By the time final adoption of the Arlington County Board’s state legislative-priorities list for next year rolls around, local leaders will have a better idea of what the landscape in Richmond will be come 2022.
Board members on Oct. 16 formally sent the package of policy positions out for public review, with a public hearing and adoption set for Nov. 16.
By then – presumably – they and all Virginians will know the outcome of the statewide races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, as well as the upcoming composition of the House of Delegates. All currently are in Democratic hands, but polling suggests voters might opt for a shift on Nov. 2.
The 2022 General Assembly session is slated to convene Jan. 12 and run through March 12, and will include consideration of the commonwealth’s biennial budget.
There’s little in the county government’s priorities package that isn’t similar to past years. Among the items: Arlington hopes to get permission to run County Board meetings “virtually” in the future, should board members opt to do so.
Meetings were held in that format, with most board members participating from their homes, for more than a year following the outbreak of COVID in the spring of 2020. Arlington board members were among the last to come back to in-person meetings across the commonwealth, and will have to continue in person unless either state law changes or Gov. Northam (or his successor) imposes another state of emergency that allows them to return to their basements for governance.