General Laws Position Statements - 2011 Legislative Program

Absentee Voting

Support legislation to allow “no-excuse” absentee voting, allowing any registered voter to vote absentee without requiring that the voter state a reason for his/her desire to vote absentee.  Support legislation that would provide for extended polling hours statewide to allow voters additional time to reach polling places.  Monitor consideration of an option for local governments to extend polling hours in the case of an emergency.  (Reaffirms previous position.)


Fiscal Transparency

Support legislation necessary to enable the disclosure of certain local government financial transactions, provided that issues of privacy are addressed.  Work is currently underway on the County's financial software that will provide more detailed budget and expenditure data to the public when the Enterprise Resource Plan project is completed.  (Reaffirms previous position.)   


Increased Threshold for Procurement of Professional Services

Support legislation to clarify that the threshold for procurement of professional services is $50,000, rather than $30,000.  The General Assembly increased the threshold for use of competitive negotiation for the purchase of professional services from $30,000 to $50,000 in 2009; this bill would correct the omission of an additional Code section which applies to counties that elect to establish alternative procurement procedures through a resolution. (New position.)


Sexual Orientation

Support legislation to permit the County, as an urban county executive form of government, to prohibit discrimination in the areas of housing, real estate transactions, employment, public accommodations, credit, and education on the basis of sexual orientation. Fairfax County has already taken actions pursuant to existing State enabling legislation in the preceding areas on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth, and disability.  (Reaffirms previous position.)


Videoconferencing of Advisory Boards

Support legislation to establish a limited exception to provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act that would permit certain local citizen boards, authorities, and commissions to conduct meetings via videoconferencing, which would serve several goals, including (1) increasing volunteerism, especially among senior citizens, (2) reducing time commitments and long commutes on congested roads that now serve as impediments to those persons who serve on advisory panels, and (3) conserving fuel and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.  Such a proposal could be crafted to apply only to entities that meet in an advisory capacity and are not required by statute.  The Governor’s Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring recently recommended allowing public bodies to meet electronically, provided certain conditions are met.  (Updates and reaffirms previous position)


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