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

Latest News

Feb28

During the 2013 gubernatorial campaign, there was nearly universal agreement that Virginia’s Standards of Learning high-stakes assessment system needed reform. To that end, the 2014 General Assembly eliminated several SOL tests for elementary and middle school students, while still requiring school divisions to administer alternative assessments in the subject areas.

Feb17

After winning her seat for the first time in the Virginia General Assembly, Del. Jennifer McClellan was asked to give a speech on the Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade. After initially agreeing to speak about it, McClellan changed her mind and declined. She decided it was important for her first speech as a delegate to be about an issue that was not stereotyped as a “women’s issue” such as abortion. Instead, her first speech was about payday lending. McClellan, D-Henrico, said she wanted to prove that women were capable of discussing other pressing matters than what are considered “women’s issues,” in fact, she said she has tried to make every issue a women’s issue since taking office.

Feb14

Far too often, the General Assembly is forced to address a long-standing problem in response to a tragedy and intense media attention. For example, it took the Virginia Tech and Deeds family tragedies to spur action to address long-simmering problems with our mental health system. This year, the murders of Morgan Harrington and Hannah Graham, and the firestorm unleashed by the Rolling Stone article about sexual assaults at the University of Virginia have sparked action on how college campuses should deal with such incidents. Given the complex nature of sexual assault cases and the multiple federal and criminal laws that already apply, taking action in the pressure cooker of a 45-day session is not an easy task.

Feb12

A bill to remove the requirement to indicate a criminal record on government employment applications died in a House subcommittee Wednesday. The measure was considered Wednesday by the Civil Law Subcommittee of the House Courts of Justice Committee. It died on a non-recorded voice vote to “gently” lay the bill on the table.

Del. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, noted that the bill would provide only a starting point in the job application process. It would afford applicants the chance for an interview without their felony immediately disqualifying them, she said. “This is only at the entry level – getting your foot in the door,” said McClellan, a member of the subcommittee. “The point here is that … when you have that box on an application and it is checked, no matter who you are, it’s a scarlet letter; you’re not even getting in.”

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Last week, the General Assembly reached "Crossover," the mid-point of Session when the House and Senate must complete work on their own bills. The House and Senate also debated and passed their amendments to the budget introduced by Governor McAuliffe.  In this update I provide a summary of major legislation passed last week and the House budget. 

Last week all of the House committees finished their work on bills introduced in the House in advance of "crossover" on Tuesday, February 10th.  Crossover is the mid-point of the Session, when the House and Senate must complete work on their own bills for them to then be considered by the other chamber.  Bills to be debated on the House floor this week include measures addressing ethics reform and sexual assault on college campuses.

Two full weeks into the General Assembly Session, the pace has picked up quite a bit. Unfortunately, many bills I supported that would move Virginia forward were killed in committee, including the Governor's gun safety legislation and bills to increase the minimum wage, promote gender pay equity, establish paid sick leave, curb predatory lending, prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing and public employment, and provide health care coverage to poor Virginians.