After meeting with Loudoun’s General Assembly delegation, county supervisors have laid out their priorities for state funding to prepare for the 2019 session.
Vice Chairman Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn) said the priorities were based not only on their importance to Loudoun, but whether they were attainable and whether they represent recurring sources of funding.
First on the list: maintaining funding to fill the vacant seat on the 20th Judicial Circuit, which includes the Loudoun Circuit Court. Last year, the General Assembly’s overtime budget deal not only implemented the Affordable Care Act in Virginia by expanding Medicaid access, but also funded all 31 authorized but unfunded judgeships in the state.
Loudoun’s legal community had pushed for several years to create a fourth bench seat in Loudoun because of the circuit’s heavy and complex caseload, finally gaining approval in 2015. But that was taken away again after the retirement of Judge Burke F. McCahill, when the General Assembly stripped funding before the seat could be filled again. The Loudoun Bar Association had nominated—and the General Assembly had declared qualified—Leesburg attorney Alex N. Levay to take McCahill’s spot on the bench. With no judgeship awaiting him, Levay continued his private practice.
That funding is still in Virginia’s two-year operating budget; Loudoun supervisors want their lobbyists and state representatives to make sure it stays in.
Second on the list is at least as much a hot-button issue for Loudoun: restoring funding to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.
Last year the General Assembly’s filled Virginia’s part of Metros’ funding gap in large part by taking it from Northern Virginia’s other transportation needs. The state put little new money into Metro; most of that funding was stripped from regional transportation projects by redirecting tax revenue from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. That drew strong criticism from local elected officials, businesses, and regional transportation and business groups for trying to solve Metro’s problem by further hobbling efforts to catch up on other transportation needs in Northern Virginia.
The list of priorities also includes requests to restore funding to Community Service Boards, which saw cuts last year; fully fund same-day access and primary care screening through Community Service Boards; and amend the budget to accept the 281 acres purchased by Loudoun County to expand a new state park north of Hillsboro, among other topics.