Column: The General Assembly Convenes

Column: The General Assembly Convenes



State Sen. Adam Ebbin (center) takes the oath of office in Richmond next to Sen. David Marsden (right) and Sen. Kenny Alexander.

As the 2016 General Assembly legislative session began on Jan. 13, it was my honor to take the oath of office for the sixth time to serve the people of Alexandria, Arlington, Mount Vernon and Lee in the state legislature. I formally introduced my friend and colleague, Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon), to the Senate, and I look forward to working with him, Sen. Jeremy McPike (D-Prince William) and the five other new senators to get things done on your behalf.

That evening Gov. Terry McAuliffe delivered his State of the Commonwealth address, where he emphasized the need for bipartisanship and achieving results rather than gridlock and dysfunction. However, he also made clear that he would veto any legislation that makes Virginia a less welcoming or less safe state, and I applaud his steadfastness in ensuring we do not move backward on important issues like gun safety and equality.

I have introduced over two dozen bills to move Virginia forward on a wide array of issues, from making HOT lanes more consumer-friendly and reforming our marijuana laws to preventing gun violence and assisting immigrants on the path to citizenship. I have also reintroduced bills from last session to codify nondiscrimination protections for state employees and allow future governors to serve two consecutive terms, as Virginia is the only state in the nation that limits its executive to a single consecutive term in office.

In addition to continuing to serve on the General Laws and Technology Committee and the Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, I am excited that I have also been assigned to the Privileges and Elections Committee, where I will work to safeguard Virginians’ voting rights.

Disappointingly, Senate Republicans swiftly moved to adopt new rules barring reporters from the chamber floor and relegating them to the balcony. The change was adopted under the guise of allowing more room for senators to move around, but this effectively limits the media’s access to the legislature and makes us less transparent.

I will be holding several town hall meetings over the next few weeks and I hope you will join me at one. In case of severe weather, check or call my office at 571-384-8957 for updates.

  • Mt. Vernon: Saturday, Jan. 23, 9-11 a.m.

Whitman Middle School – 2500 Parkers Lane, Alexandria, 22306

with Sen. Scott Surovell and Del. Paul Krizek

  • Lee District: Saturday, Jan. 23, 4-6 p.m.

Groveton Elementary School – 6900 Harrison Lane, Alexandria, 22306

with Sen. Scott Surovell, Del. Mark Sickles and Del. Paul Krizek

  • Arlington: Saturday, Feb. 6, 10-11:30 a.m.

Walter Reed Community Center – 2909 16th Street South, Arlington, 22204

with Del. Alfonso Lopez

  • Alexandria: Saturday, Feb. 6, 2-3:30 p.m.

Mt. Vernon Community School – 2601 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, 22301

with Del. Mark Levine

Please share your thoughts on legislation and other state-related matters with me by emailing Follow me on Twitter @AdamEbbin and Facebook at You can sign up for my weekly email updates at

It is my continued honor to represent the citizens of the 30th Senate District.