Watch the news segment on WRIC Channel 8 in Richmond on Governor’s budget proposal to limit part-time state employees to less than 30 hours per week in order to avoid having to provide health benefits to these employees as required under the Affordable Healthcare Act. Virginia’s ABC stores have already issued notice to its part-time employees that their hours will be cut in compliance with this proposed legislation.
“It’s a problem that effects more than just ABC, the community colleges, VCU,” said Del. McClellan. She’s been getting calls from worried state workers. She said that many of these part-time employees were really working full-time jobs and the state should have addressed it before now.
“We have been playing games with our state employees’ lives, and it’s not fair to them and its not fair to the agencies they represent,” McClellan said.
In remarks on the House floor, Del. McClellan shared stories about the lasting impact of legislation passed during the Jim Crow era. As more and more people are born after that time, they do not understand the full impact of the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.
Del. McClellan shared the impact of Racial Integrity Act which instituted the eugenics movement in Virginia and prohibited interracial marriage. It also went on to limit the options of race for birth records to “white” and “colored.” This created issues for mixed-raced Virginians and the members of the Virginia tribes. If a parent did not select either option, the child was not given a birth certificate. This held true for many Virginians until as late as 1946.
There are two examples of the long-lasting impact of the Racial Integrity Act, which was finally repealed in 1975.
First, to get a government-issued photo id, you need to have a birth certificate. Yet many Virginians born as late as 1946 were never issued one.
Second, Virginia’s native tribes have had difficulty being recognized by the Federal government since they cannot prove a direct line of Indian heritage since under the Racial Integrity Act they were deemed “colored.”
Delegate McClellan speaks on the impact of transportation funding plans outlined in HB 2313 on the lowest income Richmonders who would be adversely affected by the eliminating the gas tax and increasing the sales tax.
Delegate McClellan discusses her bill (HB 1838) which would prohibit an agent whose license has been revoked or voluntarily surrendered in lieu of a hearing from directly or indirectly owning, controlling or being employed in any manner by an insurance agent or agency.
The Bureau of Insurance has seen an increase in the number of instances where an investigation will lead to the revocation or surrender of an agent’s license, and he/she will continue to operate the business in an unlicensed capacity. Because of the ownership role in the agency, the former agent continues to commit similar violations by directing employees either to knowingly or unknowingly commit violations, thereby posing a continued threat to consumers. The proposed change to the Code would prevent many such activities.
Under this legislation allowing your agent’s license to lapse or failing to do your continuing education and losing the license to termination would not mean an agent cannot own an agency. Only an agent who was investigated and decided to surrender the license voluntarily rather than face a Commission hearing would be impacted by the bill.
Delegate McClellan discusses her bill (HB 1872) that would expressly authorize investments made online for any of the tax credits that the same investment would have qualified for had it been made the old fashioned way.
This bill would jumpstart the new and innovative “crowdfunding” industry championed by Senator Mark Warner and Congressman Eric Cantor through the 2012 Jobs Act, which authorized online investments in start-up companies.
The Washington Post called crowdfunding the #1 idea for small business in 2012.
Excitement over this bill has generated petition signatures from over entrepreneurs from every corner of the Commonwealth.
Delegate McClellan defends her bill (HB 1871) that defines the term “bullying” and requires school boards to develop anti-bullying policies and procedures in the student code of conduct and policies and procedures to educate school board employees about the need to create a bully-free environment.
The bill also requires the Board of Education to develop model policies and procedures for use by each school board to educate school board employees about the need to create a bully-free environment.
Delegate McClellan speaks to her bill (HB 1876) which eliminates the requirement for a 30-day waiting period prior to a sterilization operation for persons who are over the age of 18 and capable of giving informed consent who have not previously become the natural or adoptive parent of a child. In this video, she debates the merits of the bill with Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William).
Watch the segment on WTVR CBS 6 about my bill (HB 1871) aimed at providing a clear, legal definition of bullying in order to help prevent it from happening, which cleared the House Education Committee on Monday.
The bill defines bullying as “agressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm or humiliate the victim and which is repeated over time.”
While bullying is already banned in Virginia schools, Del. McClellan said that by offering a firm definition school districts can develop a more consistem policy for dealing with bullying.
“This bill codifies a definition of bullying that would apply to all schools,” McClellan said. ”A lot of new studies show not only has there been an increase in bullying, but we’re starting to see the negative impact it can have on our students. It can affect their performance — some students even drop out because they’re being bullied. It can carry over outside of the school and have really negative impacts on the community.”
The bill also requires school division to have anti-bullying policies in their student codes of conduct, have education for their employees on how to create a bully-free environment, and required the Board of Education to create a model anti-bullying policy for the local school divisions.
It also provides a definition for cyber bullying, and would prohibit it by both students and staff.
“The more we really started taking a look at it, the more we realized that bullying was not just a student-to-student problem but you could have teacher-to-teacher, parent-to-parent, student-parent,” McClellan said. ”We thought we need to have a more holistic look at bullying.”
Watch the segment on WWBT NBC 12 about Democratic legislators’ reactions to the Governor’s transportation plan. Both Republicans and Democrats agree finding money for transportation is a critical need this legislative session. How to reach that goal may be a bit divisive as lawmakers work through a series of bills weeks after Governor Bob McDonnell recommended sweeping changes.
There are many ideas to create one solution, raising revenue for transportation in the Commonwealth. House Democrats unveiled their plan Monday that doesn’t coincide completely with the Governor’s call for action.
McDonnell’s proposal is to get rid of the state’s 17.5 cent gas tax.
“If you eliminate the gas tax, gas prices are not going to go down, so you’re basically giving away money that you could be using for roads,” Delegate McClellan countered.
She says increasing the sales tax won’t make things better either.
“A lot of our poor people who don’t use the roads but are already struggling to make ends meet and pay everyday expenses, you increase expenses on them,” she said.
House Democrats stood united Monday, supporting bi-partisan bills. They want to see a 5% wholesale gas tax, urban areas having the ability to raise their own transportation money, a method to ensure money for construction isn’t carried over to maintenance, and they want the money in the general fund to stay there.
“We couldn’t find money to fund extra voting machines to keep the lines short in the general fund, yet you’re going to divert more general fund money away toward transportation?” McClellan said questioning the Governor’s proposal.
Another issue of conflict revolves around tolls. The House Democratic Caucus said taxpayers who have already paid for existing roads should not be slapped with additional tolls on those projects just to fund new ones, something the Governor now has the power to enforce as an additional funding source.