Delegate McClellan's legislation is signed into law
Delegate McClellan with Mayor Dwight Jones in the 71st District
Delegate McClellan on the House Floor
Delegate McClellan accepting the VEA Legislative Champion Award
Delegate McClellan supporting funding for Public Broadcasting

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Virginia legislators are debating bills this week that would limit the role of school cops and prohibit charging K-12 students with “disorderly conduct” — a reaction to Center stories on unusually aggressive school policing there. Delegate McClellan has sponsored or co-sponsored a number of these bills, including a bill that amends language in state legislation that authorizes state grants to pay for school resource officers; the legislation currently requires such grant-funded officers—who are a minority of the state’s school cops—to enforce “school board rules and codes of school conduct.”


Delegate Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, has introduced a bill that could make it easier for victims of sexual assault to see their cases through the justice system. The legislation, known as House Bill 489, would require campus and local law enforcement agencies to store physical evidence gathered after a sexual assault for a minimum of two years. For minors, evidence would be kept for at least two years after the victim turns 18. 


Among the many issues to be considered during this year’s General Assembly session, few are as important as those designed to improve how we respond to young people who are in danger of becoming part of the criminal justice system. Over the past 20 years, we have seen a disturbing rise in the over-criminalization of childhood behaviors that were once handled almost exclusively through the school disciplinary process. Behaviors that once would have led to in-school detention are now leading to incarceration in alarming numbers.


Governor Terry McAuliffe would like to invest $139 million to hire 2,500 additional teachers in the next two years, in addition to giving teachers a 2% pay increase. The proposals for K-12 funding would cost hundreds of millions of dollars. “If we have to find other areas to cut, hopefully we will be able to keep the investment that he’s put in K-12 that puts us back to where we were prior to the recession,” said Delegate Jennifer McClellan.

Our Newsletters

Session is well underway, but was disrupted by Winter Storm Jonas.  For only the second time in 48 years, the General Assembly closed last Friday as the Governor declared a state of emergency and the Commonwealth prepared for the storm.
The 2016 Session of the General Assembly convened last Wednesday for a "long session," and we will address nearly 2,000 bills and resolutions, as well as the 2-year budget. I have introduced 20 bills, which I will describe in coming updates. In this newsletter, I give a summary of Governor McAuliffe's State of the Commonwealth address and the Legislative Black Caucus's legislative agenda. 

The 2016 General Assembly Regular Session will convene at noon on tomorrow for a "long session" to address a number of bills and the 2-year budget.  In this update, I provide a summary of Governor McAuliffe's proposed biennial budget and the House Democratic Caucus's legislative agenda.