|Name||Leslie Larkin Byrne|
Falls Church, Virginia , United States
|| October 27, 1946
|Last Modifed||The Sunset Provision|
Feb 16, 2007 01:11am
|Info||Senator Leslie Byrne was elected to the Virginia State Senate in 1999 to represent the 34th District. She now serves on the Privileges and Elections Committee, the General Laws Committee, and the Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee. In her first session, she has sponsored a number of important bills covering gun safety, consumer rights, transportation safety, and protecting our senior citizens. |
Before her election to the State Senate, she spent the three years previous working in the federal government. Two of those years were spent as the nations' consumer advocate working to insure companies protected consumer rights. She has also been writer, lecturer and business consultant on political and governmental issues, in the U.S. and internationally. In 1992 she was elected to Congress as the first representative from Virginia's 11th district and as the first woman ever elected to Congress from Virginia.
While a member of Congress she served on the Public Works and Transportation Committee and Subcommittees on Surface Transportation, Water Resources; and Investigations and Oversight. Representative Byrne was also a member of the Post Office and Civil Service Committee serving on the subcommittee on employee benefits and compensation.
The freshman Democratic members of the 103rd Congress elected her to the leadership position of caucus whip. Byrne quickly established herself as a leader among her freshman colleagues; introducing and passing more legislation than any other newly elected representative. In addition, she accomplished the remarkable feat of having two of her measures on childhood immunization passed into law early in the first session of the 103rd Congress. Also in her first term, Rep. Byrne was instrumental in preventing cuts in federal workers' wages and benefits. Additionally, she led the effort to improve federal oversight of the nation's 1.7 million miles of natural gas and petroleum pipelines. Byrne's legislative efforts included Medicaid reform; increasing opportunities of IRA holders to see their savings for first-time home purchases and college costs; cost savings on federal highway projects through value engineering and enhancing the international market for American high technologies. She was instrumental in obtaining funds for rail from Tyson's Comer to Dulles.
Before going to Congress, Byrne was elected four times to the Virginia House of Delegates, and served from 1986 through 1992. She was the first non-lawyer appointed to the prestigious Courts of Justice Committee in the body's 200 plus year history, and she held a senior position on the Finance Committee. Byrne gained a reputation among her colleagues in the legislature as a hard worker and a quick study. Measures she successfully sponsored included tax relief of the elderly and disabled, a $200 million rebate to taxpayers, environmental preservation, and consumer protection.
Perhaps Byrne's most memorable legislative victory pitted her against powerful special interests on behalf of Virginia motorists. Byrne's law now requires all trucks carrying debris, sand or rocks to cover their loads during transport on Virginia's highways.
Shortly after her family's 1971 arrival in Northern Virginia, Byrne entered the public arena as an activist in community organizations and the Parent Teacher Associations for her children's schools. As president of the Fairfax Area League of Women Voters, she was instrumental in averting further developmental degradation in one of the region's most ecologically sensitive areas. She was also Chairwoman of the Fairfax County Commission on Fair Campaign Practices.
In 1985, Byrne co-founded Quintech Associates, Inc., a project-based human resources consulting firm to the high-tech community. She served as president of Quintech until her election to Congress in 1992.
Leslie Byrne was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she attended the University of Utah. She is married to Larry Byrne, who is President of Byrne and Associates, an international consulting firm. They have two grown children, daughter Alexis and son Jason.