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


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?


A bill giving animal control officers flexibility in dealing with livestock-injuring dogs is heading to the desk of Gov. Terry McAuliffe for signature, after passing the Senate unanimously this week. Under current law if a dog is found chasing, injuring or killing poultry and livestock, animal control and police officers have a duty to kill the dog, whether it has tags or not. Del. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, proposed House Bill 740 this session to not only give officers more flexibility, but also to give pet owners peace of mind about their dogs. McClellan says that this bill is particularly necessary in the city because of recent ordinances that allow up to four hens to be kept in people’s backyards.


Delegate Jennifer McClellan spoke on the House floor on the proposed budget amendment that would prohibit using medicaid funding for abortions in the case of gross fetal abnormalities: As in past years, House Republicans are seeking to restrict access to healthcare to women in cases where their pregnancies go horribly wrong. She spoke against this budget amendment, and you can view her remarks here.


In the eternal battle of dog against chicken, Virginia law sides with the fowl. Currently, a poultry farmer is free to kill a dog that so much as chases his chickens. But the growing popularity of backyard chicken farming, along with dog owners protesting what they see as an antiquated law, could change that. On Tuesday, a bill that would revoke the doggie death penalty cleared the legislature, although it doesn’t go as far as dog lovers would like.

Del. Jennifer J. McClellan (D-Richmond) was urged to introduce the bill by officials in Richmond, where urban chickens were just legalized. She aimed to let urban communities decide whether to continue letting chicken-coop justice prevail. After pushback from the farm lobby, her bill was softened so that officers could choose to seize, rather than destroy, a marauding dog.

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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.