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Issue Position: Leadership

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

Janet Howell has been a community leader for more than thirty years. She has proudly served the residents of the 32nd Senate District since 1992. Janet has used her position in the Senate to benefit the residents of Northern Virginia. She currently has several important responsibilities and is using them to champion change in Richmond.

She is the first woman to serve on the prestigious Senate Finance Committee. In this capacity she has focused on education, transportation, human services and public safety. She is a leader in streamlining and downsizing state government as well as instituting cost-reduction measures.

Janet's responsibilities on the Finance Committee have grown dramatically in recent years. She is one of six budget conferees who negotiate the final budget with House conferees. She is also chair of the Public Safety Subcommittee which oversees over $3 billion yearly in programs including State Police and local police, juvenile justice, prisons and jails. She is working with the McDonnell administration to reform prison re-entry programs so as to imrove public safety by reducing recidivism. She is also engaged in a multi-year effort to provide appropriate services for persons with mental illness who too often tragically end up in our jails and prisons.

Janet chairs the Virginia Crime Commisssion which reviews all matters dealing with crime and punishment. Over the years, she has been nationally recognized for reforming Virginia's domestic violence laws and establishing the Sex Offender Registry. Janet also was chief patron of the Omnibus Mental Health Law Reform Legislation.

As chairman of the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee, Janet's responsibilities include all election law and confirmation of gubernatorial appointments.

In addition to her chairmanships, Janet serves on the Education and Health Committee, Courts of Justice Committee, Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, and Joint Commission on Technology and Science.

Clearly, Janet takes seriously the trust the voters have placed in her. She works full-time to make state government responsible and responsive.


Janet was a community leader for more than 15 years prior to her election to the Senate. As a former PTA president and head of the Reston Council of PTAs, Janet worked hard to increase the quality of local schools and Virginia's fine colleges and universities. She was president of the Reston Community Association for three years, expanding the association's activities and accomplishments in land use, transportation and healthcare. She served five years on the State Board of Social Services, including a term as its chairman.

Janet has received numerous awards for her community service. She was named National Child Advocate of the Year by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Senator of the Year by Virginia Sheriffs Association, Distinguished Leadership Awardee by the Coalition for Mentally Disabled Citizens, Legislative Champion by the League of Conservation Voters, and Legislator of the Year by the Alzheimer's Association.

Called the "Technology Senator" because of her work in that area, Janet was presented the first Lifetime Achievement Award by the Northern Virginia Technology Council. She serves on the Joint Commission on Technology and Science.

Janet and Hunt Howell have been married since 1966. They have two married sons and two granddaughters. A native Northern Virginian, Janet has lived in our community for almost forty years. She has a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.


* Genetic Information Privacy Act
* Required insurance coverage for autism treatment
* Insurance Coverage for Diabetics
* Good Samaritan Act for Free Dental and Health Clinics
* Police Support for Alzheimer's Patients
* Technology Zones
* Technology Tax Credit
* Broaden Life and Health Insurance Coverage for domestic partners
* Value Engineering by VA Dept. of Transportation
* Preservation of Georgetown Pike
* Provisional licenses for teen drivers
* Omnibus Family Violence Prevention Bill
* Protective Order Reform
* Sex Offender Registry
* Megan's Law (Internet Notification)
* Increased Sentences for Crimes Against Children
* Anti-Stalking Legislation
* Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse
* Guaranteed hospital stays for childbirth and infant care (against drive-through deliveries)
* Interest on Child Support Arrearages
* Notification of victims when criminal is released from jail
* Stormwater Management
* Omnibus Mental Health Law Reform Bills
* Safety Belts Required for Children under age 19
* VITA Reform Act
* Organ Donation Gift Act
* Procedures for Voter Registration
* Childrens' Nutrition and Physical Activity Database
* Replace "Retarded" with "Intellectually Disabled" throughout code
* See a full list of legislation championed by Janet
* See a list of Janet's Senate Committees and Commissions



* President, Forest Edge PTA
* Co-chair, Citizens for School Bonds (Hunter Mill)
* President, Reston Council of PTA's and PTO's
* Vice President, Langston Hughes PTA
* Board Member, South Lakes PTA
* Board Member, Herndon Intermediate PTA
* South Lakes Pyramid Coordinator
* Human Relations Advisory Committee
* Board Member, County Council of PTAs
* Board Member, Jobs for Virginia Graduates
* Transportation and Land Use
* Co-Chair Reston Transportation Committee
* Vice-Chair, Citizens Committee for Land Use and Transportation Planning
* Chair, Land Use Committee, Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations
* Board Member, TYTRAN


* President, Reston Community Association
* Co-Chair, Hunter Mill Council
* American Association of University Women
* Program Co-Chair, Fairfax County Committee of 100

Human Services

* Chair, Virginia State Board of Social Services
* Chair, Fairfax County Advisory Social Services Board
* Board Member, Reston Interfaith
* Co-Chair, Laurel Learning Center Board
* Chair, Embry Rucker Shelter Community Advisory Board
* Board Member, CHILDHELP
* Board Member, AHOME
* Meals on Wheels Volunteer


* Board Member, GRACE (Greater Reston Arts Center)
* Steering Committee, Reston Hospital Center
* Board Member, Boy Scouts of the National Metropolitan Area
* Den Mother (twice)
* Board Member, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy


Legislative Awards

* National Child Advocate of the Year, American Academy of Pediatrics
* Legislator of the Year, Victims and Witnesses of Crime (four times)
* Senator of the Year, VA Sheriff's Association (four times)
* Legislator of the Year, Virginia Chiefs of Police Association
* Legislator of the Year, Human Services Coalition
* Legislator of the Year, Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance
* Legislator of the Year, Northern Virginia Association for the Education of Young Children
* Legislator of the Year, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy
* Senator of the Year, Association of Retarded Citizens (ARC)
* Senator of the Year, Virginia State Fraternal Order of Police
* Champion of Health Issues, American Cancer Association
* Northern Virginia Community College Foundation
* Legislative Hero, Coalition for Smoke-Free Kids

Civic Awards

* National Child Advocate of the Year, American Academy of Pediatrics
* Citizen of the Year, The Reston Times
* Woman of the Year, Network of Entrepreneurial Women
* Restonian of the Year, Reston Community Association
* Friend of Trees Award, Fairfax County Tree Commission
* Public Citizen of the Year, Virginia Chapter National Association of Social Workers
* Friend of Police, Fairfax County Coalition of Police
* Friend of Business, Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce
* Outstanding Service Award, VALOR and the Northern Virginia Victim/Witness Coalition
* The Women's Center
* Virginians Aligned Against Sexual Assault
* American Diabetes Association
* Virginia Association of Social Work Practitioners
* Virginia Association of Community Rehabilitation Programs
* Virginia Dietetic Association
* Virginia Coalition for the Homeless
* Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce
* Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance
* Virginians Against Domestic Violence

Technology Awards

* TechTen, Northern Virginia Technology Council (three times)
* TechTenure Lifetime Achievement Award, Northern Virginia Technology Council

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