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

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 district09@senate.virginia.gov. 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. 

As we enter the last full week of committee meetings before crossover, the days at the General Assembly are getting longer. In this update, I report on my legislationi, the bills that have passed the Senate that I co-sponsored, and the call to action issued by African American women legislators, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and other leaders.