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

Jul5
UVA Today

Intense partisan rancor emanates far beyond national forums today, adding a confrontational edge to even everyday conversations of friends and neighbors. Faced with the cacophony of cable news, the social media echo chamber and the rising acceptance of public putdowns, Americans can’t help but wonder: Is civility dead?

Not at the University of Virginia, where there’s long been a general atmosphere of civility on the grounds, but the modern University is doing more than just offering a respite of civility. Today, UVA employs a combined set of educational initiatives to spread the practice of civil political discourse across the commonwealth and the nation as a whole.

For some like Del. Chris Peace, a Republican, and state Sen. Jennifer McClellan, a Democrat, the bonds of Sorensen help foster important bipartisan working relationships down the road. While McClellan and Peace took the Sorensen course at different times, they knew each other through the program’s network and both took away collaborative skills that have helped them work together in the state legislature. They frequently pen joint pieces for local media and have co-sponsored legislation on education reform, the state’s response to sexual assault, and more.

“I think that what I learned from Sorensen is that if you talk to Republicans at a high level, you’ll find that you both have the same goals. You just have different ideas about how to get there,” said McClellan. “You may have very different views of the roles of government, but everybody wants their child to have a good education, to grow up in a safe neighborhood and for their kids to have an opportunity to do better than they did. So we start with that and ask, ‘How do we get there?’”

 
Jun11

RICHMOND, Va. — Suspension from school has long been linked to academic failure. Students are away from the classroom for up to several days, missing out on material taught in class and falling behind. Meanwhile, assignments pile up, making a difficult situation even worse.

A new state law will encourage Virginia schools to seek alternatives to suspensions in dealing with students who misbehave. The law, which takes effect July 1, directs the Virginia Board of Education to “establish guidelines for alternatives to short-term and long-term suspension for consideration by local school boards. Such alternatives may include positive behavior incentives, mediation, peer-to-peer counseling, community service, and other intervention alternatives.”

The law is the result of two identical bills passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe earlier this year: House Bill 1924, sponsored by Del. Lamont Bagby of Richmond, and Senate Bill 829, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Wexton of Loudoun County. Sen. Jennifer McClellan of Richmond was a co-sponsor of both bills.

May12

Most Americans think of child marriage as a vestige of a bygone era. And yet in every state, people under 18 are allowed to marry. Some states set minimum ages for brides and grooms — sometimes as low as 13 or 14 — and usually require the permission of a parent, judge, or both before a minor can wed. But laws in about half the states allow children of any age to marry, as long as they receive the proper permission. That may be changing. This year legislators in 10 states have introduced bills to raise the marriage age.

 
May11

While some viewed the election of Donald Trump as a setback for progressive women in politics, recently an EMILY’s List conference proved it was not a defeat. 

EMILY’s List, an organization that seeks to get pro-choice Democratic women in office, brought about 300 leaders from around the country to Washington, D.C. for its “We Are Emily 2017” conference and gala on May 3. The women discussed methods to progress their agenda in a post-Trump era and participated in specialized trainings to prep them in areas such as running a campaign, managing finances, creating a donor network, and learning the difference between earned and paid media.

 

Our Newsletters

The 2017 General Assembly Session adjourned sine die Saturday, February 25th after completing work on thousands of bills and resolutions and closing a $1.26 billion shortfall in the budget. The $107 million budget adopted by the General Assembly avoids cuts to K-12 education, restores pay raises to state employees, provides the state share of a raise to teachers, and invests in mental health reform, while creating a $35 million cash reserve to be used to close future shortfalls.
Three of my bills passed the General Assembly and now await action by the Governor.

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.