Legislative Lookback: What Arlington’s State Senators Accomplished This Year

Arlington’s representatives in the Virginia State Senate worked on legislation addressing issues like healthcare, green energy, and teacher’s pay this year.

Three Democrats represent the county in the state Senate — Janet Howell, Barbara Favola, and Adam Ebbin. All of the senators are running for re-election this year.

Virginia’s 2019 legislative session lasted from January 9 to February 24. Here’s what each state Senator said were their biggest legislative accomplishments during that time. (We asked the same of Arlington’s House of Delegates delegation earlier this week.)

Sen. Barbara Favola

Favola was elected to the senate in 2011 after serving on the Arlington County Board for 14 years. This year, she faces a primary challenger in her campaign for reelection.

Local policy director and former Civic Federation leader Nicole Merlene announced a campaign for the senator’s seat in January, and promises “bold action” to tackle the region’s transportation and affordable housing challenges. Favola has countered by reminding voters of her “strong record of accomplishment.”

The senator told ARLnow that within her 2019 legislative record she’s most proud of the following bills signed into law:

Extending Child Care Subsidies. This bill and an accompanying appropriation extends child care subsidies for low-income women seeking to continue their education at a community college or institution of higher learning. It is critical that we fund initiatives to give individuals the tools to become self-sufficient and support their families.

Post Adoption Communication Agreements. This bill encourages JDR judges to make available post adoption communication agreements, if viewed to be in the best interests of the child. Studies show that some continued connection to birth parents can provide a positive impact on a youth’s development.

Human Trafficking Prevention Strategies in the Family Life Program. This bill directs the Department of Education to create a curriculum that addresses human trafficking prevention strategies in an age-appropriate way.  Peer support is an important element in assisting youth to come forward and alert adults about unusual or unhealthy behaviors.