Dick Saslaw understands that representing the people of Northern Virginia is a privilege, and serving the 35th District is aresponsibility that he takes very seriously. His distinguished public service has brought about real results for Northern Virginia. Throughout his entire tenure in the Legislature, Dick has fought to improve public education, maintain a business-friendly climate, and find solutions for our transportation problems. As a result of his leadership, Senator Saslaw has risen to the rank of Senate Majority Leader.
First elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, Dick Saslaw has served the people of the Commonwealth in the Virginia General Assembly since 1976. In 1980 he was elected to the Senate of Virginia. Recognized by his colleagues for his effective leadership, Senator Saslaw serves as the Senate Democratic Leader. He sits on the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee and the subcommittee on transportation for the Senate Finance Committee. Since 2008, he has been a budget conferee and has played a key role in shaping Virginia’s fiscal policy and the state budget.
Senator Saslaw continues to use his position on key Senate Committees to pass legislation that will improve the lives of Virginians. In 2011, he was instrumental in securing an increase in funding for Virginia’s public education system. During every legislative session, he works tirelessly to maintain Virginia’s strong business climate and to create economic opportunity across the Commonwealth. In 2011, the non-partisan organization Virginia FREE ranked Dick Saslaw as Virginia’s most effective senator.
Saslaw is known for his ability to work with both Democrats and Republicans in order to get results for his constituents. Dick Saslaw has been acknowledged for his dedicated commitment to moving Virginia forward and fiscally responsible stewardship. The following organizations have recently highlighted Senator Saslaw’s unwavering leadership; The Hispanic Alliance, The Korean American Association, The League of Conservation Voters, the Virginia Autism Project, and Autism Speaks.
Dick grew up in Washington, D.C. He served in the U.S. Army from 1958 to 1960, prior to earning a B.S. in economics from the University of Maryland in 1965. In college he was a member of the track team, and still runs twenty miles every week. He is a successful local businessman in the gasoline and auto service industry.
He and his wife Eleanor have resided in Northern Virginia since 1968. Their daughter Jennifer is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, the University of Virginia, and Stanford School of Law. Eleanor retired from Fairfax County Public Schools as director of guidance from West Springfield High School. First appointed by then Governor Mark Warner, she continues to serve the public as the President of the State Board of Education.
1. Commerce and Labor, Chairman
a. Subcommittee on Utilities
2. Courts of Justice
3. Education and Health
a. Subcommittee on Higher Education
a. Subcommittee on Claims
b. Subcommittee on Education
c. Subcommittee on Transportation, Chairman
Joint Legislative Studies
1. Joint Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education Funding (Chapter 781, 2009)
2. Joint Subcommittee to Study Tax Preferences
3. Joint Rules
1. Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates (as Majority Leader)
2. Commission on Electric Utility Regulation
3. Committee on District Courts (as Majority Leader)
4. Council on Virginia’s Future (as Majority Leader)
5. Virginia Commission on Intergovernmental Cooperation
Other Commissions, Boards, Etc.
1. NCSL Budgets and Revenue Committee (2014)
2. NCSL Education Committee (2014)
3. NCSL Labor and Economic Development Committee (2014)
4. NCSL Legislative Effectiveness Committee (2014)
5. SLC Education Committee (2014-2016)
Community Recognition in 2013
- Named Legislator of the Year by the Virginia Education Association
- Leadership in Energy Award given by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce
Community Recognition in 2012
- Virginia Professional Fire Fighters: Legislator Of The Year Award
Community Recognition in 2011
- The Hispanic Alliance: Leader Of The Year Award
- Virginia FREE: Virginia’s most effective Senator
- Korean American Association: Certificate of Appreciation
- League of Conservation Voters: Legislative Hero
- VA Autism Project & Autism Speaks: Autism Champion