Meet Senator Jennifer McClellan
Jennifer McClellan's legislation is signed into law
Jennifer McClellan at the General Assembly
Senator McClellan Meets with constituents
Jennifer McClellan accepting the VEA Legislative Champion Award

Latest News

Feb6

Virginia continues to struggle with issues relating to juvenile justice and student discipline.

In 2015, more youth in Virginia were referred to law enforcement than all other states across the country. While that’s not the case now, the state continues to outpace many others when it comes to the number of youth who are arrested – and end up behind bars.

Feb3

Several years ago, my two-year-old son burned his hand while we were visiting rural Bath County. We had two choices: admit him to the VCU burn unit that day, or wait four days to go to a weekly VCU burn clinic. Without hesitation, we had him admitted to the burn unit immediately. After a three-hour ambulance ride and one-week stay in the burn unit, he came home.

The medical bills totaled about $15,000. We are fortunate enough to have health insurance, so our out-of-pocket cost was only $1,000. Without insurance, we would have been forced to wait four days to get our son treated. His hand could have become infected, or worse. 

For about 240,000 Virginians, this is the dilemma they face: Postpone or forego needed medical care because they can’t afford it and don’t have health insurance. They can’t afford preventative care. They are one illness or accident away from economic devastation. When they get sick or injured, they end up in the emergency room. When that happens, we all pay the price. The cost of that ER visit eventually leads to higher insurance costs for Virginians, and puts a strain on us, our hospitals, and our economy.

Jan31

A group of African-American women called for action Wednesdayon issues burdening the black community, including gun violence, lack of health care and inadequate educational opportunities.

Jan29

Virginia schools refer roughly 16 kids for every 1,000 students to law enforcement. Some of the schools with the highest rates of referral were middle schools.

On Monday, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, joined by Sen. William Stanley, R-Moneta, introduced multiple bills aimed to fix the school to prison pipeline.

Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, introduced two budget amendments to help appropriately fund schools to deal with the issue. The amendments will eliminate the cap on support staff funding from public schools and will provide financial assistance to public schools for alternatives to address behaviors other than suspension.

“If we don’t get this right, if we don’t put our money where our mouth is, we will lose an entire generation of students to the school to prison pipeline,” said McClellan.

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Yesterday, the Virginia DMV began offering Virginians the option to upgrade their current Virginia driver's license or identification card to a REAL ID compliant credential.

On Saturday, Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in response to anticipated impacts from Hurricane Florence. Currently a category 4 hurricane, Florence is expected to make landfall in North Carolinas on Thursday and stall as it heads north through the weekend.  

Best of luck to students, parent, teachers, administrators and support staff as school kicks off today.

Studies have shown a correlation between the condition of school facilities and educational outcomes. However, in too many localities across the Commonwealth, aging school facilities have gone unaddressed due to lack of funding.

Over the summer, the Senate Local Government Committee School Facility Modernization Subcommittee met to begin meeting to seek input from interested stakeholders on the issue of funding for school facility construction and renovation. At our first meeting on August 16th, Professor Carol Cash presented research on the impact of school facilities on educational outcomes. We also heard a proposal from Paul Goldman and Committee Chairman Senator Bill Stanley to use portions of the sales tax collected on internet sales to finance general obligation bonds for school facilities across Virginia. Our next meeting will be held September 5th at George Mason University. We will meet later this month in Hampton Roads.