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

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In his bid for re-election, George Allen recently released an ad featuring his former secretary of health and human resources, Kay Coles James. It’s part of an ad campaign chiefly designed to smooth over Allen’s long record of partisanship and divisive behavior and a transparently political effort to woo women voters.  But, given James and Allen’s long records of seeking to limit women’s health care choices, I doubt many voters will be fooled. In fact, Allen’s selection of James to represent him speaks volumes about his commitment to roll back the clock on women’s access to health care.


As of Thursday morning, the General Assembly had yet to agree on a budget — the last remaining piece of what has been a tumultuous and contentious legislative session.

The House of Delegates has twice sent an amended version of the governor’s budget to the Senate. With less than three days left in the session, the Senate had failed to pass any budget — on strict party-line votes.

Failure to pass a budget on time seems to have become the rule rather than the exception in the past decade: In five out of seven years from 2001 to 2008, the General Assembly has failed to pass a budget on time. In those years, by working through the budget and taking additional time, we have created a better budget. I hope the same thing will happen before the current fiscal year ends on June 30.


When I got pregnant two years ago, it was historic. Not only was I the first member of the House of Delegates to get pregnant, but it was the first time my OB/GYN had a legislator patient. Over the course of my pregnancy, as I went in for check-ups and ultrasounds, we had the opportunity to discuss abortion legislation and how it impacts not just unwanted pregnancies but wanted pregnancies that go wrong.

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The 2017 General Assembly Session is now halfway over as the House and Senate considered hundreds of bills on Monday and Tuesday covering a wide variety of topics such as immigration, voting rights, school discipline, student loans, Airbnb, the regulation of property carriers, charter and virtual schools, and public procurement. 

Next Wednesday marks the halfway point in the 2017 General Assembly Session. Over the past week, the Senate passed several bills to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and communities, align Virginia with the rest of the nation in punishment for theft, assist former felons who reintegrate into society after completing their sentences, expand Virginia’s anti-discrimination laws, and curb predatory lending.

We're nearly one-third of the way through the 2017 Session.  This week is the last week Senate and House committees will act on bills before crossover, so we are in for long days.  
On Monday, the Senate considered SB 1055 increasing the penalties for failure to leave the place of any riot or unlawful assembly after being lawfully warned to disperse. I highlighted my opposition to this bill  in last week's newsletteron the radio, in my most recent Richmond Free Press update, and spoke against the bill on the Senate floor.  I'm pleased to report the bill was defeated  14-26.  You can watch my floor remarks opposing the bill  here.

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