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ArlingtonLegislative work session may be last hurrah for some participants

Legislative work session may be last hurrah for some participants

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Arlington County Board members on Dec. 6 will confab with the county’s delegation to the General Assembly, with a number of those taking part doing so for close to the last time.

The annual work session with legislators is slated for 5 p.m. in the board room at the Ellen M. Bozman Government Center. While open to the public (and streamed online), the meeting will not feature an opportunity for public comment. Those who miss it should be able to watch an archived version via the county government’s YouTube channel.

The General Assembly goes into session Jan. 11 for what is expected to be a 45-day (the “short”) session. Longer, 60-day sessions are held in odd-numbered years, when the commonwealth’s biennial budget is adopted.

With Democrats in control of the state Senate and Republicans heading up the House of Delegates and executive branch, 2023 could be something akin to 2022 – split government tends to produce less legislation adopted and more compromises than when either Republicans or Democrats control all the levers of power in Richmond.


The Dec. 6 work session between legislators and the County Board will be the last of its kind for at least four of the 12 participants:

• County Board Chairman Katie Cristol already has announced that she will not seek re-election in 2023. Because her term runs through Dec. 31 next year, Cristol can be part of that December’s work session with legislators, but will not be around for the General Assembly session when it convenes in January 2024.

• The state Senate district currently occupied by Sen. Janet Howell has been reconfigured to remove Arlington. Howell, the county’s most senior state legislator and a powerful figure in Richmond, is not expected to seek re-election next year.

• Del. Rip Sullivan is expected to seek another term, but as part of redistricting his district will no longer include any of Arlington but will center on McLean. The district of Del. Elizabeth Bennett-Parker also has been reconfigured to eliminate Arlington areas and focus on Alexandria.

A fourth participant – County Board member Christian Dorsey – may or may not seek re-election next year for a third term, but even if he doesn’t would still be able to participate next December because, like Cristol, his term does not expire until the end of the calendar year.

Most of the other legislators – Sens. Barbara Favola and Adam Ebbin and Dels. Patrick Hope and Alfonso Lopez – are expected to seek re-election, but one never knows.

As part of legislative redistricting, Arlington lost the state Senate seat of Howell and the delegate seats of Sullivan and Bennett-Parker, but gained an open seat centered on the Crystal City/Pentagon City area. So instead of three senators and four delegates representing the county in Richmond, there will be two senators and three delegates following the November 2023 election.

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