at least $10,000 annually.
16. Property and Conveyances
Retention of Local Zoning Authority. Supports legislation to prohibit Commonwealth agencies from overriding local jurisdictional use plans and zoning
decisions and ordinances.
17. Public Health
A. AIDS Policy. Specifically requests that the legislature require the following:
(1). Premarital testing for HIV and reporting of results to both prospective spouses
(2). Testing of all pregnant women and reporting of results to both prospective parents, followed by treatment of infected mothers to prevent transmission to the fetus
(3) Testing of newborns and reporting of results to both parents, followed by treatment of infected infants.
B. Ban on Smoking in Restaurants. Urges legislation extending to Arlington County the authority to ban smoking on the premises of any restaurant or other establishment in which prepared food is served for consumption on the premises. Furthermore, when such enabling legislation has been enacted, the Civic Federation urges immediate imposition of the aforementioned restriction by Arlington County.
18. State Corporation Commission
State Corporation Commission. Supports increasing the SCC's membership from three to five and encourages General Assembly members to ensure that confirmation of candidates includes full disclosure review of their qualifications and records with regard to consumer issues.
A. Consumer Use Tax. Supports repeal of the Consumer Use Tax.
B. Economic (Fair-Market) Rent. Recommends establishment of statewide, economic (fair-market) rent, not contract rent, as the basis for assessments of commercial property.
C. Cigarette Tax. Supports authorizing Arlington County to increase the cigarette tax in a manner similar to that of cities.
D. Local Income Tax. Opposes legislation that would allow a local income tax.
20. Transportation and Highway Safety
A. Bicycle Safety. Supports requiring the Virginia Department of Transportation to establish sufficient right-of-way for bicycles during planning and construction of state roadways and greater accommodation for bicycles on state roadways.
B. Truck Safety. Supports measures to increase the number of officers and to strengthen penalties for violators in order to improve safety of truck operations on Virginia highways. Demands stronger enforcement of speed limits, and urges tougher requirements for commercial drivers' licenses.
C. Interstate 66. Opposes changes to I 66 inside the capital beltway unless such changes are part of a comprehensive regional transportation plan and are made with community consensus.
21. United States Government
Professional Sports Facilities. Supports an end to Federal tax subsidy for professional sports facilities.
22. Water and Sewer Systems
A. Water Quality Measurements. Supports the development and standardization of methods for the measurement of contaminants in storm waters and waters that feed the Chesapeake Bay.
B. Nutrient Reduction. Encourages the Commonwealth to consider methods in addition to point source control to achieve identified nutrient reduction goals.
C. Integrity of Public Water System. Supports a study of the integrity of the state's public water supply system to identify problems and ascertain whether penalties for lack of compliance are needed.
There are many safety and environmental concerns at National:
National Airport should be designated a short-range airport, and its current perimeter should remain at 1,250 miles.
A single master plan should be developed to coordinate efficient development and usage of MWAA airports according to the characteristics of each site, as required by existing legislation
MWAA should permit no 2-aisle wide-body jet operations
No loopholes should be allowed in the mandate that no more than 37 operations shall occur during any 60-minute period (the sum of takeoffs and landings; multiple sections of one flight shall not be counted as one operation only).
MWAA should permit no commercial flight operations between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
MWAA should develop immediately a plan for preventing the flow of highly poisonous de-icing solutions from flowing into the Potomac River
Detailed measurements should be made of all airport-polluting substances that result from all land and air vehicles.
Congress should ensure that there are no international flights at this airport.
We encourage DEQ to use appropriated funds to enforce environmental laws, including solid waste management, as intended by the legislature in 1998.
Aggressive panhandling means (i) approaching, speaking to, or following a person in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to fear imminent physical injury, or the imminent commission of a criminal act upon the person or upon property in the person's immediate possession; (ii) touching another person without that person's consent;
(iii) intentionally blocking or interfering by any means with the free passage of a person; or (iv) engaging in any conduct with the intention of intimidating another person into giving money or goods to any person.
Allowing school to begin prior to Labor Day should have no fiscal impact in Northern Virginia. Reason given for school not beginning before Labor Day is to allow employers a sufficient pool of summer laborers.
Citizens must present bona fide public interest reason for this information, and the partnership or its agent must provide this information within ten business days at a reasonable cost to the requester.
The State Corporation Commission regulates state corporations in the same way that the Securities and Exchange Commission regulates at the Federal level. The SCC has often been perceived as not sufficiently protective of consumer interests. The Federation believes a body as powerful as the SCC should have broader, more diverse representation than its present membership permits.
Although the Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that contract rent may be used, the Federation has opposed its use because it usually lowers commercial assessments shifting more of the real estate tax burden to homeowners.
This page was last revised on: December 27, 2003.