Government/Politics: JANET HOWELL
CHAIR, SENATE FINANCE AND APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, SENATE OF VIRGINIA, RESTON
After serving as a legislative assistant in the House of Delegates for three years, Howell was elected to the Virginia State Senate in 1991 and is the first woman to chair the Senate’s Finance and Appropriations Committee. She’s also served on the Judiciary Committee.
As a member of the Privileges and Elections Committee, she helped spearhead several voting rights laws in 2020, such as allowing no-excuse absentee voting.
In 2022, Howell and other Democratic senators largely took the role of “brick wall,” killing measures passed by the GOP majority in the House of Delegates that would likely have been signed by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin. But as a budget negotiator, Howell agreed to write in a criminal misdemeanor for anyone caught in public with more than 4 ounces of marijuana.
Prior to her election to state office, Howell also worked as a public school teacher and served as chair of the State Board of Social Services.