New Kent-Charles City Chronicle: 2017 General Assembly Session Summary

A message from Senator McClellan      

The 2017 General Assembly Session adjourned sine die on February 25th after completing work on thousands of bills and resolutions and closing a $1.26 billion shortfall in the budget. The adopted $107 million budget avoids cuts to K-12 education, restores pay raises to state employees, provides the state share of a raise to teachers, provides assistance to school divisions like Charles City County that have experienced at least a 5% decline in enrollment, and invests in mental health reform, while creating a $35 million cash reserve for future shortfalls.

     Three of my bills passed the General Assembly and now await action by the Governor. First, SB 1475 adds to the family life education curriculum age appropriate information on the value of family relationships, in addition to marriage and instruction that increases student awareness of the fact that consent is required before sexual activity. The bill also changes the focus of instruction from an individual avoiding sexual assault to deterrence of sexual assault.  Second, SB 1493 establishes a public-private partnership between Northern Virginia Community College and a Virginia-based entity to develop and implement computer science training and related professional development activities for Virginia public school teachers. Third, SB 1494 establishes a legal framework to allow companies such as UZURV to pre-arrange rides with transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft, or to request specific drivers whom they designate as their favorites.

The Governor has until midnight, March 27th to sign, amend, or veto these and the over 800 bills that passed this session. On Wednesday, April 5th, the General Assembly will return for Reconvened Session to consider the Governor's amendments and vetoes.

Later this spring, I will mail out a newsletter to highlight the new laws that will take effect on July 1st. You can subscribe to my newsletter at (804) 698-7509, district09@senate.virginia.gov, or www.jennifermcclellan.com. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance on any state government issue.