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

Today is "Crossover," the midway point of the Session where the House and Senate must complete work on their bills.  You can follow my bills and their progress through the General Assembly on the LIS website, and you can read a summary of all of my 2018 legislation and view committee hearings for each on my website

I am eager to hear from you on issues you care about. To share your views on legislation, contact my office at (804) 698-7509 or district09@senate.virginia.gov. You can also stop by my office in the Pocahontas Building at 900 East Main Street. My offices are located in E512.

Agriculture is Virginia’s largest industry.  Yet many communities in the commonwealth do not have enough places to purchase healthy, affordable food as a wide variety of factors have led supermarkets to disinvest from lower-income areas across the commonwealth, creating a public health crisis. 

As we enter the last full week of committee meetings before crossover, the days at the General Assembly are getting longer. In this update, I report on my legislationi, the bills that have passed the Senate that I co-sponsored, and the call to action issued by African American women legislators, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and other leaders.

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