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

Feb16

Virginians with recent spinal cord injuries soon may receive more resources, if a bill sponsored by Sen. Jennifer McClellan passes in the House.

Senate Bill 287 would make information regarding spinal cord injuries in the Statewide Trauma Registry available to the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. The data would allow the department to develop and implement programs and services to those suffering from spinal cord injuries.

Feb10

"Erin’s Law" addresses the need for schools to included family-life education related to personal body safety. It would require that Virginia’s Standards of Learning for public schools (K-12) include age-appropriate instruction on prevention, recognition, and awareness of child abuse, abduction, and sexual abuse. In other words, this legislation requires schools to teach kids about the law — the simple fact that laws exist to protect children from predators.

Erin's Law has already passed in 31 states. Del. Debra Rodman’s HB 1223 failed on Feb. 2. Sen. Jennifer Wexton proposed a similar bill that was incorporated into Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s SB 101, but was amended to be optional. SB 101 was approved 37-2 and awaits consideration in the House after crossover. 

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.

Our Newsletters

We’re in the final days of the 2017 Session, and are scheduled to adjourn Saturday, if not sooner. A number of controversial bills have already been vetoed by the Governor this week.  First, HB 1582 (Campbell) would have expanded eligibility for concealed handgun permits for individuals 18 years or older an on active military duty or have been honorably discharged from service. The Governor vetoed this bill because weapons training provided as a component of an individual’s military basic training does not qualify that individual to carry weapons after service.  Under the bill, an individual who completed basic training but was subsequently disqualified from having access to weapons could apply for a concealed handgun permit.

We are now in the final week of the 2017 Session. We still have quite a bit of work to do, as a number of bills, including the budget, are in conference committees to work out differences between the House and Senate versions. Last week the Senate passed a number of controversial bills.

Last week the House and Senate adopted amendments to the 2016-2018 budget to address a projected $279.3 million revenue shortfall. The Senate budget reflects its top priorities of supporting mental health programs, avoiding spending cuts for public education and safety net programs, and providing an overdue pay raise for all state employees and teachers.  Specifically, the Senate budget proposes a 3 percent raise for state classified employees, a 2 percent raise for college and university faculty, the state share of a 2 percent raise for public school teachers, and a 2 percent raise for state-supported local employees.  Instead of providing a raise for teachers, the House budget increases funding for school divisions, which may use the money for raises or for other priorities.