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

Jul5

Youtube prankster Coby Persin recently took to Times Square to photograph himself and his ‘wife’, who was 12 years old, in order to raise awareness of the long-standing legality of young marriage in Virginia. As a result, New Yorkers were stunned at the obscenity, and thus the state of Virginia has now passed a bill that update previous laws on marriage, which until now made it legally sound for girls aged 12 or 13 to be married, on the grounds of parental consent and of them being pregnant. The legal age has now been amended to 18.

Jul5

And shockingly, people were actually utilising the law. Figures show that between 2004 and 2013, 4,500 children under 18 were married, and of those 200 were younger than 15-years-old. 90% of those marrying underage were girls, and in most cases they married men age 21 or older.

Jul4

Only adults can get married in Virginia, according to a new law replacing policies that made it possible for a girl 13 or younger to marry if she had parental consent and was pregnant. The law, which took effect Friday, sets the minimum marriage age at 18, or 16 if a child is emancipated by court order. It takes parents and pregnancy out of the equation. The change is aimed at curbing forced marriage, human trafficking and statutory rape disguised as marriage. Activists say the previous law created a “fast-track to child marriages” for abusers who could evade investigation by child-welfare officials by simply marrying their victims.

Jul4

Between 2004 and 2013, around 4,500 children under the age of 18 got married in the state of Virginia. Of these girls, more than 200 of them were aged 15 or under. Last week, the authorities in the state introduced new legislation that updated rules that had until then made it legal for girls aged 12 or 13 to get married if they had parental consent and were pregnant. The changes - a move that campaigners said brought Virginia’s laws into the 21st Century - followed a long fight by activists who said the change was aimed at curbing forced marriage, human trafficking and statutory rape disguised as marriage.

Our Newsletters

We are now over a month into Special Session and have yet to complete work on the budget for the 2018-2020, which starts July 1st.

Last month, Governor Northam introduced the same budget that Governor McAuliffe proposed in December, with once exception: Governor Northam included more money in the cash reserves portion of the budget. Governor Northam's budget includes language that would expand Medicaid coverage to nearly 400,000 Virginians and an assessment on state hospitals to cover the Commonwealth's share of the costs. With the savings realized from Medicaid expansion, the budget makes significant investments in core economic priorities like education, workforce development, mental health services, opioid addiction prevention, and pay raises for state employees, teachers and law enforcement professionals.

On Saturday, March 10th, the 2018 General Assembly Session adjourned sine die after passing over 800 bills. You can read a summary of some of the major legislation considered here. 

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.

Follow Jenn on:

Get Involved: