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

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As I write this column, the 2014 General Assembly is winding down its work in advance of our scheduled March 8 adjournment. Of course, the most important bill we have to address, the Biennial Budget, is still in conference committee. Once again, we appear to be headed for overtime. Unfortunately, this is not unusual.


State lawmakers are moving forward with a precedent-setting change in school textbooks. The bill will require textbooks to note the body of water commonly known as the Sea of Japan is also known as the East Sea. The seemingly minor change is a sensitive topic for Korean-Americans.

“We as a commonwealth cannot and should not pick and choose whose history we will accurately portray,” said 71st District Delegate McClellan.


A bill is now on its way to the governor's desk which would require all schools to have a designated area in their building for employees and students to pump milk for their child. Meg Gruber, President of the Virginia Education Association says she heard story after story from teachers about the breast feeding issue. Delegate Jennifer McClellan then drew up a bill to require all schools to have a private lactation room.


For more than a year, we have debated whether to expand Virginia’s Medicaid program to cover people who earn incomes below 133 percent of the poverty line. That’s $15,000 per year for individuals and $31,000 per year for a family of four. To pay for this expansion, Virginia would receive approximately $6.9 billion from the federal government over the next three years. This is money Virginians have and will continue to pay in taxes whether we expand Medicaid or not. Shouldn’t that money be spent providing health insurance to approximately 400,000 Virginians, not residents of other states?

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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.