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


Virginia’s Education Department is revising Family Life Education curriculum. The new material was spurred by a group of students from Charlottesville and expands lessons on the meaning of sexual consent.

State Senator Jennifer McClellan sponsored one of two partner bills set to trigger a curriculum revision.

While current guidelines mention sexual consent twice as a topic for sophomores, McClellan and other supporters say it wasn't enough. Under her bill, SB 1475, the legal definition of consent can now be part of lessons on dating, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

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?’”


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.


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.


Our Newsletters

We have reached the halfway point of the 2018 General Assembly Session, known as “Crossover.”  Tuesday was the last day for the House and Senate to complete work on their own bills. On Wednesday, they began hearing bills that passed the other body.  We have just over three weeks left to address nearly 2,000 pending bills. 

This week I’d like to highlight SB 181 (Stanley), which I co-sponsored, to repeal Virginia’s law mandating automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for failure to pay fines and court costs, which passed the Senate last week 33-6. 

Today is "Crossover," the midway point of the Session where the House and Senate must complete work on their bills.  You can follow my bills and their progress through the General Assembly on the LIS website, and you can read a summary of all of my 2018 legislation and view committee hearings for each on my website

I am eager to hear from you on issues you care about. To share your views on legislation, contact my office at (804) 698-7509 or You can also stop by my office in the Pocahontas Building at 900 East Main Street. My offices are located in E512.

Agriculture is Virginia’s largest industry.  Yet many communities in the commonwealth do not have enough places to purchase healthy, affordable food as a wide variety of factors have led supermarkets to disinvest from lower-income areas across the commonwealth, creating a public health crisis.