Home Jennifer McClellan Virginia Senate Adjourns “Sine Die” for 2023; Sen. McClellan Concludes 18-Year Career...

Virginia Senate Adjourns “Sine Die” for 2023; Sen. McClellan Concludes 18-Year Career Having Passed More than 370 Bills (!)

Majority Leader Dick Saslaw moves to adjourn "sine die" for the last time in his 48-year career

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See below for statements from the Virginia Senate Democrats, Senator Jennifer McClellan and others on the 2023 Virginia State Senate adjourning “sine die.”

SINE DIE: Legislature Passes 8 McClellan Bills with Bipartisan Support

In Her Final State Legislative Session, McClellan Passes Bills to Lower Electricity Costs, Increase Economic Opportunity, Expand Public Transit Infrastructure

McClellan Has Passed More than 370 Bills Through Legislature in Her 18-Year Career

RICHMOND, VA – Today, the Virginia General Assembly adjourned the 2023 Legislative Session, the final of 18 sessions for Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) prior to her swearing in as the next member of Congress from the 4th Congressional District.

During the 2023 session, McClellan passed 8 bills through the Senate and House with bipartisan support. McClellan passed bills to save Virginians money on their electricity bills, improve energy efficiency programs, expand public transit infrastructure, provide parents and students with easier access to their educational records, and expand eligibility for the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship to a new generation. The 8 bipartisan-backed bills await Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s signature.

McClellan has passed more than 370 bills through the legislature during her 18-year state legislative career, including landmark bills such as the Virginia Clean Economy Act, the Reproductive Health Protection Act, the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, the creation of the state-based health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act, ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, and the creation of the bipartisan School Construction and Modernization Commission to fix crumbing K-12 schools.

“I’m proud to have passed critical legislation to lower electricity bills for Virginians, improve transportation infrastructure and expand economic opportunity for underserved communities,” McClellan said. “I look forward to Governor Youngkin signing these bipartisan-backed bills into law.

“As I finish my 18th and final session, I want to thank my colleagues in the Senate and House, and the tremendous professional staff who keep our General Assembly running every day. Most of all, I want to thank the Virginians who have helped me advocate for change and pass 370 bills over the past 18 years. It has been a tremendous honor to serve Senate District 9 and House District 71. I look forward to continuing to serve Virginians as a member of Congress.”

The 8 bills chief patroned by McClellan that passed the Senate and House in 2023 are:

  1. Affordable Energy Act (SB 1321) – McClellan and Senator Creigh Deeds’ (D-Charlottesville) bill will establish accurate electricity prices and better protect Virginia consumers from being overcharged on their electric bills. The bill restores the State Corporation Commission’s historic authority to reduce rates when an electric utility earns more than its authorized profit. The 2023 legislative session is the last opportunity to restore the SCC’s authority to prevent customer overcharges before APCO’s rate review in 2023 and Dominion’s in 2024. The House companion (HB 1604) from Del. Lee Ware (R-Powhatan) also passed the House and Senate. SB 1321 PASSED SENATE UNANIMOUSLY, 2/2/23; PASSED HOUSE UNANIMOUSLY, 2/21/23.
  2. Energy Efficiency Savings (SB 1323): McClellan and Senator Ghazala Hashmi’s (D-Chesterfield) bill improves Dominion’s energy efficiency programs and enables more Virginians to save money on their electricity bills. The bill creates a performance standard for Dominion’s energy efficiency programs for low-income, elderly, disabled and veteran customers to ensure they receive bill savings from weatherization upgrades. The bill also provides regulatory certainty for utility efficiency spending with permanent, annual energy efficiency performance targets, and ends restrictions on utility energy efficiency spending. SB 1323 PASSED SENATE UNANIMOUSLY, 2/3/23; PASSED HOUSE 96-2, 2/21/23.
  3. Codifying CDFI Fund (SB 1320) – McClellan and Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Fairfax) patroned a bill to codify and recapitalize the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. In 2021, McClellan carried a budget amendment creating the CDFI Fund with a mission of expanding economic opportunity for underserved people, rural areas, and communities by supporting the growth and capacity of Virginia community development lenders, investors, and financial service providers. CDFI fund grantees have successfully closed 165 loans, resulting in the creation or retention of 314 jobs. SB 1320 will also expand eligibility requirements to include commercial real estate, housing development, and homeownership financing as eligible uses. Del. Danny Marshall (R-Danville) patroned companion House legislation, which passed both chambers. SB 1320 PASSED SENATE UNANIMOUSLY, 2/2/23; PASSED HOUSE 95-2, 2/16/23.
  4. Public Transit Infrastructure and Emissions Reduction (SB 1326) – McClellan and Senator Jeremy McPike (D-Prince William)’s bill will help modernize public transit infrastructure in Virginia by enabling Virginia’s Transit Ridership Incentive Program (TRIP) to utilize funding to improve bus safety and accessibility, and help transit agencies transition to zero-emission bus fleets. The bill will bolster infrastructure investments such as bus shelters, sidewalks and lighting. Zero-emissions bus investments will include supporting local planning initiatives, training programs for transit workforce and identifying charging infrastructure needs. Del. Delores McQuinn (D-Richmond) patroned a companion House bill, which passed both chambers. SB 1326 PASSED SENATE, 22-18, 2/7/23; PASSED HOUSE 65-34, 2/17/23.
  5. Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Eligibility (SB 1498) – McClellan and Senator Mamie Locke’s (D-Hampton) bill expands eligibility for the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Program. Currently, the only people eligible are those who lived in jurisdictions in Virginia in which the public schools were closed to avoid desegregation between 1954 and 1964 and whose educations were affected by the school closings. McClellan and Locke’s bill extend eligibility to direct descendents of those who meet those criteria. Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church) patroned a companion House bill, which passed both chambers. SB 1498 PASSED SENATE UNANIMOUSLY, 2/1/23; PASSED HOUSE UNANIMOUSLY, 2/13/23.
  6. Student Data Transparency (SB 1329) – McClellan’s and Senator Chap Petersen’s (D-Fairfax City) bill requires the Virginia Board of Education to create and maintain a Virginia Parent Data Portal by 2025. Virginia’s current system lacks portability as students move from school to school and risks non-compliance with federal law. The portal will allow parents and students to access a centralized dashboard for all state-supported assessment data. The bill will create a work group to analyze and make fiscal estimates for the creation, implementation, and administration of the proposed parent data portal. The work group will present its report to the Virginia Board of Education and the General Assembly by November 1, 2023. Del. Carrie Coyner (R-Chesterfield) patroned companion House legislation (HB 1629), which passed both chambers. SB 1329 PASSED SENATE UNANIMOUSLY, 2/6/23; PASSED HOUSE UNANIMOUSLY WITH SUBSTITUTE 2/16/23; UNANIMOUS FINAL PASSAGE IN SENATE, 2/20/23.
  7. Conflict of Interest Training (SB 1460) – Sen. McClellan and Sen. Tommy Norment’s (R-James City) bill adds members of appointed school boards to the list of officials who must receive training on Virginia’s Conflict of Interest and Ethics laws. The bill also changes from January 15 to February 1 the annual date for certain employees to file annual disclosures, consistent with deadlines for other officials. This bill is a recommendation of the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council, on which McClellan and Norment serve. Del. Vivian Watts (D-Fairfax) patroned companion House legislation, which passed both chambers. SB 1460 PASSED SENATE UNANIMOUSLY, 2/6/23; PASSED HOUSE UNANIMOUSLY, 2/20/23.
  8. VCU Health System (SB 1499) – McClellan and Sen. Ghazala Hashmi’s (D-Chesterfield) bill provides greater flexibility in the appointment of the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System Authority’s chief executive officer. PASSED SENATE UNANIMOUSLY, 2/6/23; PASSED HOUSE UNANIMOUSLY, 2/20/23.

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