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 is one of only three states in the nation where public breast-feeding is not protected by law. On Friday, the famously female-unfriendly legislature is poised to take the first step toward changing that. The House of Delegates is going to vote on a long-overdue bill that gives women the right to nurse their infants anywhere. The way it stands, a mom and her nursing infant can get kicked out of a gym, a store or a restaurant in Virginia for letting the infant, you know, eat lunch the way some babies do.


A House of Delegates committee on Wednesday advanced comprehensive legislation aimed at strengthening Virginia’s ethics laws. The proposal would reduce the current $250 cap on gifts to public officials to $100 and remove the distinction between tangible and intangible gifts such as travel, meals and entertainment. The omnibus House Bill 2070, sponsored by Del. C. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, does not include Gov. Terry McAuliffe's proposal for an independent ethics commission with authority to investigate alleged violations. Del. Jennifer L. McClellan, D-Richmond, who carried McAuliffe’s ethics bill that was rolled into Gilbert’s proposal, said there was “a lot of common ground” between the governor’s bill and the Republican measure, “and none of that has changed.”


McAuliffe’s ethics reform panel, headed by former Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican, and former Rep. Rick Boucher, D-9th, recommended empowering a new bipartisan Ethics Review Commission that would have the authority to approve waivers to the gift limit, investigate complaints and impose civil penalties for violations. Del. Jennifer L. McClellan, D-Richmond, is the sponsor of House Bill 1947 that would establish the independent commission with investigative subpoena power.


Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the Republican-controlled General Assembly appear to agree they need to toughen Virginia's public ethics laws, but they disagree on how tough they should be. Lawmakers have introduced dozens of ethics bills in the wake of former Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell's conviction on public corruption charges last year. The first public airing of those proposals came Monday at a meeting of a House ethics subcommittee.

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New Laws Take Effect

On July 1st, the majority of legislation passed by the 2018 General Assembly Session took effect.  In Due Course, published by the Division of Legislative Services, provides a good overview of new laws likely to affect the daily lives of Virginians. 

Complete information on actions of the 2018 General Assembly Session can be found on the Legislative Information System webpage.


After five years of trying, the General Assembly passed a budget last week that includes Medicaid Expansion.

Once the Federal government approves Virginia's pan, 18-64 years olds who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level will be eligible for Medicaid. This will close the coverage gap for nearly 300,000 Virginians who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid now, but not enough to qualify for subsidies on the federal health insurance marketplace. The plan includes a work requirement in which able-bodied adults under 65 are required to work, seek employment, or participate in job training, education, or community/engagement programs that improve work readiness. Exemptions are provided for children, pregnant women, the aged, disabled, and seriously mentally ill, caregivers of disabled dependents, and individuals working in the TANF VIEW program or SNAP. These requirements are waived in parts of the state with high unemployment.