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

Feb25

Virginia legislators have rejected three bills crafted to limit school policing statewide. A pair of other related measures are still winding their way through the legislative process. 

Feb20

Sen. Jill Vogel and I have introduced legislation this year to address the very serious but overlooked issue of child marriage. With some exceptions, you must be 18 to marry in Virginia. When both parties are adults, they can better navigate the serious — and ideally lifelong — commitment that marriage entails. They also have equal access to a number of rights, privileges, and protections when things go wrong. If the marriage turns abusive, an adult victim can leave home, go to a shelter, get a protective order, or file for divorce. But what happens when children are allowed to marry? In Virginia, 16- and 17-year-olds can marry with parental consent. Children under 16 can marry with parental consent and evidence of pregnancy.

Feb20

Child marriage was not an issue of note for Jill Vogel, a state senator in Virginia, until she heard the stories circulating in her district about a man in his early 50s marrying a girl in her midteens, warding off a police investigation of his relationship with her. Now Ms. Vogel is the lead sponsor of a bill advancing in Virginia’s legislature that would sharply curtail child marriage. 

The measure has now moved to Virginia’s House of Delegates. The lead sponsor in that chamber, Jennifer McClellan, said her grandmother had gotten married at age 14 in rural Mississippi. “People didn’t understand back then that children aren’t ready to have children,” Ms. McClellan said. “Now we understand all the negative consequences.” She said she had heard no objections to the bill from prominent immigrants hailing from countries where child marriage is a centuries-old tradition. 

Feb19

Child marriage wasn’t an issue of note for Virginia state Sen. Jill Vogel until she heard the stories circulating in her district about a man in his early 50s marrying a girl in her mid-teens, warding off a police investigation of his relationship with her. Now Vogel is lead sponsor of a bill advancing in Virginia’s legislature that would sharply curtail child marriage. 

The measure has now moved the Virginia’s House of Delegates. The lead sponsor in that chamber, Jennifer McClellan, said her grandmother got married at age 14 in rural Mississippi. “People didn’t understand back then that children aren’t ready to have children,” McClellan said. “Now we understand all the negative consequences.” She’s heard no objections to the bill from prominent immigrants hailing from countries where child marriage is a centuries-old tradition. 

Our Newsletters

Yesterday, the Virginia DMV began offering Virginians the option to upgrade their current Virginia driver's license or identification card to a REAL ID compliant credential.

On Saturday, Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in response to anticipated impacts from Hurricane Florence. Currently a category 4 hurricane, Florence is expected to make landfall in North Carolinas on Thursday and stall as it heads north through the weekend.  

Best of luck to students, parent, teachers, administrators and support staff as school kicks off today.

Studies have shown a correlation between the condition of school facilities and educational outcomes. However, in too many localities across the Commonwealth, aging school facilities have gone unaddressed due to lack of funding.

Over the summer, the Senate Local Government Committee School Facility Modernization Subcommittee met to begin meeting to seek input from interested stakeholders on the issue of funding for school facility construction and renovation. At our first meeting on August 16th, Professor Carol Cash presented research on the impact of school facilities on educational outcomes. We also heard a proposal from Paul Goldman and Committee Chairman Senator Bill Stanley to use portions of the sales tax collected on internet sales to finance general obligation bonds for school facilities across Virginia. Our next meeting will be held September 5th at George Mason University. We will meet later this month in Hampton Roads.