Today, three of Senator Jennifer McClellan’s bills ‒ SB 1327, SB 1276, and SB 1439 ‒ were signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam. These bills will make Virginia the first state in the South to end the ban on abortion coverage on the health care exchange, help protect homeowners from foreclosure, and increase youth civic engagement. These three bills were in a package of ten McClellan bills that passed through the General Assembly. Sen. McClellan’s full legislative package will address the problems Virginia families face right now, in order to help rebuild a stronger, post-COVID-19 Commonwealth.
Today, the General Assembly adjourned sine die after one of the most productive sessions in modern Virginia history. The session included 10 McClellan bills being passed into law. The legislature also adopted a joint budget conference report on Saturday, which included several amendments sponsored or associated with legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond).
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.”
Today the General Assembly passed Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) and Delegate Jeff Bourne (D-Richmond) bills SB 1315 and HB 2047 to reform the criminal justice system for individuals with mental illness, autism and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Both bills now head to Governor Northam’s desk.
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passed Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) and Senator Jennifer McClellan’s (D-Richmond) bill (SB 1138) to modernize outdated and ineffective 1980s-era laws that criminalize Virginians living with HIV.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.
“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.”
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
oday, the House passed Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s (D-Richmond) bill (SB 1257) to invest an additional $50 million per year into Virginia schools by implementing some of the Virginia Board of Education’s Standards of Quality recommendations for increased school support staffing. The bill passed the House 63-37 and now heads to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk.
Sen. McClellan’s bill will take steps toward meeting the support needs of students in Virginia by providing and funding more social workers, nurses, and mental health professionals in our schools to address students’ needs. The bill will require each school board to provide at least three specialized student support positions per 1,000 students.
Today, Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) delivered a floor speech advocating for the removal of noted segregationist and former Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator Harry Byrd’s statue from the ground of the Virginia State Capitol.
Today, the House passed Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s (D-Richmond) Child Care Stabilization and Quality Care bill (SB 1316). Sen. McClellan’s bill will invest in the Virginia child care industry by launching a new two-year pilot program creating flexibility in how federal subsidy dollars are used while also addressing staffing shortages by implementing portable background checks. The bill passed unanimously in the House and now heads to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk.
Today, the Virginia Senate passed Senator Jennifer McClellan’s (D-Richmond) civic youth engagement bill (SB 1439), which will allow middle and high school students an excused absence per year in order to participate in a civic event. The bill passed the Senate 25-14 on final passage, accepting a technical amendment from the House.
Del. Sam Rasoul’s (D-Roanoke) companion bill passed on Wednesday. The bills are now on the way to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk.
The bills will allow students to get involved in government and communities and learn the importance of civic engagement. This bipartisan bill was the result of a collaboration between the Virginia Young Democrats Teen Caucus and the Teenage Republican Federation of Virginia.
“This is a historic day for criminal justice reform in Virginia. Today’s vote sets Virginia on a path to end a barbaric system that disproportionately punished Black and Brown people. Ending capital punishment is a critical step on the long path to build a justice system that is truly just.
I’m proud to co-patron this bill that will make Virginia the first state in the South to abolish the death penalty.”