An able and highly respected legislator, McDiarmid was one of the most influential women ever elected to the House of Delegates and the first woman to serve on its powerful Committee on Rules. From 1986 until she retired, McDiarmid chaired the House Committee on Appropriations, the first woman to preside over the committee that produced the state's budget. McDiarmid was also a determined advocate for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Submitted to the states by Congress in 1972, it was never approved by the General Assembly. After retiring from the assembly in 1989, she continued to work on issues that were important to her and served as vice chair of the Governor's Commission on Educational Opportunity for All Virginians.
Reprinted with permission of the Library of Virginia.