Meet Senator Jennifer McClellan
Jennifer McClellan's legislation is signed into law
Jennifer McClellan at the General Assembly
Jennifer McClellan accepting the VEA Legislative Champion Award
Jennifer McClellan supporting funding for Public Broadcasting

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Feb25

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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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.
 
In a victory for equality, the Senate passed SB 783 (Sen. Ebbin) prohibiting discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and SB 822 (Sen. Wexton) prohibiting such discrimination in housing.  I was proud to co-sponsor both bills, which passed 25-14. Unfortunately both face an uphill battle in the House.  
 
The Senate also passed several bills that I co-patroned to strengthen relations between law enforcement and communities, align Virginia with the rest of the nation in punishment for theft, and assist former felons who reintegrate into society after completing their sentences:    
  • SB 1047 (Sen. Lucas) expands mandatory training for law-enforcement officers to include fair and impartial policing, verbal de-escalation, and the needs of special populations;
  • SB 816 (Sen. Surovell) increases the grand larceny felony threshold from $200, currently one of the lowest in the nation, to $500; and
  • SB 1171 (Sen. Dance) "bans the box" by removing questions pertaining to criminal background from the initial job application for state employment and allowing localities to do the same. The prohibition does not apply to applications for employment with law-enforcement agencies, certain positions designated as sensitive, or in instances where a state agency is expressly authorized by a specific federal or state law to inquire into criminal history for employment purposes. Agencies may consider criminal history later in the process, but this bill removes a significant barrier for many to even be considered for employment.   
The Senate also passed 36-3 legislation to regulate predatory online loans.   SB 1126 (Sen. Surovell) makes clear that Virginia's consumer finance laws apply to internet loans made to Virginia residents or any individuals in Virginia, whether or not the person making the loans maintains a physical presence in the Commonwealth.
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.
 
In a victory for equality, the Senate passed SB 783 (Sen. Ebbin) prohibiting discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and SB 822 (Sen. Wexton) prohibiting such discrimination in housing.  I was proud to co-sponsor both bills, which passed 25-14. Unfortunately both face an uphill battle in the House.  
 
The Senate also passed several bills that I co-patroned to strengthen relations between law enforcement and communities, align Virginia with the rest of the nation in punishment for theft, and assist former felons who reintegrate into society after completing their sentences:    
  • SB 1047 (Sen. Lucas) expands mandatory training for law-enforcement officers to include fair and impartial policing, verbal de-escalation, and the needs of special populations;
  • SB 816 (Sen. Surovell) increases the grand larceny felony threshold from $200, currently one of the lowest in the nation, to $500; and
  • SB 1171 (Sen. Dance) "bans the box" by removing questions pertaining to criminal background from the initial job application for state employment and allowing localities to do the same. The prohibition does not apply to applications for employment with law-enforcement agencies, certain positions designated as sensitive, or in instances where a state agency is expressly authorized by a specific federal or state law to inquire into criminal history for employment purposes. Agencies may consider criminal history later in the process, but this bill removes a significant barrier for many to even be considered for employment.   
The Senate also passed 36-3 legislation to regulate predatory online loans.   SB 1126 (Sen. Surovell) makes clear that Virginia's consumer finance laws apply to internet loans made to Virginia residents or any individuals in Virginia, whether or not the person making the loans maintains a physical presence in the Commonwealth.
January 23, 2017
 
My 2017 Legislation
 
Due to the timing of my swearing in to the Senate, I am limited in the number of bills I can introduce this session. I have introduced 7 bills this year, which you can track here
 
SB 1475 calls for changes to the family life education curriculum guidelines that include age-appropriate instruction that increases student awareness of the fact that consent is required before sexual activity. I am carrying this bill on behalf of the Sexual Assault Resource Agency.
 
SB 1476  requires the Department of Education to develop and make available to each local school board, training for hearing officers in teacher dismissal hearings. I am carrying this bill on behalf of the Virginia Education Association. 
 
 
SB 1477 makes several changes to provisions relating to blind and visually impaired students, including (i) requiring a learning media assessment (LMA) to be administered as part of the initial evaluation and each reevaluation of each student with blindness or visual impairments or more frequently, if such student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) team so determines; (ii) requiring instruction in Braille reading and writing and accommodations for materials in Braille to be included in the IEP of a student with blindness or visual impairments commensurate with his IEP team's determination of his or her needs based upon the results of such LMA, and (iii) requiring the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired to assist the Board of Education and each local school board with ongoing professional development for teachers of students with blindness or visual impairments, including knowledge of and instruction in Braille and the administration and evaluation of LMAs. I am carrying this bill on behalf of the Association for Education and Rehab of the Blind and Visually Impaired. 
 
SB 1478 allows a court to modify a restitution payment plan or amend the amount of restitution due for good cause shown after a hearing in which the defendant, Commonwealth's Attorney, and the victim have been notified. I am carrying this bill on behalf of the Virginia Crime Commission. 
 
SB 1493 establishes the Computer Science for All Virginians Students Advisory Committee and Computer Science for All Virginia Students public-private partnership. I am carrying this bill on behalf of CodeVA.
 
SB 1494 allows brokers to arrange rides with transportation network companies (like Uber and Lyft) but with specific drivers whom they designate as their favorites.  The bill requires such brokers to be licensed by DMV and includes insurance requirements for TNC partner vehicles operating at the request of a broker. This bill was requested by UZERV, an innovative new business in the Richmond area.
 
SB 1519 adds meningococcal conjugate to the list of immunizations students must receive before entering sixth grade. I am carrying this bill on behalf of the Virginia Department of Health.
 
I am also co-sponsoring several bills, which I will highlight next week, and that you can track here.

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