Today, Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) released the following statement on Gov. Northam’s State of the Commonwealth address:
“Governor Northam’s speech tonight showed how far we have come as a Commonwealth and the tremendous work ahead. Under Gov. Northam’s leadership, we have expanded Medicaid, passed historic legislation to move to 100% clean energy, protected workers rights, increased education investment, ended discriminatory laws, and expanded reproductive health access. All of this progress proved critical during this health and economic crisis. But we still have significant work ahead to bring the needed changes that will rebuild Virginia communities, address the inequities in our system, and support Virginia families during and after this crisis.
“We have important work to do this session, and nothing should be a higher priority than delivering for the people of Virginia in this time of crisis. I’m proud to be working in the Senate to invest in education, strengthen workers rights, expand access to health care, and protect affordable housing.
“Tonight, Governor Northam laid out a strong agenda for immediate action in the face of the health, economic and inequity crises that we face. He is right to increase funding to education and teacher pay, including the hard-hit child care system of Virginia. To further support our education system, we must lift the support staff cap and fully fund the Virginia Board of Education’s recommended Standards of Quality. I’m pleased to see the Governor’s plan to support small businesses in this crisis, and to invest in our long-term transportation by improving rail service around Roanoke. Gov. Northam also takes major steps toward criminal justice reform: ending the death penalty and restoring voting rights. I’m proud to co-patron Senator Mamie Locke’s resolution SJ 272 this year to end felony disenfranchisement and commit to working to get it on the ballot and passed in 2022. We have critical work to do this session, and it’s time to get to work.”
Jennifer McClellan was elected to the Senate of Virginia in 2017 after serving 11 years in the House of Delegates. She has been a leader on fighting climate change, strengthening public education and dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, criminal justice reform, combating domestic and sexual violence, and fighting discrimination of all kinds.