As we enter week two of a state of emergency and school closures, I hope you and your family are staying healthy and settling into something of a rhythm. I know many of you are feeling anxious, but we are all in this together.
As events unfold rapidly, my staff and I are sharing information as quickly as we can get it.  I wanted to share the latest updates with you regarding government services and actions during this pandemic and state of emergency.   
COVID-19 Update:
As we begin an unprecedented work week under a national, state, and local state of emergency, my staff and I have been monitoring the fluid and rapidly changing situation. 
My staff and I have been i

The General Assembly passed Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s bill , SB 888,  creating a new commission with a statewide focus on constructing and modernizing Virginia’s  schools. 

McClellan’s bill establishes the Virginia Commission on School Construction and Modernization to provide guidance and resources to local school districts and make funding recommendations to the General Assembly and Governor on school construction needs.

The General Assembly passed  Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s (D-Richmond) SB 731, an energy utility bill that would require the State Corporation to set a lower ceiling on the rate of return on the amount of profit Virginia ratepayers are required to pay to their electric company. 

McClellan’s bill will place a clear limit on how much customers would pay on the return of equity to their electric company. The bill would require the State Corporation Commission to set a lower ceiling for possible rate of return, lowering the cap from 3% to 1.5% above the average of comparable utilities in other Southeastern states.

The General Assembly passed Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s (D-Richmond) SJ 67, a resolution to study and make recommendations for how Virginia should legalize and regulate the growth, sale, and possession of marijuana.  

The resolution directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study marijuana legalization, including analyzing the processes and experiences of other states, and making recommendations for a regulated marijuana marketplace in Virginia. JLARC will specifically be charged with exploring and documenting the impact of marijuana prohibition on communities of color, and recommendations for policies to redress historic inequities caused by marijuana criminalization.

The General Assembly passed Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s (D-Richmond) SB 724 and Del. Kathy Tran’s (D-Springfield) HB 298 to expand the statute of limitations for prosecuting misdemeanor sexual offenses against a minor. 

Under current law, the statute of limitations for reporting such a crime ends when the survivor turns 19; McClellan and Tran’s bill extends that to age 23.

Today, the General Assembly passed Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s (D-Richmond) “Tenants Bill of Rights,” to protect Virginia renters. Del. Jeion Ward (D-Hampton) introduced parallel legislation in the House, HB 393

McClellan’s SB 707 requires all landlords to provide new tenants with a plain-language, written explanation of their rights and responsibilities, including the right to request repairs. Virginia’s Department of Housing and Community Development is charged with developing the text of  the notice. 

Today, Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) released the following statement on passage of SB 851, the Virginia Clean Economy Act:

“Today, we passed the most significant clean energy legislation in Virginia history. This historic legislation is a major step forward towards investing in clean energy and job creation across Virginia,” said McClellan, who patroned the Senate bill. 

RICHMOND, VA –Yesterday, the Virginia General Assembly passed Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s (D-Richmond) SB 1073 and Del. Delores McQuinn’s (D-Richmond) HB 1509, to decrease “food deserts' ' across Virginia.  

An estimated 1 million Virginians live in food deserts, areas with limited access to affordable nutritious food.  McClellan’s legislation creates the Virginia Food Access Investment Program and Fund to incentivize building and maintaining grocery and food retail stores in underserved communities, and increase the number of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) retailers who participate in the Virginia Fresh Match Program. 

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