Meet Senator Jennifer McClellan
Jennifer McClellan's legislation is signed into law
Jennifer McClellan at the General Assembly
Senator McClellan Meets with constituents
Jennifer McClellan accepting the VEA Legislative Champion Award

Latest News


Virginia’s Education Department is revising Family Life Education curriculum. The new material was spurred by a group of students from Charlottesville and expands lessons on the meaning of sexual consent.

State Senator Jennifer McClellan sponsored one of two partner bills set to trigger a curriculum revision.

While current guidelines mention sexual consent twice as a topic for sophomores, McClellan and other supporters say it wasn't enough. Under her bill, SB 1475, the legal definition of consent can now be part of lessons on dating, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

UVA Today

Intense partisan rancor emanates far beyond national forums today, adding a confrontational edge to even everyday conversations of friends and neighbors. Faced with the cacophony of cable news, the social media echo chamber and the rising acceptance of public putdowns, Americans can’t help but wonder: Is civility dead?

Not at the University of Virginia, where there’s long been a general atmosphere of civility on the grounds, but the modern University is doing more than just offering a respite of civility. Today, UVA employs a combined set of educational initiatives to spread the practice of civil political discourse across the commonwealth and the nation as a whole.

For some like Del. Chris Peace, a Republican, and state Sen. Jennifer McClellan, a Democrat, the bonds of Sorensen help foster important bipartisan working relationships down the road. While McClellan and Peace took the Sorensen course at different times, they knew each other through the program’s network and both took away collaborative skills that have helped them work together in the state legislature. They frequently pen joint pieces for local media and have co-sponsored legislation on education reform, the state’s response to sexual assault, and more.

“I think that what I learned from Sorensen is that if you talk to Republicans at a high level, you’ll find that you both have the same goals. You just have different ideas about how to get there,” said McClellan. “You may have very different views of the roles of government, but everybody wants their child to have a good education, to grow up in a safe neighborhood and for their kids to have an opportunity to do better than they did. So we start with that and ask, ‘How do we get there?’”


RICHMOND, Va. — Suspension from school has long been linked to academic failure. Students are away from the classroom for up to several days, missing out on material taught in class and falling behind. Meanwhile, assignments pile up, making a difficult situation even worse.

A new state law will encourage Virginia schools to seek alternatives to suspensions in dealing with students who misbehave. The law, which takes effect July 1, directs the Virginia Board of Education to “establish guidelines for alternatives to short-term and long-term suspension for consideration by local school boards. Such alternatives may include positive behavior incentives, mediation, peer-to-peer counseling, community service, and other intervention alternatives.”

The law is the result of two identical bills passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe earlier this year: House Bill 1924, sponsored by Del. Lamont Bagby of Richmond, and Senate Bill 829, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Wexton of Loudoun County. Sen. Jennifer McClellan of Richmond was a co-sponsor of both bills.


Most Americans think of child marriage as a vestige of a bygone era. And yet in every state, people under 18 are allowed to marry. Some states set minimum ages for brides and grooms — sometimes as low as 13 or 14 — and usually require the permission of a parent, judge, or both before a minor can wed. But laws in about half the states allow children of any age to marry, as long as they receive the proper permission. That may be changing. This year legislators in 10 states have introduced bills to raise the marriage age.


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This is the final week of the 2018 General Assembly Session.  As of Tuesday evening, we have passed about 750 bills, with another 175 pending.  The Budget conferees have not yet reached an agreement to bridge the approximately $600 million gap between the House and Senate Budgets, primarily due to their disagreement over Medicaid Expansion. Seven of my bills have passed both the Senate and the House and now await action by the Governor.

We are in the final week of the 2018 Session. So far we have passed about 750 bills, with another 175 pending.  The Budget conferees have not yet reached an agreement to bridge the approximately $600 million gap between the House and Senate Budgets, primarily due to their disagreement over Medicaid Expansion.

Last week the House and Senate adopted their amendments to the 2018 - 2020 biennial budget introduced by Governor McAuliffe on December 18, 2017.  The two budgets are about $600 million apart.  The key difference between the two budgets is Medicaid expansion.