Summary

Current Position: State Senator for VA Senate District 35 since 1980

Affiliation: Democrat

Overview: N/A

About

Dick Saslaw

Source: Campaign page

Dick Saslaw proudly serves Virginia’s 35th Senate District and as Democratic Leader in the Senate of Virginia. His distinguished public service has brought about real, positive results for families in Northern Virginia. Throughout his tenure in the General Assembly, Dick has fought for investments in public K-12 and higher education, fought to improve the social safety net, maintain Virginia’s business-friendly climate, and find solutions for Northern Virginia’s transportation problems. In Richmond, he has distinguished himself for his ability to work across the aisle to get results.

Senator Saslaw worked tirelessly and helped lead the charge to expand Medicaid for hundreds of thousands of Virginians without access to healthcare. No longer will Virginia leave billions of federal dollars unclaimed. Instead, these monies will help benefit more than 400,000 of our Commonwealth neighbors in need of affordable healthcare and provide hope for the otherwise desperate. Senator Saslaw was honored by the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association as a 2018 “Healthcare Hero” for his multi-year dedication to expanding Medicaid in the Commonwealth.

Democratic Leader Saslaw plays a key role in working with Governor Ralph Northam to grow the New Virginia Economy. Competing in a 21st-century global economy, Virginia must focus on building a talented workforce pipeline that can attract and retain businesses and investment. Senator Saslaw has helped advocate for innovative new programs like the Workforce Credentials Grant, which provides funding for workers looking for education and training in high-demand industries like cybersecurity. Virginia boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation and ranks 4th on CNBC’s list of “America’s Top States for Business.”

In the General Assembly, Senator Saslaw serves on the Senate Committees on Finance, Commerce & Labor, Courts of Justice, Education & Health, and Rules. Dick has been honored by groups far and wide for his efforts to make Virginia a great place to live, work, and raise a family. These awards include:

Virginia Education Association “Legislator of the Year”
The Hispanic Alliance “Leader of the Year”
League of Conservation Voters “Legislative Hero”
Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce “NOVAForward Legacy Award”
Virginia Chamber of Commerce “Leadership in Energy Award” & “Free Enterprise Award” (Transportation Category)
Virginia Transit Association “Distinguished Legislative Leadership Award”
Virginia Professional Fire Fighters “Legislator of the Year”
Virginia FREE “Virginia’s Most Effective Senator”
VA Autism Project & Autism Speaks “Autism Champion”

Dick grew up in Washington, D.C. He served in the U.S. Army for two years prior to earning a B.S. in economics from the University of Maryland. In college, he was a member of the track team, and is still an active runner. He is a successful local businessman in the gasoline and auto service industry.

Dick and his wife, Eleanor, are proud grandparents and have lived in Northern Virginia since 1968. Eleanor currently serves on the State Board of Virginia’s Community Colleges is a previous chair of the board. She also previously served as president of the State Board of Education. Dick and Eleanor’s adult daughter, Jennifer, is a graduate of the 35th District’s own Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, the University of Virginia, and the Stanford School of Law. She is also a former Peace Corps volunteer.

Experience

Work Experience

  • Businessman
    Gasoline and auto service industry.
    2019 to present

Education

  • B.S. in economics
    University of Maryland
    2019 to present

Awards

  • Virginia Education Association “Legislator of the Year” (2019)
  • The Hispanic Alliance “Leader of the Year” (2019)
  • League of Conservation Voters “Legislative Hero” (2019)
  • Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce “NOVAForward Legacy Award” (2019)
  • Virginia Chamber of Commerce “Leadership in Energy Award” & “Free Enterprise Award” (Transportation Category) (2019)
  • Virginia Transit Association “Distinguished Legislative Leadership Award” (2019)
  • Virginia Professional Fire Fighters “Legislator of the Year” (2019)
  • Virginia FREE “Virginia’s Most Effective Senator” (2019)
  • VA Autism Project & Autism Speaks “Autism Champion” (2019)

Contact

Legislative Assistants: Janet Muldoon,Josue Turrubiates

Email:

Offices

Capitol Office
Pocahontas Building
Room No: E602
Senate of Virginia
P. O. Box 396
Richmond, VA 23218
Phone: (804) 698-7535
Fax: (804) 698-7651

District Office
P.O. Box 1856
Springfield, VA 22151-0856
Phone: (703) 978-0200
Fax: (703) 978-3032

Web

Government Page, Campaign Site, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr

Politics

Source: Wikipedia

Richard Lawrence “Dick” Saslaw (born February 5, 1940) is an American politician. A Democrat, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates 1976–80, after which he was elected to the Senate of Virginia. He currently represents the 35th district, made up of all of the city of Falls Church and portions of Fairfax County and the city of Alexandria.

Saslaw has been the leader of the Virginia Senate Democrats since 1998, serving as Majority Leader from 2008–2012, 2014 – June 12, 2014, and Minority Leader 1998–2008, 2012–2014. He ran for Congress in Virginia’s 8th congressional district in 1984. He was defeated by then-Congressman Stanford Parris.

In the 2007 Virginia legislative elections, Democrats gained a majority by picking up four seats in the Virginia State Senate. Senator Saslaw was named Majority Leader when the Democrats assumed control of the chamber in 2008.

He also serves as chair of the Senate’s Labor and Commerce Committee.

Education has been one of his priorities. In 2006, the Association of School Boards named him Virginia Legislator of the Year.

Recent Elections

2015 State Senator for VA Senate District 35

Dick Saslaw (D) 18,754 74.4%
Terrence Wayne Modglin (G) 6,055 24.0%
Write In (Write-in) 383 1.5%
TOTAL 25,192

2011 State Senator

Dick Saslaw (D) 15,905 61.7%
Robert Christopher Sarvis (R) 9,272 35.9%
Katherine Ann Pettigrew (G) 591 2.3%
Write In (Write-in) 28 0.1%
TOTAL 25,796

2007 State Senator for VA Senate District 35

Dick Saslaw (D) 16,856 77.9%
Mario T. Palmiotto () 4,532 21.0%
Write In (Write-in) 238 1.1%
TOTAL 21,626

2003 State Senator for VA Senate District 35

Dick Saslaw (D) 17,735 82.5%
C. W. Levy () 3,537 16.4%
Write In (Write-in) 231 1.1%
TOTAL 21,503

Finances

SASLAW, RICHARD has run in 5 races for public office, winning 5 of them. The candidate has raised a total of$5,531,456.

Source: Follow the Money

Committees

Committees

Commerce and Labor
Courts of Justice
Education and Health
Finance
Rules

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

New Legislation

Source: Virginia Legislative Information System

Issues

Governance

Fiscal Responsibility

Senator Saslaw has earned a reputation for fiscal discipline through his leadership on the Senate Finance Committee. Since 2008, he has served as a key budget negotiator, and has worked across party lines to pass balanced budgets. With a “pay as you go” philosophy, Dick has led the way to keep future generations from carrying a burden of debt. On June 7, 2018, Governor Northam signed the biennial budget that included Medicaid expansion. This culminated more than five years of leaving behind billions of federal dollars that will now be available for providing hope and access to health care for nearly 400,000 Virginians.

Due to the fiscal prudence of Dick Saslaw and a bipartisan coalition in the state Senate, Virginia has maintained its stellar AAA bond rating – even as we recovered from the Great Recession. During this same period, we have built reserves in the Rainy Day Fund as well as developed and funded the Revenue Cash Reserve to meet the bond houses threshold for retaining the AAA bond rating.

Saslaw has prevented raids on the General Fund (the sole source of funding for public education, public safety, and health and human services). In addition, he has always been a fiscal watchdog and uses his leadership role to protect Virginia taxpayers. Actions by the federal government under the pseudonym of “tax reform” delivered a windfall to the top earners in America. Middle-class and working families in lower income brackets did not realize the same relief. Saslaw supports and will work for refunds on the earned income tax credit which will be the next fight in the legislature.

Civil Rights

Champion for Women’s Rights

Dick Saslaw has a deep appreciation for equality and fairness in the workplace. He has always been consistent in his support for the Equal Rights Amendment. To the chants of “we shall overcome” in a packed committee room, he called the question in early 2018 when the issue was being tabled. It is past time for this amendment to become part of the Bill of Rights, ensuring pay parity and shattering the glass ceiling.

Equally important is a women’s right to the healthcare she needs, when she needs it. When making the most important decision, Dick believes that conversation should be between a patient and her doctor – not male legislators in the General Assembly. Putting hurdles like invasive ultrasounds and unreasonable waiting periods adds an unreasonable onus on individuals making one of the most serious decisions of their life.

The US Supreme Court is about to shift its objectivity to a hard-right conservatism. Women should not have to fear for their lives when exercising their constitutionally-protected right to choose. They should not have to fear retribution for accessing critical healthcare. Dick Saslaw stands with the women of Virginia and has been a champion for choice. He trusts women and will continue to fight for their rights.

Economy

Dick Saslaw, a small business owner in Northern Virginia for many years, understands what it takes to establish a strong business climate. He knows first-hand the importance of balancing a budget, making payroll at the end of the month, and treating employees right. In the Senate, Saslaw has led the charge to make Virginia a top business destination.

For many years now, Virginia has been recognized as one of the top states for business, due in large part to Dick Saslaw’s work in the state Senate. He currently sits on the Commerce and Labor Committee, where his stewardship has kept Virginia on a solid economic foundation. Saslaw’s bipartisan approach to growing the economy has earned him recognition from non-partisan business groups, such as the Northern Virginia Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce.

Investing in our economy and working families makes our workforce competitive. Senator Saslaw has supported critical investments to spur job creation across the Commonwealth. His priorities have been keeping costs low, ensuring Virginia has an educated workforce, and investing in strategic infrastructure projects. Dick has always been focused on making Virginia a more attractive place to live and work. The Senator supports increasing mass transit in Virginia to cut down on traffic gridlock on our roads and to make sure companies can conduct business in the Commonwealth efficiently. He led the fight to appropriately fund Metro, ensuring its viability with public safety as a top priority.

Competing in a 21st-century global economy, Virginia must focus on building a talented workforce pipeline that can attract and retain businesses and investment. Senator Saslaw has helped advocate for innovative new programs like the Workforce Credentials Grant, which provides funding for workers looking for education and training in high-demand industries like cybersecurity. He has also supported increasing Virginia’s minimum wage, because he believes in paying workers what they are worth.  He continues to push for measures that will retain the best and brightest students in the Commonwealth.

Education

Virginia has been recognized as the best place to raise a child due to the available opportunities for future success. Senator Saslaw believes that a strong public education system is the key to a productive workforce and a strong economy. Dick Saslaw supported increased funding for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs in local schools in order to prepare Virginia’s students for the careers of the 21st Century. He has worked for smaller class sizes, state-of-the-art classroom technology, and more funding for school construction. Senator Saslaw has also worked closely with his Democratic colleagues and the Governor to increase pay for Virginia teachers.

Saslaw believes that appropriate funding for public education is a core responsibility of state government. In the Senate, he has protected K-12 schools from reckless cuts. Recognizing the value of early education, Dick supports funding for pre-K learning. The Senator continues working to ensure that every Virginian can have a quality education that is affordable and accessible. In Richmond, Dick has supported legislation to provide resources to help Virginia students navigate loan debt and plot a successful financial trajectory after receiving their degrees. He’s also worked to develop new post-secondary pathways, like workforce credentials, for Virginians who aspire to build a career and earn a family-sustaining wage. Above all, he believes that investing in our world-class education system, workforce development pipeline, and institutions of higher education produces the best return on investment for Virginia.

Senator Saslaw has been previously honored as “Legislator of the Year” by the non-partisan Virginia Education Association for his commitment to improving education.

Environment

Energy Modernization and Security

As your state Senator, Dick Saslaw is proud to be a voice for moving Virginia away from fossil fuels and bringing our power grid into the modern age. He worked closely with Governor Northam to pass the Grid Transformation and Security Act (SB 966), a landmark piece of legislation for Virginia’s energy future. SB 966 will dramatically increase the quantity of renewable energy in the public interest from 500 megawatts to 5,000 megawatts, enough to power more than 80,000 homes. This includes a forward-looking mix of solar and wind energy. It will provide hundreds of millions of dollars in ratepayer rebates, including the entirety of Dominion’s annual federal tax break, and maintain the SCC’s oversight authority. Further, Dominion will commit $130 million to help underprivileged Virginians with new, energy-efficient air conditioners, weatherization services, and bill payment assistance. These funds directly support low-income, elderly, disabled, and veteran populations.

Additionally, the Grid Transformation and Security Act will provide for significant undergrounding of power lines to guard against the types of power outages we witness all too frequently during severe weather. Dick has long been a proponent of undergrounding power lines, putting forward legislation in 2014, 2017, and 2018. This is not only common sense for the safety of our communities and maintaining local services, but it’s crucial for businesses as well. For small businesses and local entrepreneurs, a day or two without power could mean all the difference to their bottom line. As a former business owner himself, Dick knows that many residents of the 35th District rely on the power staying on.

Dick is proud of the fact that the Grid Transformation and Security Act was fully supported by two of the largest environmental groups in the nation – the League of Conservation Voters and the Natural Resources Defense Council, as well as several citizen and corporate stakeholder groups.

Health Care

Medicaid Expansion

Senator Saslaw worked tirelessly and helped lead the charge to expand Medicaid for hundreds of thousands of Virginians without access to healthcare. No longer will Virginia leave billions of federal dollars unclaimed. Instead, these monies will help benefit more than 400,000 of our Commonwealth neighbors in need of affordable healthcare and provide hope for the otherwise desperate. Senator Saslaw was honored by the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association as a 2018 “Healthcare Hero” for his multi-year dedication to expanding Medicaid in the Commonwealth.

Dick believes that leaving citizens to rely on visits to the emergency room to treat ailments is costly, foolish, and overall poor stewardship of taxpayer money. More importantly, it is the wrong moral course for our Commonwealth. Dick knows that Virginians deserve the right to access healthcare. Despite what others may have you believe, Medicaid expansion is not a divisive partisan issue in Virginia. With 83% of the Commonwealth in support of expansion, including 72% of Republicans, it was high time to enact this sensible expansion of Medicaid. During his time in Richmond, Dick has always fought to enact policies that safeguard the welfare of his constituents and advance their quality of life. He looks forward to working with Governor Northam to ensure Medicaid has a successful expansion in Virginia and our underprivileged citizens get the access to healthcare they deserve.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Dick Saslaw has led the fight for necessary transportation funding for our region. He serves on the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Transportation and continues to work to ensure that Northern Virginia receives the funding required to meet its growing transportation needs. He has been a longtime advocate for making critical investments in infrastructure aimed at reducing gridlock. He strongly believes that Virginia must expand the use of mass transit, increase efficiency, develop multimodal transportation options, and invest in maintenance of our existing roads, trains, and buses.

Saslaw knows that Virginia’s transportation problems cannot be fixed overnight and has advocated for commonsense measures to generate new revenue. In the Senate, he is one of the leading advocates for new sources of sustainable transportation funding. During the 2018 Session, Dick championed a bill (SB 856) to provide annual funding for the Metro system in partnership with Maryland and Washington. The bill earned widespread support in the business community and among the various transportation authorities throughout the Commonwealth.

Metro removes more than 1 million car trips from the D.C. region’s road every week day and more than half of all jobs in Northern Virginia are located within a half mile of a Metro stop. For every dollar the Commonwealth invests in Metro and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) it receives approximately $2.50 in value. Metro must be fixed from a financial and operational standpoint to secure our region’s primary mass transportation system for the next decade and beyond.

It is well understood that leading companies place high priority on locating to regions with efficient public transportation. Amazon has been particularly vocal in listing it as one of the top criteria for the location of their next headquarters. Senator Saslaw will continue working to prioritize the most important transportation projects that show the greatest potential for alleviating traffic on our busiest roadways.

Safety

Gun Violence Prevention

An epidemic of gun violence is raging in this nation. The murder rate per 100,000 in this country is 10 times greater than in comparable industrialized democracies. We are 4.6% of the world’s population but we are home to 43% of all guns not currently held by the military or police. In the U.S., military-style weapons are in the hands of civilians. In the absence of the federal government acting, the states are going to have to react … or the voters will.

Young people are the victims in what has become today’s “shooting galleries” – our nation’s schools. Even after the mass shooting at VA Tech in 2007, we still are far from a solution to this scourge. Dick Saslaw has worked closely with the Coalition Against Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, and Moms Demand Action to do more than just offer his thoughts and prayers to the thousands of people whose lives have been shattered with weapons in the wrong hands. Arming teachers is not only unacceptable, it is foolish to think a hand gun is going to stop a large-caliber, high-capacity weapon.

Taking on the NRA and Civil Defense League, Senator Saslaw has used his influence with colleagues and the Governor to pull in the reigns on unreasonable legislation. With his leadership, all the Governor’s vetoes on this issue for the past five years were sustained. Domestic violence abusers must now surrender their weapons within two days after being ordered to do so by the courts.

Dick Saslaw is ready to stop the violence. Universal background checks are a long overdue step in the right direction. Banning the sale of mechanical devices that accelerate the firing mechanism on weapons (such as bump stocks) and prohibiting civilian use of assault-style weapons will do even more to help end this epidemic.

News

News Posts

Conservation Hero
Campaign Site – June 9, 2019

We’ve been in campaign mode since September of last year.

During that time, I’ve run a positive campaign, knocking on more than 10,000 doors across the district, talking to voters about the issues that matter to them. It should come as no surprise that our opposition has not been as positive.

Instead, they’ve waged a campaign trying to mislead voters on my record in the Senate.

That’s why I’m proud to announce that one of the largest environmental advocacy organizations in the entire country, the League of Conservation Voters (Virginia Chapter), has named me one of their “Legislative Heroes” of 2019.

I’m proud of my environmental record, and while my opponent(s) continue to mislead you on the facts, I hope you’ll stand with me this Tuesday, June 11.

As Majority Leader, I’ll fight for a greener and cleaner Commonwealth.

See you at the polls,

Twitter

Videos

Speeches

Senator Dick Saslaw – Three Percent Raise for Teachers
Published on June 2, 2018

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