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Virginia State Senator

Janet Howell has been a Virginia State Senator since 1992. A community leader prior to running for office, Janet was a PTA president, community association president, and Chair of the State Board of Social Services.

Senator Howell is one of Virginia’s most influential senators.  She was the first woman to serve on the powerful Senate Finance Committee. She also serves on the Courts of Justice, Education and Health, Privileges and Elections and Rules committees, and is a Senate budget conferee.  

Senator Howell is credited with major legal reforms. She headed the overhaul of Virginia’s family violence laws.  She led efforts to protect children from sexual predators. Virginia has genetic information privacy legislation due to her efforts.  She spearheaded the mental health law reform in the Senate following the Virginia Tech tragedy. Education, children, and families have always been top priorities.

Her work has been widely praised and honored.  The American Academy of Pediatrics named her their National Child Advocate of the Year.  The Virginia Sheriffs have repeatedly called her Senator of the Year.  Numerous human services organizations, including the Virginia Interfaith Center, have also given her awards.

Senator Howell earned her BA at Oberlin College (Government) and her MA at the University of Pennsylvania (International Relations).

Always approachable, Janet loves representing the people of the 32nd District which encompasses parts of Arlington and Fairfax County. She loves listening to their views, and solving their problems with state government.

The Latest

  • 2020 Legislation that will impact your life


    The 2020 General Assembly was unusually productive. With the Democrats in control of both the House and Senate, as well as the Executive office, we were able to pass many bills that Virginians, especially Northern Virginians, had been supporting for years. The Coronavirus and its economic impact

  • Bill Signing Ceremonies featuring Senator Howell's Legislation


    Each year Virginia's governor publicly signs a few pieces of legislation that he considers especially significant in bill signing ceremonies. This year Governor Northam selected four of my bills for this special honor. I had about 20 bills pass this past session. The most important, of course, wa

  • The 57th Anniversary of the March on Washington


    August 28th marked the 57 year anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. This was when Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.