Current Position: State Delegate since 2007
David Bulova was first elected to the General Assembly in November 2005. He currently serves on the General Laws, Education, and Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources committees.
David is passionate about community service. He is currently on the Board of Trustees of Brain Injury Services, which provides support to survivors of brain injuries and their families, the Board of the City of Fairfax Band, and the Board of Advisors for the William and Mary Public Policy Program.
Featured video: This interview was conducted by Tim O’Shea in David Bulova’s Fairfax City office in July, 2019. Original interview recording has not been edited in any way.
Source: Campaign page
David Bulova and his family live in the Middleridge community of Fairfax. David and his wife Gretchen met while attending Robinson Secondary and have been married for 23 years. They have three wonderful children, Alex, Josette, and Grayson. David and Gretchen are proud of their hometown. They want to raise their children to have the same opportunities and with the same community-focused values they had growing up here.
Both David and Gretchen grew up in Fairfax. David received a BA from the College of William and Mary, a Master’s in Public Administration and Policy from Virginia Tech, and is a graduate of the Sorensen Institute of Political Leadership at the University of Virginia.
Professionally, David is a Project Manager at Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure, Inc. and works to help governments and industry comply with state and federal environmental regulations.
David was first elected to the General Assembly in November 2005. He currently serves on the General Laws, Education, and Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources committees. He is a member of the State Water Commission, Chesapeake Bay Commission, Housing Commission, the Joint Commission on Health Care, and the Virginia War Memorial Board. He serves as Governor McAuliffe’s appointee to the Legislative Advisory Council to the Southern Region Education Board and the Legislative Advisory Board to the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, and was Governor Kaine’s appointee to the Commission on Climate Change. From 2003 to 2005, David was an elected representative on the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District Board.
David is passionate about community service. He is currently on the Board of Trustees of Brain Injury Services, which provides support to survivors of brain injuries and their families, the Board of the City of Fairfax Band, and the Board of Advisors for the William and Mary Public Policy Program. His is also an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Centreville-Chantilly. Other community service includes: former coach with Fairfax Little League and Burke Athletic Club soccer; former member and treasurer of the Rotary Club of Annandale (1999-2002); former member of the Fairfax County Tree Commission (2004-2005); and, former Governor’s appointee to the Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Board.
- Project Manager/Environmental Planner
Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure, Inc.
2004 to present
- Board of Directors
Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District
2006 to present
- B.A., Government
The College of William and Mary
1991 to present
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
1996 to present
- Citation of Merit for Outstanding Citizen Service, Fairfax Federation of Citizen Associations (2002)
- Watershed Connections Award and Legislator of the Year (2005)
- Friends of Trees Award, Fairfax County Tree Commission (2008)
- Legislator of the Year, Virginia Professional Firefighters (2009)
- Legislative Achievement Award, Virginia Emergency Management Association (2010)
- Legislator of the Year, American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia (2011)
- Brownson Award, Virginia Association of Museums (2014)
- Legislator of the Year, Commissioners of the Revenue Association of Virginia (2015)
- Michael S. Harris Award, American Association of University Professors (2015)
- Industrial Strength Leadership Award, Virginia Manufacturing Association (2017)
- Excellence in Workforce Development Award, Virginia Chamber of Commerce (2017)
Birth Year: 1969
Place of Birth: Fairfax, VA
Religion: Roman Catholic
Spouse: Gretchen Marie Reimer
Children: Alex, Josette, and Grayson
Membership & Affiliation
- St. Mary’s of Sorrows Catholic Church
- Brain Injury Services (board of trustees)
- Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Board (former member)
- Rotary of Centreville (honorary member)
- City of Fairfax Band (board member)
- William and Mary Public Policy Program (board of advisors)
- Sorensen Institute Political Leaders Program
Legislative Assistant: Rama Van Pelt
Administrative Assistant During Session: Mary Ann Christian
900 E. Main St,
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Phone: (804) 698-1037
9900 Main St. Plaza 102
Fairfax, VA 22031
Phone: (703) 310-6752
Elected State/Local Office: Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (board of directors, 2004-06)
2019 State DelegateArray
|David L. Bulova (D)||14,279||91.89%|
2017 State DelegateArray
|David L. Bulova (D)||18,877||93.53%|
|Write In (Write-in)||1,305||6.47%|
2015 State DelegateArray
|David L. Bulova (D)||7,065||57.3%|
|Sang Hyun Yi (R)||5,249||42.6%|
|Write In (Write-in)||9||.1%|
2013 State DelegateArray
|David L. Bulova (D)||11,526||60.9%|
|Patrice Marie Winter (R)||7,353||38.9%|
|Write In (Write-in)||39||.2%|
2011 State DelegateArray
|David L. Bulova (D)||7,021||59.5%|
|Brian William Schoeneman (R)||4,752||40.3%|
|Write In (Write-in)||19||.2%|
2009 State DelegateArray
|David L. Bulova (D)||12,209||67.6%|
|Christopher Francis DeCarlo ()||4,471||24.7%|
|Anna M. Choi ()||1,245||6.9%|
|Write In (Write-in)||147||0.8%|
2007 State DelegateArray
|David L. Bulova (D)||13,647||98.1%|
|Write In (Write-in)||269||1.9%|
David Bulova has run in 7 races for public office, winning 7 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $1,537,598.
Source: Follow the Money
Agricultural Best Management Practices
Chesapeake Bay Commission
Health Care, Joint Commission on
House Agriculture Chesapeake and Natural Resources
House General Laws
Standards of Learning Innovation Committee
Virginia Housing Commission
War Memorial Board, Virginia
Water Commission, State
See: Vote Smart
As your voice in the Virginia House of Delegates, I believe it is important for you to know where I stand on the issues affecting our community. Even more, I believe that action speaks louder than words. Please see below for my priorities and the legislation that I have introduced or supported to turn these priorities into reality.
Ethics Reform/Open and Accountable Government
In 2015, I introduced aggressive legislation (HB1667) on ethics reform, including a hard cap of $100 per year on all gifts. My bill was rolled into HB2070, which was signed by the Governor. While I will continue to press for stronger legislation, this effort moves Virginia in the right direction.
As your voice in Richmond, I am accountable to you for my votes and strive to make government more open and accessible. Open and accountable government starts right here at home. Each year I hold a town hall meeting during session, mail constituents a Report from Richmond to summarize issues tackled by the General Assembly, conduct a Constituent Survey, and host a series of “informal office hours” where residents can stop by to chat and provide feedback on community issues. Each spring I also send a letter to all community/civic association presidents offering to speak at meetings and attend community events.
Finally, I believe that voters should choose their representatives – not the other way around. Our current system of redistricting results in too many non-competitive districts that are drawn for political purposes. I have supported numerous efforts to establish a non-partisan Virginia Advisory Redistricting Commission. While these measures failed, I will continue to be a strong advocate for this very important electoral reform.
The General Assembly has an obligation to use your tax dollars wisely and efficiently. Virginia has a AAA bond rating because of our reputation for fiscal responsibility. It is critical for Virginia to continue this tradition. I am proud that Virginia’s Constitution requires a balanced budget and that the General Assembly has worked together in a bi-partisan manner to do this in a fiscally responsible manner.
As a member of the House of Delegates, I have supported several initiatives to streamline the delivery of services. In 2010, I spearheaded successful legislation (HB208) that eliminated a half-dozen outdated or redundant school reporting requirements to ensure that funding goes where it belongs — in our classrooms. In 2011, I voted for successful legislation that established the state-wide Office of the Inspector General (HB2076) to investigate allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse. In 2012, I supported and was appointed to the conference committee for HB1295, which eliminated several outdated mandates on local government and regional government entities. Also in 2012, I sponsored successful legislation (HB1164) that eliminated redundant review of many local road projects — a practice that had resulted in significant delays of much needed local improvements.
As our community relies more and more on electronically stored data, the opportunity for personal information to reach the wrong hands also increases. Identity theft can have a devastating impact on both individuals and families, and Virginia must vigorously pursue and prosecute anyone who steals or misuses personal information.
That is why I spearheaded amendments to the Personal Information Privacy Act to curtail the practice of drivers license swiping by retailers (HB1072). I also worked with the Secretary of Technology to introduce HB390 the “Compromised Data Disclosure Act” during the 2008 General Assembly Session. My bill was ultimately rolled into HB1469, which was signed by the Governor. As a result, any time personal information is accessed by an unauthorized person, the keeper of the information, whether business or government, must notify the individual and the Office of the Attorney General that a breach has occurred. I was also proud to support legislation to allow any consumer to freeze access to his or her credit report (HB 1311) to ensure that the information cannot be accessed without the consumer’s explicit authorization.
Finally, I introduced successful legislation in 2010 (HB 210) to strengthen Virginia’s extortion statute and to close a dangerous loop-hole that would have allowed someone to threaten to sell personal information for financial gain.
While I am pleased with the progress we have made to protect our citizens from identity theft, much work remains to be done. Sensitive personal information can still be obtained all too easily, including from publicly available land records and legal proceedings. Protecting our citizens from identity theft will continue to be one of my top priorities.
We are all consumers and deserve to be protected from unscrupulous and predatory business practices. Bad businesses also make it harder for good businesses to compete. As former chairman of the Fairfax County Consumer Protection Commission, I have introduced a number of bills aimed at enhancing consumer protection in Virginia. In 2012, I introduced legislation (HB429) to provide consumers with more tools to prevent the practice of “cramming” on telephone bills. Cramming is the practice of placing misleading or deceptive charges on your telephone bill without authorization. Often, these are small charges with generic names in the hope that they won’t be noticed. Since introduction, federal regulations were passed that achieved the goals of my proposed legislation. In 2014, I introduced successful legislation (HB1072, the Personal Information Privacy Act) to make it illegal for a business to scan a driver’s license and to keep the information for marketing or other purposes not related to the immediate transaction. Currently, I am working to better regulate predatory car title lenders and introduced HB1620 at the request of the Governor.
While there are signs of improvement, much more needs to be done to reduce unemployment and spark economic growth. This requires investing in our transportation infrastructure and education, fostering an environment that rewards creativity and innovation, and reducing regulatory burdens to starting and running a business. In particular, Virginia needs to increase investments in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and our community college system. We also need to reform and streamline our tax system while ensuring that sufficient revenue is generated at the state and local levels to provide needed services. I was a co-patron of the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Act (HB834) and supported the formation of the Virginia International Trade Corporation (HB858). In 2017, I was proud to receive the Excellence in Education and Workforce Development Award from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce for my efforts in career and technical education.
As the proud parent of three children who attend Fairfax County Public Schools, I know first hand the importance of quality public education. As a member of the Education Reform Subcommittee, I have worked closely on efforts to reform our Standards of Learning and was a co-patron of legislation creating the Standards of Learning Reform Committee. I was proud to accept the Virginia Education Association’s “Solid as a Rock for Public Education Award” for my efforts on the House Education Committee in 2017. Over the years, I have introduced successful legislation to promote career and technical education opportunities (HB1552) and strengthen the process for dealing with teachers accused of sexually assaulting a student. I have also co-sponsored legislation (HB 1871) to enhance efforts to fight bullying in our schools.
As your delegate, my priorities include:
- Keep class size low in order to maximize the ability of teachers to provide individualized attention to students.
- Retain and recruit highly qualified teachers and support staff.
- Provide students with modern educational facilities that maximize the use of technology.
- Promote parental involvement in our schools as a key component to learning.
- Continually look for opportunities to streamline operations and assess the effectiveness of existing programs.
- Revise the State’s Composite Index so that our schools get a fair share of funding. Fairfax County currently received only 32% of its base-funding from the State, while the City of Fairfax only receives 20%.
Whether you are concerned about the impacts of climate change or the threat to national security posed by our dependence on foreign energy sources, sustainable energy is one of our nation’s greatest challenges. In 2015, I introduced legislation to create a Virginia Solar Energy Development Authority (HB1725) and was chief co-patron of the final adopted legislation (HB2267). This initiative will ensure that Virginia can take advantage of growth in this industry by unleashing the power of small businesses that are on the forefront of this technology. In 2011, I introduced successful legislation that will position Virginia to be a leader in the area of electric plug-in vehicles by eliminating regulatory hurdles that would stifle entrepreneurialism (HB2105). In 2009, I also successfully passed HB1994 to increase Virginia’s renewable energy goal to 15% by the year 2025.
I will continue to work hard to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels while keeping energy affordable. My priorities include:
- Invest in clean, renewable sources of energy. Virginia has enormous potential to be a leader in renewable energy. This is good for the environment and our economy. I support: harnessing our tremendous off-shore wind resources; providing incentives for the production of biofuels that do not compete with our food supply; increasing our investment in research at our universities; and, other innovative approaches, such as harvesting methane from landfills and agricultural operations.
- Empower residents to conserve energy. This is win-win for the environment and the consumer. I support: expanding smart meters so that consumers have better information about their energy consumption; exploring public-private partnerships to retrofit existing buildings; assisting low income families with weatherization; and, providing tax incentives to encourage investment in solar and wind power.
- Encourage more efficient cars and reduce our reliance on the automobile. Automobiles account for more than a third of our greenhouse gas emissions. Nationally, we must continue to increase fuel efficiency standards. Here in Virginia, we need to encourage land use patterns that promote walking and biking and take advantage of public transit.
Virginia is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. As an environmental planner by profession, I consider it a special responsibility to fight for the environment in the General Assembly. I am proud to have been designated as a Legislative “Hero” or “Leader” by the Virginia League of Conservation Voters for the past ten years.
As your delegate, I have successfully spearheaded legislation to:
- better coordinate drinking water supply planning and permitting (HB1158);
- require the leak-plagues Pickett Road Tank Farm in the City of Fairfax to bring their above ground storage tanks into conformance with modern industry standards (HB2103);
- strengthen solid waste planning in Virginia (HB421);
- better protect our Potomac River water supply during drought conditions (HB2487); and,
- increase the penalties that local governments can use against developers that violate our water quality regulations (HB 392).
I also successfully fought for new legislation to help local governments in Northern Virginia preserve mature trees during development (HB1437). Mature trees not only increase property values and beautify our neighborhoods, they also help to clean the air. In recognition of this achievement, I was proud to accept the 2008 Fairfax County Friends of Trees Award.
Land Use and Growth
No amount of transportation funding can overcome poor land use planning and growth that exceeds our capacity to serve it with public infrastructure. My priorities are to strengthen the ability of our local governments to manage growth responsibility and to strengthen regional coordination of land use planning. In 2013, I introduced successful legislation (HB 2326) that provides our regional planning agency, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, with the authority to develop a regional strategic plan to help better coordinate growth and regional service delivery.
Today, approximately one million Virginians lack health insurance, which means that our emergency rooms provide the primary source of health care for many of these individuals. As a result, the financial burden of this care is shifted mainly to those with private insurance in the form of higher premiums. Under the federal health care law, Virginia has the option of expanding Medicaid coverage to those with income under 133% of the federal poverty level, which represents more than 300,000 people. For the first three years of the program, the federal government will pay 100% of the cost. The federal share will then be slowly reduced to 90%. This is expected to save Virginia significant money by making the system more efficient and ensuring that more people get preventative health care. This is one of the reasons why expansion is supported by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce. In 2014, I supported a bi-partisan plan to put Virginia on a path for Medicaid expansion and make sure that Virginia doesn’t leave $5 million per day on the table that could go to the improving the health of our citizens.
As a member of the General Assembly’s Joint Commission on Health Care, I have worked closely with Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel on a wide range of health care and mental health issues. These include:
- Mental health reform. In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, the General Assembly made important reforms to our mental health laws and increased the resources available to courts and case managers. We need to continue to refine these reforms and ensure that funding is not cut to these critical services.
- Autism spectrum disorder. I co-patroned the successful effort to require health insurers to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder. The benefits of early intervention are enormous, not only to the child, but also in terms of the long-term cost savings to the state. No family should be put in the position of having to decide if they can afford appropriate treatment.
- Smoking in restaurants ban. As a member of the General Laws Committee, I helped to pass the landmark legislation in 2009 that protects both the health of customers and workers by significantly limiting smoking in restaurants.
Traffic congestion threatens our economy and our quality of life. As the parent of three children, I know the frustration of being late for that important recital or evening sports practice. I have consistently supported common-sense measures to provide much needed transportation funding for the Northern Virginia region. In 2013, I supported the comprehensive transportation package that passed the General Assembly on a bi-partisan basis. This package resulted in substantial new revenue that is going toward our region’s most pressing and aggravating problems. In 2016, I introduced several pieces of legislation regarding the Governor’s plan to toll I-66 inside and outside of the Beltway. I successfully passed HB407 to ensure that HOV-2 could not be converted to HOV-3 for the purpose of tolling. I was also part of a group of legislators that brokered a deal to widen I-66 inside the Beltway from the Dulles Connector to Ballston.
In addition, I will continue to advocate for changes in the way that transportation funding is distributed to make it more equitable for Northern Virginia. I spearheaded efforts to change the transportation maintenance formula (HBs 389, 6011, 1993, 1491, and 477) and in 2013 co-patroned legislation to provide Northern Virginia with more representation on the Commonwealth Transportation Board (HB864). Getting our fair share will continue to be one of my top priorities.
Additional priorities include:
- Increase our investment in transportation technology, including telework, “smart highways,” and better synchronization of our traffic lights.
- Help get people out of their cars by making strategic investments in bike paths and walking trails.
- Expand Metro to Centreville and beyond and adequately fund both Metro and the Virginia Railway Express.
As the son and grandson of veterans, I am thankful for the sacrifices our veterans make to protect our freedoms. In 2015, I was a proud co-patron of successful legislation authorizing a Northern Virginia Veterans Care Center (HB1276). I have been proud to support Virginia’s Wounded Warriors Program as both a member of the House of Delegates and as a Board Member of Brain Injury Services, Inc. During the 2011 session, I had the honor to serve as chief co-patron of successful legislation (HB1691) designed to help veterans who have fallen on tough times. Based on successful programs in New York and Pennsylvania, the legislation allows local courts to establish special dockets for veterans and active military service members who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury and run into trouble with the law. According to a 2008 RAND Corporation study, nearly 20 percent of our service men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Many more suffer from traumatic brain injury – both diagnosed and undiagnosed. Fewer than half of these individuals actually seek treatment for PTSD or depression. Unfortunately, while trying to recover, some of these veterans fall into drug and alcohol abuse or commit minor crimes and end up in the criminal justice system. It is during these trying times that our veterans need our assistance the most. The premise behind HB1691 is to provide alternatives to incarceration when possible and to ensure that judges are aware of the rehabilitative programs offered by state and federal agencies as well as local veterans organizations. I was proud to work with the Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Service Organizations, which represents over two dozen veteran service organizations in Virginia, on this effort.
All Virginians deserve safe, decent, affordable housing. To achieve that goal, I have supported increased funding for the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, a flexible loan and grant resource that addresses a range of local housing needs from homelessness to homeownership. I also passed legislation to provide the City of Fairfax additional authority to negotiate with developers to provide affordable housing (HB1471). Finally, I support ensuring adequate funding to provide permanent and supportive homes for individuals with serious mental illness and other disabilities.
Go to link to campaign site above for more newsletter posts and for links within each newsletter post.
Every fall David Bulova has a tradition started in 2006 by holding Fall informal office hours at restaurants in the 37th District. Constituents can share an issue or ask questions about legislation that is likely to be debated during the 2019 General Assembly. The format is casual and no appointment is needed. Coffee is on Delegate Bulova!
Bulova’s 2019 office hour schedule is yet to be determined.
Budget Amendments and Session Close
February 24, 2019
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2019 General Assembly adjourned sine die this morning at 11:52 a.m. It was certainly one for the history books. This quote from yesterday’s Washington Post about sums it up: “With national attention focused on one embarrassing revelation after another, the legislature kept working, managing bipartisan agreement on a major plan to provide income tax relief for residents and cutting a similar deal on adding money for teacher salaries, at-risk students and other priorities.”
The General Assembly must balance the budget each year in accordance with the Virginia Constitution. Since Virginia’s biennial budget was adopted last year, this year we focused on amendments. Final action on the budget is a single up or down vote – which means that there are things to love and hate. On the whole, however, this was a good budget that addressed some pressing issues. I voted yes along with the vast majority of my colleagues. A few highlights:
Cash reserves were increased by $565.5M to $1.45B by the end of the biennium. This equates to ~6.7% of general fund revenues. The long-term goal is at least 8%. These reserves are critical to our AAA bond rating and ensuring that we are able to weather economic downturns.
$85.7M in net new funding for K-12 education. Over the biennium, Fairfax County Public Schools will see an increase in basic state aid of ~$7M.
The biennial budget already included an increase in teacher salaries by 3%. The amendments increase this to 5% and is part of our effort to address Virginia’s growing teacher shortage.
$12.2M to increase the counselor-to-student ratio in public schools and $5.7M for other school safety recommendations of the Select Committee on School Safety.
$57.5M in additional funding for in-state undergraduate affordability. Higher education took the greatest budget hit during the last recession – which has led to skyrocketing tuition. In turn, this has led to an untenable situation as students and families take on more debt. By accepting this funding, institutions of higher education must maintain tuition at FY2019 levels. The budget also includes $15.5 in new in-state undergraduate financial aid.
$3M for the Housing Trust Fund – raising the total for the biennium to $14M. This fund is used for affordable housing and homelessness prevention efforts.
$10M for the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund, which is used to help urban areas meet Chesapeake Bay restoration requirements.
$5M for additional Safety Service Patrols. Sixteen percent of all interstate highway delays are caused by incidents. This funding will help to get them cleared faster.
There are many, many other items in the budget – with both winners and losers when it comes to funding. If you have a particular interest area, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Transportation – Lost Opportunity
For those of you who completed my constituent survey, you know that I asked a question about using tolls to make safety and congestion relief improvements to I-81. The initial proposal came from legislators along that corridor. While there is certainly a need, it did not come as a shock to me that there was not a great deal of excitement about the prospect of even more tolls in Virginia.
And that leads me to what I think is this session’s greatest lost opportunity. There is, actually, another way to generate revenue for I-81. Virginia’s $0.237 truck diesel tax rate is the lowest of all states along the I-81 corridor. At the same time, Virginia’s truck registration fee is also the lowest in the corridor ($9.58 per 1,000 pounds in Virginia compared to an average of $17.83). These taxes and fees are only paid for by commercial vehicles. Simply increasing them to the average would generate ~$105M annually that could be bonded for improvements to I-81. The plan would also have resulted in $23.4M per year for transportation projects here in Northern Virginia!
Trucks are a vital part of our economy. However, they should also pay their fair share. According to analysis by our Secretary of Transportation, while trucks are estimated to account for 29% of the impacts on Virginia’s roads – they currently contribute only 10.2% of state transportation taxes. Sadly, the bill went sideways at the last minute.
Yesterday was a big day for redistricting reform! After years of advocating for an end to partisan gerrymandering, we finally got to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that will make meaningful changes (SJ306).
The measure establishes the Virginia Redistricting Commission, to be comprised of 16 members tasked with establishing legislative districts every ten years. The membership would consist of eight legislative members (with equal representation from the two major parties) and eight citizen members. The citizen members would be selected by a committee of five retired Virginia judges. Any redistricting plan must have the vote of at least six of the eight legislative members and six of the eight citizen members. Should the commission fail to act, or the General Assembly fail to adopt the plan recommended by the commission, then districts would be drawn by the Virginia Supreme Court.
Voltaire said ” Le meglio è l’inimico del bene” or “Perfect is the enemy of good.” That aptly describes my yes vote on this measure. I would have preferred a truly independent redistricting commission, but this is a good approach. To become part of the Virginia Constitution, the resolution must pass in identical form next year, and then go to the voters for ratification in November 2020.
The General Assembly took action on many other pieces of legislation. For instance, for the first time, Virginia will allow no-excuse absentee voting in person beginning on the second Saturday immediately preceding an election (SB1026). We also passed a series of bills designed to help reduce evictions in Virginia after a study indicated that several of our cities have among the highest eviction rates in the nation. Sadly, legislation requiring hands-free technology for personal communications devices while driving faltered right before the finish line (HB1811). While the original bill would have required hands-free, the conference committee report only made minor tweaks to our existing texting and driving law and was rejected.
This year, I introduced 15 bills – 11 of which are now on their way to the Governor. These include measures to make our communities more walkable (HB1913), increase knowledge about proper drug disposal (HB1743), and promote private investment in electric vehicle infrastructure (HB1934). I also carried several bills on behalf of the Virginia Housing Commission dealing with home-based child care and HOA capital reserve studies.
Thank you to everyone who visited, wrote, or called me this session. Thank you as well to everyone who completed my 2019 Constituent Survey. Click here to see the results.
I am proud to represent such an engaged community. See you back home in Fairfax!
Cross Over Week and Tax Compromise
February 9, 2019
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Last Friday seems like a universe away. The revelations and allegations over the past week have been difficult to process for all of us — and I can’t even imagine the pain that this has caused the African American community and those who have been the victims of sexual assault. Thank you to the many constituents who have called and sent emails expressing their thoughts and concerns. My prayer for Virginia is that, while extremely painful, we will use what is happening today as an opportunity to heal and bring us together.
Despite all that is going on, my focus is, and will continue to be ensuring that my ~85,000 constituents are represented to the best of my ability in the legislative process.
Cross Over Week
We have now reached the half-way point of the session. Known as “cross-over,” this is when the House must act on all of its legislation, and the Senate must do likewise. What survives is transmitted to the other body. On Monday and Tuesday, we literally voted on over 200 measures. While many of these bills are relatively technical, others represent significant changes in policy.
One big proposed change is to prohibit a person from holding a personal communication device while driving (HB1811). The current law, which only prohibits reading or writing an email or text message is extremely difficult to enforce. The shift to “hands-free” will be accompanied by an aggressive driver education and outreach program so that no one should be surprised. I am a co-patron of this bill, which passed the House 69Y-27N. Deaths from distracted driving are set to eclipse the number of deaths from drunk driving. In 2017 alone, at least 208 traffic fatalities were linked to distracted driving compared to 248 fatalities linked to drunk driving.
Another big issue has been whether Virginia should allow betting on professional sports and/or allow casino gambling in certain localities. This is an area where I think we need to be extremely careful and do not support making these decisions in a compressed 46 day session. Rather, I supported the creation of a new Gaming Commission (HB2321), which will be tasked with looking at the pros and cons, as well as any potential unintended consequences, and reporting back to the General Assembly with their findings.
Finally, many of you have asked about the status of redistricting reform. I strongly believe that we must take the politics out of the redistricting process. I favored the approach proposed by OneVirginia2021 (SJ274), which would have created a citizen-based, non-partisan redistricting commission. While that measure failed, I also support SJ306, which creates a redistricting commission composed of eight citizen and eight legislative members. SJ306 passed the Senate and is now being considered in the House. I opposed a measure introduced in the House (HJ615). While there are several problematic aspects to the propose amendment, the one that gives me the greatest concern is a clause stating that every effort should be made to preserve “parity” between the two political parties. To me, enshrining political parity is the opposite of what redistricting reform ought to be about.
If you have been tracking an issue and want an update, please send me a note!
Now, for some much needed good news! Yesterday, a bipartisan compromise was announced to provide relief to the 26% of Virginia taxpayers who would pay more in state taxes as a result of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). A key aspect of the debate has been to make sure that we actually understand who is paying more taxes. Of the 26%, ~40% make under $50K and would see the highest average tax increase (~4%). The next hardest hit groups make between $50K and $125K (35% of those paying more and a 3.5% increase) and between $125K and $250K (24% and 2.5%).
The compromise raises Virginia’s standard deduction for single filers from $3K to $4.5K and for joint filers from $6K to $9K. This is long overdue anyway, since Virginia’s standard deduction hasn’t been raised since 2005. The change benefits all tax brackets, but helps those at the lower ends by making the entire system more progressive. The other major component is a one-time refund this October of $220 and $110 for joint and single filers, respectively. Again, this will benefit all tax payers, but is designed to help those most impacted by TCJA. Any remaining revenue as a result of the TCJA will be held in a Tax Reform Fund or Reserve Fund. Click here for additional details.
Most importantly, the bill includes a conformity clause that will enable tax payers the certainty they need to file their returns and start receiving their refunds. Because the bill needs to be enacted as emergency legislation to go into effect before July 1st, it requires an 80% vote by both the House and the Senate to pass. While the bill isn’t perfect, it is fair and represents a reasonable step forward. I intend to vote for passage when it comes up next Monday.
As always, thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the House of Delegates!
In the News
Thanks Virginia Mercury for covering my work to bring more transparency to donations made to our public universities. Our universities rely on the generosity of private donors. At the same time, financial support conditioned on the acceptance of terms that could affect academic decision making should not be shielded from public view. I am pleased that the Freedom of Information Act Council has agreed to study my HB2386 that will bring more sunshine to the process. The bill was introduced in response to the discovery of “problematic gift agreements” made to George Mason University.
Fall 2020 Coffee Chat
When: December 12, 2020 12:00 pm
Who: Delegate David Bulova
Every fall David Bulova has a tradition started in 2006 by holding Fall informal office hours at restaurants in the 37th District. Constituents can share an issue or ask questions about legislation that is likely to be debated during the General Assembly. The format is casual and no appointment is needed. Coffee is on Delegate Bulova!
David Bulova 2019 Town Hall
When: February 2, 2019 9:00 am
Where: Fairfax City Hall Council Chambers at 10455 Armstrong Street
Who: David Bulova & Chap Petersen
Go to this post to see videos and read more about Town Hall.
David Bulova interview
Published on July 11, 2019
Tim O’Shea interviews David Bulova at Delegate Bulova’s Fairfax office:
This interview was Democracy onAir’s first experimental video interview of a politician. Much gratitude to David Bulova for participating in this first effort by Democracy onAir to develop for students an easy to use, pre-formatted template to record, edit, and display their politician interviews.
VA House Delegate David Bulova on HB2416
Published on February 5, 2019
By: Virginia onAir
Delegate David Bulova’s Summer Serenade 2014
Published on July 24, 2014
By: Catherine Reed
A brief recap of some of the highlights of Virginia’s 2013 Legislative Session. Delegate David Bulova hosted his annual Summer Serenade at the Historic Blenheim/Civil War Interpretive Center in Fairfax City, VA. Good food, smooth jazz and spectacular weather! Gretchen Bulova, her parents Janet & Charlie Reimer along with other family members, friends and volunteers put together a memorable evening for all of us.
Rock the Vote/Progress Virginia Voter Guide Statement
Published on August 13, 2017
By: David Bulova
Del. David Bulova responds to the question “What makes you the best candidate to champion young voters?” while addressing the George Mason Democrats at their first meeting of the year. This video was submitted for use in the Progress Virginia Education Fund and Rock the Vote Voter Guide for the November 2017 Election.