All posts by Kris Amundson

The Worst Thing the General Assembly Did This Year

I know, I know, there’s quite a bit of competition for this prize. But hands down, the single worst thing we did had to be the decision not to provide funding for Child Care and Development Funding.

Late this year, the state learned that federal funds for this program were being reduced. In Fairfax County, the funding allows for subsidized child care for more than 6500 kids each month. Most of them are in working families, many in families headed by single parents.

The County sent an urgent request to the Governor asking for help in matching the county funds that support the program. I received a copy of the letter, which was sent to every single one of us who represents Fairfax County.

But when voting on the budget amendments, four Fairfax County Republican delegates voted to cut the funding. Why? Ostensibly “for transportation.” Problem is, the funds will provide only a quarter of a cloverleaf intersection.

Meanwhile, 1,900 Fairfax County children of the working poor will not have access to subsidized child care.

Why would delegates vote against their own constituents? Although they didn’t say so on the floor, the majority caucus had taken a binding vote. That means that just 35 members made the policy decision for the House. And under the new rules of the House, there are now real consequences for breaking with the Caucus after a vote to bind.

Still, it was both bad policy and bad politics.

Here we go again

We’re at it again. Although most of the Session That Would Not End was not much fun, Bob and I had a great time with the blogging part.

So we’re at it again. This blog will allow us to talk about issues a little more wide-ranging than just the budget impasse (although with the Transportation Session coming up in the fall, I imagine we’ll have something to say about that).

The picture above? It’s our offices on the 7th floor, west end, of the General Assembly Building. (The “GAB” as it’s known in Richmond-speak). Neither of us is senior enough to be on the Capitol Square side of the building, but we enjoy our view of the Library of Virginia and Richmond City Hall.

For those of you who read us on Extra Innings, welcome back. To those of you who never made it to that blog, welcome … period.