2017 Constituent Survey

for 

Delegate Ronald A. Villanueva

The following are important public policy issues which may be considered by the General Assembly during the 2016 Legislative Session.  Your opinion is very important to me, so please take a few moments to let me know where you stand on these important issues.  If you are undecided on an issue, feel free to leave it blank and should you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me at
(757) 955-3522 or email me at delrvillanueva@house.virginia.gov.

Please complete the following:
Title
First Name
Last Name
Address
City
State
Zip Code
Email Address
Phone Number
The results of the survey will be e-mailed to respondents. If you would like to see the results of the survey for the entire 21st district, please provide your e-mail address above.
1.  From the following list of issues, which issue do you believe should be the top priority of the Virginia House of Delegates?
Please rank your responses 1 = Highest Priority, 8 = Lowest Priority.
Highest Priority
Lowest Priority
12345678
Creating jobs and improving the economy
Making higher education more affordable and accessible
Improving transportation
Improving health care
Improving K-12 education
Cutting wasteful government spending
Holding the line against higher taxes
Fighting ObamaCare and federal government overreach
2.  What core services provided by state government are most important to you?
Please rank your responses. 1 = Highest Priority, and 6 = Lowest Priority.
Highest Priority
Lowest Priority
123456
Fostering Jobs and Economic Development
Supporting K-12 Schools and Higher Education
Keeping Virginians Safe from Crime
Providing Health Care and Other Services for Those in Need
Strengthening Virginia’s Transportation System
Protecting the Environment
3.  Virginia continues to face budget constraints due to sequestration and federal tax increases. How do you believe the General Assembly should address such budgetary constraints?
Please rank your responses. 1 = First Course of Action, and 4 = Last Resort.
First Course of Action
Last Resort
1234
Raise general or statewide taxes (sales, income, business and/or gas)
Increase specific fees to cover the actual cost of providing certain government services
Cut government spending
Streamline government programs and services
4.  Would you support efforts to reform Virginia’s tax system by eliminating tax credits, deductions, incentives and preferences in order to lower the overall tax rate?
5.  Do you believe state government has a role to play in incentivizing job creation through the use of tax credits and economic development incentives?
6.  Do you think students are required to take too many, too few, or about the right number of SOL tests over the course of their educational career?
7.  Virginia spends about $16 billion per year on K-12 education, or about $11,000 per student per year. The state graduation rate is over 90%, school accreditation was up 10% from last year, and Virginia ranks in the top 10 in four out of five major national rankings. Do you think Virginia invests too much, not enough, or about the right amount in its public school system?
8.  School choice refers to the idea that parents and children should have a variety of traditional and non-traditional educational options available to ensure that each student’s learning experience helps them meet their full potential.
Check all that apply.
9.  Other states have adopted legislation creating “Parental Education Savings Accounts.” These optional accounts allow parents to use a portion of their child’s share of state funding for educational purposes, including tuition at a private or charter school, hire a tutor, enroll their child in online classes, or save for college. Would you support or oppose the creation of Parental Education Savings Accounts in Virginia?
10.  Virginia does not allow local school boards to start school before Labor Day, with limited exceptions in certain localities.  Some contend this helps accommodate businesses that hire students as summer employees and increases late-summer tourism.  Do you support giving school boards the ability to begin classes before Labor Day and set their own academic calendars?
11.  Do you support or oppose efforts to allow homeschool children to participate in public school sports programs?
12.  How do you feel about the cost of college tuition in Virginia?
13.  Of the following options, how do you think the General Assembly should address the rising cost of higher education?
Check all that apply.
14.  Do you support or oppose Medicaid Expansion in Virginia? While expansion would enroll up to 400,000 currently uninsured Virginians in Medicaid, it could cost the Commonwealth of Virginia over $1 billion per year, forcing cuts to other key services like education, mental health and public safety.
15.  Virginia’s Medicaid program is the fastest growing part of the state budget, having grown by 1600% in the last 30 years, and now accounts for over 20% of all state General Fund spending. To combat these rising costs, some lawmakers have proposed hiring an independent auditor to conduct a comprehensive financial and operational audit of Virginia’s Medicaid program. Would you support or oppose this audit?
16.  Public-private partnerships, often referred to as P3s, are a way for the Commonwealth to leverage private investment in building public assets. P3s are often utilized to build new roads, bridges, and tunnels to ease traffic congestion and gridlock in densely populated areas without having to borrow money at the expense of taxpayers. P3s recoup their investment by charging tolls on the individuals that use the roads. Do you think that the Commonwealth should consider using more P3s to enhance and improve our transportation system, about right, or fewer?
17.  Over the last two years, the General Assembly adopted a number of reforms to Virginia’s transparency, disclosure and ethics laws. Those reforms included (a) creating a $100 gift cap, (b) creating a statewide ethics advisory commission, (c) requiring more frequent disclosures, (d) requiring all disclosure forms be posted online, (e) requiring mandatory ethics training for elected officials. Which of the following do you believe?
18.  Virginia faces significant unfunded liabilities with the Virginia Retirement System. Steps have been taken to protect the long-term solvency of the pension system while protecting the interests of state employees, however significant liabilities still exist. One option to reduce those liabilities would be to change the retirement system for new hires from the traditional defined-benefit (DB) retirement to a defined-contribution (DC) retirement, similar to those offered in the private sector. This would allow new state employees greater flexibility in determining their retirement portfolio while reducing the Commonwealth’s unfunded liability. Would you support or oppose additional reforms to the state retirement plan?
19.  Do you believe that all state agencies and programs should be periodically reviewed to determine their efficiency, effectiveness and usefulness?
20.  Article V of the U.S. Constitution allows two-thirds of state legislatures to call a “Convention of the States” to amend the federal constitution. Some lawmakers have pushed a convention of the states to enact limits on federal authority and spending. Do you support or oppose a “Convention of the States?”
21.  Regarding Virginia’s traffic laws related to driving under the influence, would you say they are not tough enough, about right, or too tough?
22.  Would you support legislation making it easier for felons who claim they were wrongly convicted to present new evidence on appeal?
23.  Political rights include the right to vote, serve on a jury, run for public office, and serve as a notary public. When an individual is convicted of a felony, they automatically lose their political rights. Historically, Governors have granted rights restoration on an individualized basis after review. However, the Governor can restore political rights at his discretion, as did Governor McAuliffe with a sweeping executive order. Do you support amending the Virginia Constitution to establish permanent framework on restoring political rights?
24.  Currently, Virginia does not allow early voting but does have absentee voting, both in-person and by mail. Early voting does not require a reason, but absentee voting does. Some have proposed early voting as a way to ease lines at the polls on Election Day and increase voter participation. Opponents argue that there is no indication early voting increases participation and that the costs of early voting, plus the challenges of keeping the votes secure for a long period of time, do not make it worthwhile. Do you support or oppose early voting in Virginia?
25.  Currently, Virginia requires all individuals who vote in person to show photo identification when voting. Do you support or oppose legislation to require a copy of a photo ID be submitted when voting absentee?
26.  Do you support the exploration of natural gas and oil off the coastal water areas of Virginia?
27.  Do you support mining for and using coal to provide affordable and reliable electricity?
28.  Do you support providing state funding for research on alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass?
29.  Virginia is home to more than 780,000 veterans who have served our country. It is important that we support these veterans and their families. Listed below are some of the most important veteran initiatives that the General Assembly will consider this year. Please prioritize the following veteran issues in the order that you think they should be addressed by the General Assembly.
Please rank your responses. 1 = Highest Priority and 5 = Lowest Priority.
Highest Priority
Lowest Priority
12345
Veterans’ Entrepreneur Grant Program (assist veterans to establish small businesses)
Veterans’ healthcare services through Virginia Veteran and Family Support Services (formally called the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program)
Update Virginia National Guard state income tax subtraction from $3,000 to $5,000
Promote development of secure procedures for submission of electronic ballots by overseas military votes
Grant in-state tuition to members of the Virginia National Guard/Reserve Components with duty station in Virginia
Are there any other issues or areas that are of particular concern to you? Please share your opinions using the space provided below.