2016 Pre-Session Survey


Delegate Matt Fariss

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 friendsofmattfariss@gmail.com.

Please complete the following:
An asterisk (*) indicates a required answer.
First Name
Last Name
Zip Code
Email Address
Phone Number
*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
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

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.  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?

4.  Do you believe state government has a role to play in incentivizing job creation through the use of tax credits and economic development incentives?

5.  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?

6.  Some elected officials advocate expanding early childhood education in Virginia by offering universal Pre-K to all children through Virginia’s public schools, which they say improves long-term educational and economic outcomes. Others argue universal Pre-K offers little tangible benefit and would increase class sizes, force local school divisions to take on debt in order to build new classrooms and cost the state nearly $600 million per year. Which of the following best describes your view on early childhood education in Virginia?

7.  Do you support or oppose efforts to expand state “Tuition Assistance Grants” to Virginia students who attend private colleges and universities? Tuition assistance grants are awarded to Virginia residents who attend accredited private colleges in Virginia like [list local private school]. The maximum grant size is $3,100.

8.  In order to provide healthcare services in Virginia, a provider must obtain a “Certificate of Public Need” from the state. This is a lengthy regulatory process with significant costs. Some argue that COPN should be reformed in order to make healthcare more of a free market, which they say would lower costs and expand access. Others argue the COPN process is necessary to control costs, ensure the quality of care and protect the financial viability of hospitals. Which of the following best describes your position?

9.  Twenty years ago, Virginia abolished parole for violent offenders and established "Truth in Sentencing," which requires convicted criminals to serve at least 85% of their sentences. Since then, Virginia's crime and repeat-offender rates fell to some of the lowest in the nation. Do you support or oppose “Truth in Sentencing”?

10. “Sanctuary cities” are localities that shelter illegal immigrants by refusing to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement laws. Do you support or oppose legislation prohibiting Virginia localities from adopting “Sanctuary City” policies?

11.  Would you support legislation making it easier for felons who claim they were wrongly convicted to present new evidence on appeal?

12.  Do you support or oppose legislation overturning Governor McAuliffe’s executive order banning law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms in state buildings?

13.  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 increase 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?

14.  Do you support providing state funding for research on alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass?

*15.  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 4 = Lowest Priority.
Highest Priority
Lowest Priority
Veterans’ transition programs and employment opportunities
Veterans’ healthcare through Virginia Veteran and Family Support Services (Formally called the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program)
Veterans’ education and job training
Increase funding for Department of Veteran Services Benefits Services Staff (Claims Agents for Veterans Administration Claim Submissions)