Monday, February 11, 2013
Legislation in Virginia's House of Delegates could prevent teens under 15 from using indoor tanning salons and require those older to get parental permission.
Monday, February 11
By Allison Landry, Capital News Service Virginians under age 15 would no longer be able to use indoor tanning salons under legislation moving through the General Assembly. The Senate recently approved Senate Bill 1274, which would prohibit individuals 14 and younger “to use a tanning device at a tanning facility.” It would also require 15 to 17-year-olds to get parental or guardian consent before visiting a tanning parlor, with the exception of emancipated minors –teenagers who are legally adults because of a court order, marriage or military service. The bill could become law, pending the outcome of a House vote. It is waiting to be reviewed in the House Committee on Commerce and Labor. “The goal is to try to reduce incidents of cancer…
Friday, February 1, 2013
McLean Senators Favola, Howell both vote in favor of amendment.
Friday, February 1
By Shelby Mertens, Capital News Service Starting in 2017, Virginia voters could have the opportunity to re-elect the governor to a second consecutive term if the House joins the Senate in seeking to amend the state’s Constitution. The Senate this week approved a proposed constitutional amendment to allow governors to serve two terms in a row. The vote was 25-15. SJ 276 was co-sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and Dels. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) and David Ramadan (R-South Riding). The state senators representing McLean—Sen. Barbara Favola and Sen. Janet Howell—both voted in favor of the constitutional amendment. The resolution now moves to the House of Delegates, where its fate is uncertain. “I’m not real optimistic about …
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
McLean's senators were among those supporting bicyclists and bike-friendly legislation Tuesday.
Wednesday, January 30
By Katherine Johnson and Blake Belden, Capital News Service Several state senators joined Virginia bicyclists Tuesday for a Bicycle Action Day in Richmond, an event designed to support state legislators who are introducing bills that aim to make roads and biking safer across the Commonwealth. Both senators representing McLean — Barbara Favola and Janet Howell — voted in favor of "share the road" legislation Tuesday that would increase the passing distance between vehicles and bicycles. About 15 bicyclists — members of RideRichmond, a nonprofit organization of bicycle enthusiasts, and their supporters – met on the Virginia Commonwealth University campus and biked to the General Assembly Building to demonstrate support for legislation that …
Friday, May 18, 2012
The view from Richmond
Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell, D-Reston, enthralled members of the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce on Thursday as she recapped this year's tumultuous Virginia legislative session in which she "went viral." “It was a very unfortunate session in so many ways — divisive and rancorous. But I think things are getting better,” she told a breakfast gathering of about 25 business people at J. Gilbert's in downtown McLean. "It was so disappointing for so many reasons. I can imagine the public watching in horror and saying, 'They are turning into Congress,' " she said. The Virginia State Senate had prided itself for not being like gridlocked Congress, she said. Marcus Simon of Ekko Title, said, "It's great that she took time to tell us what …
Monday, April 16, 2012
Where is the money for Silver Line Phase 2?
Monday, April 16, 2012
Since I last wrote about the budget several days ago, we have reached agreement with the House over the General Fund part of the budget. As a Senate negotiator, I am proud of the many improvements we made over the introduced budget. After years of cutbacks, we will have more funding for Northern Virginia's public schools and Virginia's colleges and universities. Mental health services for adolescents are being increased. Medicaid services our elderly, sick, and disabled neighbors will be improved. For the first time in five years, our state employees will have a pay raise. See here for a summary of the proposed budget. So why am I voting against the budget I worked so hard to improve? Because no funding is included for Phase 2 of Rail to …
Monday, March 26, 2012
Howell: Negotiators improve funding for rail to Dulles, education, but there is still work to do.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Sometimes persistence pays off! The budgets proposed by the House and Senate Republicans were unfair to my constituents and region, so I voted against them. Those initial budgets did not include funding for Phase 2 of Rail to Dulles, shortchanged Northern Virginia schools, and cut funding for programs that assist low income working families with childcare and eldercare. After we Senate Democrats voted against both the House and Senate versions, the General Assembly left Richmond without a budget. However, as one of a handful of budget negotiators, I never really "left." Instead, we seven Senate budget negotiators met for several days to see if we could improve on the previous version of the Senate budget. Fortunately, Sen. Walter …
Friday, March 23, 2012
Virginia Senate Finance Committee approves Howell-sponsored amendment that will boost money for Metrorail to Dulles.
The Virginia Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved on Thursday a Senate budget that contains a budget amendment offered by Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax & Arlington) and Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun & Fairfax). The amendment will provide $300 million dollars in additional state funds to Phase 2 of the Metrorail to Dulles Project. The amount is in addition to $150 million the state has previously committed, bringing the total state contribution for the project to $450 million. Phase 2 had been an ongoing point of contention between Dulles Toll Road users (who fear rising tolls to pay for the project), MWAA officials (who compromised on the location of an above-ground station at Dulles International Airport, and other parties. …
Monday, March 5, 2012
Tell us: Were riot police, SWAT teams necessary for safety around Richmond or was it an overreaction?
At Monday's Virginia Senate session, Sens. Janet Howell (D-32nd) and Chap Petersen (D-34th) denounced the use of riot police, SWAT teams carrying automatic weapons, police dogs and helicopters in response to what they called peaceful protests in Capitol Square. Protest groups have gathered several times at the square this session in the wake of legislation aimed at limiting abortion rights. On Saturday, 31 protesters were arrested — mostly for trespassing or unlawful assembly — on the state capitol steps following a women's rights rally. Prior to some of the arrests, protesters were monitored by a fully armored police SWAT team carrying automatic weapons, riot police, and police dogs, the senators said. "They were chanting, 'Tell me what …
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Governor will likely sign anti-abortion legislation
The Virginia Senate voted Tuesday for a modified version of the bill that would require women to undergo external ultrasounds before abortions, but not the transvaginal ones. The 21-19 vote in the GOP-controlled Senate — mostly along party lines — came after Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) asked legislators to soften the bill following protests in Richmond, attention from national news and mocking on late-night TV. State Sen. Janet Howell, D-Reston, McLean, played a major role in publicizing the details the original bill, which required women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound that in the first trimester meant probing inside a woman's vagina, The Washington Post reported. Abortions usually occur in the first trimester, when an external …
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Spotlighted details of ultrasound procedure
State Sen. Janet Howell, (D-Reston, McLean) played a major role in publicizing the details of an anti-abortion bill that was derailed this week, according to The Washington Post. The bill, which required women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound, started unravelling when it was slowly revealed that in the first trimester that procedure meant probing inside a woman's vagina, The Post reported. The story starts when another Fairfax Democratic senator understood how an ultrasound had to be performed in the first trimester and ended in political firestorm fueled by national media attention and late night comedians. The bill was approved by the Virginia Senate health committee when Sen. George L. Barker (D-Fairfax), with a background …