Month: February 2021

Session Ends With 10 McClellan Bills Passed By General Assembly

Today, Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) finished up the 2021 Virginia General Assembly Special Session with 10 of her bills on the way to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk.

The 10 McClellan bills that have passed the General Assembly will help protect Virginans’ rights, invest in education, and strengthen families’ economic situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Virginia families are hurting right now,” said Sen. McClellan. “These bills deliver much-needed relief to families facing challenges that existed before the COVID-19 pandemic, but have been exacerbated in the past year. This was a historic session for delivering progress for Virginians, and I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues on passing these landmark bills.”

General Assembly Passes Locke/McClellan Bill to Reform Discriminatory HIV Laws

Today, the General Assembly passed Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) and Senator Jennifer McClellan’s (D-Richmond) bill (SB 1138) to modernize outdated and ineffective 1980s-era laws that criminalize Virginians living with HIV. The bill now heads to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk.

Virginia’s current law subjects people living with HIV to criminal prosecution and punishment by criminalizing potential exposure, non-disclosure or potential transmission of HIV. These laws have been proven ineffective for public health and disproportionately impact communities of color.

The Locke-McClellan bill will ensure that Virginia’s laws reflect the current scientific understanding of HIV and promote public health by alleviating the stigma around HIV.

McClellan Statement on Passage of Marijuana Reform Bill

“For the past year I’ve focused on ensuring marijuana legalization is done in a way that redresses the disproportionate impact prohibition has had on Black and Brown Communities,” McClellan said. “ The bill we passed today moves the ball forward, but let’s be clear: this is not marijuana legalization. It sets up a framework to get us on a path to legalization in 2024, gives JLARC an opportunity to compare the framework to it’s report, and ensures additional General Assembly action prior to marijuana reform and legalization.”

McClellan Applauds Senate Passage of Paid Sick Leave Bill

“Home health workers are on the front line of the pandemic,” said Sen. McClellan. “They should not have to choose between their job and their health. This bill is a major relief to the 30,000 home health workers in Virginia, who are disproportionately women of color. This is a significant step, but we cannot rest until every worker in Virginia has access to paid sick days and paid family leave.”

“Home Care workers are essential workers, keeping older adults and people with disabilities safe,” said Thomasine Wilson, a constituent of McClellan’s who is a home care worker and Home Care Chair of SEIU Virginia 512. “Paid sick days are the lifeline we need to protect our health. Today is a great step towards that, and now we need to ensure paid sick days for all workers.”

Voting Rights Act of Virginia Heads to Governor’s Desk

Today, the Voting Rights Act of Virginia (HB1890) achieved final passage in the Virginia Senate and is now on its way to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk. The bill will make Virginia the first state in the South to pass a Voting Rights Act.

The Senate voted 21-18 in favor of Delegate Marcia “Cia” Price’s (D-Newport News) Voting Rights Act of Virginia. Today’s vote comes on the heels of Wednesday’s passage of the Senate version of the Voting Rights Act of Virginia (SB1395), led by Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond).

FINAL PASSAGE: McClellan/Torian Bill to Prevent Foreclosures Passes General Assembly, Moves to Governor’s Desk

The Preserving the American Dream Act will require mortgage companies to give a 60-day notice period to homeowners that are facing foreclosure, a significant increase from the current 14-day notice period. The bill will also require the notice to include information regarding legal assistance and resources for the homeowner. Additionally it requires localities to provide plans to maintain and improve manufactured housing and ensure residents of manufactured home communities are provided information about their rights and opportunities to have a greater say in the future of their communities.

Senate Voting Rights Act of Virginia Bill Passes House

Today, the Virginia House of Delegates passed 55-45 the Senate version of the Voting Rights Act of Virginia (SB1395) to protect Virginia voters from suppression, discrimination, and intimidation. The bill now heads to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk for signing. The House version of the Voting Rights Act (HB 1890) is slated for a vote in the Senate later this week.

McClellan’s Pipeline Accountability, Oversight, and Protection of Virginia’s Water Act Passes Senate

Today, the Senate of Virginia passed Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s (D-Richmond) Pipeline Accountability, Oversight, and Protection of Virginia’s Water Act (SB 1311), which will ensure the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality makes a fully informed decision about new pipeline projects and protects Virginia’s authority over the Commonwealth’s water quality. The bill passed the Senate by a 20-17 margin.

Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Passes General Assembly, Headed to Governor’s Desk

On Friday February 19, 2021, the House passed Senator Jennifer McClellan’s (D-Richmond) SB1310, an omnibus bill. Today, the House accepted technical Senate amendments to Delegates Marcia Price’s (D-Newport News) HB 1864. Both bills now head to the Governor’s desk.

Under Virginia law – a relic of Jim Crow-era policies – domestic workers are not entitled to the same protections as other workers under the Virginia Human Rights Act and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. McClellan’s and Price’s bills remove these exemptions and protect domestic workers.