Editorial: New Year’s Goals

Editorial: New Year’s Goals

A few wishes for the Virginia General Assembly, more coming ...

  • Expand Medicaid: Expanding Medicaid to cover as many as 400,000 uninsured people in Virginia under the Affordable Care Act would come at virtually no cost to Virginia and would be a massive boost to Virginia’s economy. The local and state economy is suffering from the loss of federal spending in other areas, and it’s just plain crazy and mean-spirited to deny medical care for people who can’t afford it otherwise, and at the same time, turn away an economic stimulus equal to 20,000 or more jobs and a direct infusion of nearly $2 billion a year.

  • Fund Education: Localities need more help from the Commonwealth to pay for schools.

  • Fostering Futures: Help teens in foster care by extending services and support, including foster care maintenance payments, to qualifying individuals age 18 to 21 years. The money spent will matched by Federal dollars, and every dollar spent helping former foster children become independent, self-supporting adults saves a bundle in other costs down the line.

  • Stop Predatory Lending: The local impacts of predatory lending, including some car title loans, can be devastating to struggling families and individuals who get into the cycle of high interest debt. This is not an issue of just allowing more choice as some have claimed. And when someone loses the vehicle he or she needs to get to work, the costs can extend.

Early Voting for Presidential Primary Starts Next Week

Every year is an election year in Virginia.

Just two months ago, Virginia voters faced ballots for almost every state and local elected officials. While candidates spent millions of dollars and not very much changed, some critical races in Virginia have been decided by a fraction of one percent of votes cast.

Elections have had significant consequences here, and the coming election is likely to be in that category.

Early voting (absentee voting in person) for U.S. Presidential Primaries starts Jan. 15, really, starting in just a little more than a week. The official primary date is March 1, but there is no reason to wait until then to vote.

Voters in Virginia don’t register by party, but can only vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary. To vote in the Republican primary, each voter will need to sign a form asserting that he or she is in fact a Republican.

Democrats will choose between Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders (in that order).

Republicans will choose among 13 candidates who will be listed in the following order: Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Jim Gilmore, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, John Kasich and Carly Fiorina.

For details on absentee voting in Fairfax County, see www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/absentee.htm.

For details on absentee voting in the City of Alexandria, see www.alexandriava.gov/Elections.

For details on absentee voting in Arlington, see vote.arlingtonva.us/absentee/.