Legislative Record

The common thread of Jennifer’s long list of legislation is compassion. She is solving problems for those who have difficulty speaking up for themselves: animals, people struggling with addiction, women who need healthcare and find themselves far from the care they need and/or short on the money to pay, women who need menstrual supplies - all women, inmates, women in shelters, and girls in schools, victims of domestic violence and gun violence - all too often both, minorities and women who are treated unfairly in schools, by the criminal justice system and in the workplace.

Her legislation is full of practical solutions - an updated equal pay act to find real solutions to the wage gap for women and minorities and education bills to protect children by teaching them about consent, sex, sexual abuse, and family relationships with unbiased, science-based information. 

Animal Welfare 

  • HB 1087, Chief Patron, bill passed, requires alternative to animal testing where available, does not apply to medical research or FDA regulated products other than cosmetics
  • HB 270, Chief Patron, allow localities to limit sales/transfer of cats and dogs in pet stores to rescues
  • HB 646, copatron, limits on outdoor tethering of animals, provision of shelter 

Criminal Justice - both reform and protections 

  • HB 113, copatron, increase larceny threshold to $1K (an increase did pass but will push for a higher threshold); also HB 1073
  • HB 260, copatron, bill passed, created Virginia Critically Missing Adult Alert Program
  • HB 322, copatron, adds employees of the Department of Corrections who are designated as probation and parole officers or correctional officers to the list of individuals who may possess and administer naloxone or other opioid antagonist, provided that they have completed a training program.
  • HB522, copatron, safe reporting of sexual assault, affirmative defense to prosecution for crimes, e.g. drug possession
  • HB 661, copatron, came close to passing - ultimately failed because of the cost of imprisoning the many domestic abusers in our Commonwealth: first offense assault and battery against a family or household member; enhanced penalty. Provides that the deferral and dismissal of a first offense of assault and battery against a family or household member will be treated as a prior conviction for the purpose of determining whether a person is eligible for the enhanced Class 6 felony penalty for assault and battery against a family or household member, which applies on the basis of a person's prior convictions.
  • HB 1243, copatron, Requires the Parole Board to base its parole decision for any person eligible and under consideration for and seeking parole for whom the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission has determined, or who otherwise demonstrates, that his time served has exceeded the midpoint of the sentencing guidelines solely on relevant post-sentencing information, including the person's history, character, and conduct while in prison.
  • HB 1550, copatron, passed, larceny threshold raised from $200 to $500 (patroned bills raising threshold up to $1000; will continue to pursue this)

Education

  • HB 121, copatron, Community Schools
  • HB 147, copatron, protect student cell phone info from FOIA release
  • HB 159 copatron, Updated Family Life Education to require instruction that is medically accurate and appropriate for the age of the student in family living and community relationships, removes abstinence focus and man-woman-child marriage and family focus
  • HB 350, copatron, full day Kindergarten
  • HB 442, copatron, career and technical education credentials; testing accommodations for English language learners.
  • HB 624, copatron, tax credit for money spent on classroom materials by teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide
  • HB 632, copatron, passed, requires school boards to offer “career investigations” courses, including career and technical education opportunities in middle and secondary schools
  • HB 668, copatron, require alternatives to suspension - goal of stopping the school to prison pipeline; while problem behavior occurs equally among racial groups, discipline is much harsher for minority students
  • HB 968, copatron, Virginia Student Loan Authority 
  • HB 1223, copatron, include age appropriate teaching re sexual abuse in FLE
  • HB 1419, copatron, more recess/2019 Pushing for Yoga, mindfulness and quiet time
  • HJR 126, copatron, a study to identify the true costs of meeting the standards of quality for providing public education - it failed

Elections

  • HB 272, chief patron, allow registrar to call or email when registration denied for minor, nonsubstantive error; GMU students requested the legislation because many students do not have street addresses and do not regularly check their campus mailboxes
  • HB 76 copatron, Subjects any political campaign advertisements that is placed or promoted for a fee on an online platform to the same disclosure requirements to which print media, television, and radio advertisements are subject
  • HB 122 copatron, Prohibit Personal Use of Campaign funds, bipartisan, failed in Senate
  • HB 1072, copatron, Absentee Voting, no excuse
  • 2017 Session, HJ 540, copatron, remove the disqualification of felons for voting
  • 2017 Session, HJ 749, copatron, constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission

Economic Opportunity for All

  • HB 640, Chief patron, passed, Broadband infrastructure to be included in local government comprehensive plans 
  • HB 1089, Chief patron, Equal Pay Act - updates the 1974 equal pay act which isn’t working - the wage gap for women, minorities and other protected classes is evidence of the need for specific direction to employers; also copatroned other legislators bills that included a piece of the comprehensive bill.
  • HB 1090, Chief patron, comprehensive equal pay act for state employees
  • HB 1106, Chief patron, strengthening of the laws protecting employees from classification as independent contractors and associated loss of wages and benefits and workplace protections
  • HJ 77, Chief patron, study for Dig Once Policy - to streamline broadband deployment
  • HB 1259, chief copatron of bill eliminating racist Jim Crow law and tipped employee exemptions
  • HB 518, copatron of minimum wage bill, $15 by 2022 plus annual Consumer Price Index increase thereafter
  • HB 667, copatron, require payment of prevailing wage for public works contracts
  • HB 715, copatron of minimum wage bill, $10 by 2019 with biennial CPI increases
  • HB 999, copatron, Office of Telework Promotion and Broadband Assistance; Broadband Advisory Council; expiration. Extends the expiration of the Office of Telework Promotion and Broadband Assistance and the Broadband Advisory Council from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019.
  • HB 1376 Breaks for breastfeeding moms (Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempt employees)

Equality for all, including LGBTQ Rights and Protections

  • HB 2, copatron, ERA - ratification of the federal constitutional amendment/2019 Major Priority with bipartisan support
  • HB 497 chief patron, allow change of sex on birth certificate without requiring a medical procedure
  • HB 75 - copatron, Repeals the unconstitutional statutory prohibitions on same-sex marriages and civil unions or other arrangements between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges and obligations of marriage.
  • HB 266, copatron, Adds gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation to categories considered hate crimes when targeted; also copatroned HB 718
  • HB 1267, copatron, State health plans to include gender transition care
  • 2017 Session, HJ 538, copatron, constitutional amendment to repeal 2006 amendment, now unconstitutional, defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman

Environment

  • HB 182, copatroned, would have required removal and closure of coal ash ponds; supported an alternate version that requires further legislation in the 2019 session.
  • HB 922, copatron, passed, Authorizes any locality or public institution of higher education, or the Department of Conservation and Recreation, to locate and operate a retail fee-based electric vehicle charging station on property such entity owns or leases.

Gun Sense

  • HB 273, Chief patron, establishes civil liability for injury, death, and property damage inflicted by a gun sold or transferred without a background check.
  • HB 41, copatron, Ban Bumpstocks
  • HB 43, copatron, report lost or stolen firearms
  • HB 68 , copatron, would allow localities to ban guns in libraries
  • HB 261, copatron, would allow localities to ban guns in government buildings
  • HB 281, copatron, minors are allowed to possess guns in their homes, this bill would have required parent grandparent, or guardian permission.
  • HB 720, copatron, simple assault hate crime conviction added to prohibition on gun purchase and transport for five years
  • HB 721, copatron, universal background checks
  • HB 1373, copatron, universal background checks

Healthcare

  • HB 1231, Chief patron, Whole Woman’s Health Act, remove abortion from the criminal code and remove medically unnecessary regulations
  • HB 1088, Chief patron, passed, requires de-escalation training in emergency rooms to aid people experiencing a mental health crisis
  • HB 842 chief copatron, passed, allows distribution of the less expensive naloxone packaged with needles by trained REVIVE leaders
  • HB 1267, copatron, State health plans to include gender transition care
  • HB 1369 health insurance, mandated coverage for autism spectrum disorder
  • HB 5002 Budget bill, including Medicaid expansion and the LARC pilot program

Housing

  • HB 282, copatron, VHDA Act - a pilot program to help low income renters become homeowners

Immigrants - equal opportunity for all

  • HB 343, patron, in-state tuition for students who grow up in Virginia and intend to apply for citizenship when eligible
  • HB 719, copatron, Adds immigration status to the categories considered hate crimes when targeted
  • HB 1318, chief patron, drivers privilege cards for all

Menstrual Equity

  • HB 24, chief patron, exemption from sales tax for menstrual supplies
  • HB 25, chief patron, adds menstrual supplies to 3 day tax free weekend (good fit with school supplies and clothing, and with emergency storm supplies)
  • HB 83, copatron, passed, free menstrual supplies in jails and prisons
  • HB 1384 menstrual supplies free in schools

Transportation

  • HB 1417, copatron, return HOV hours to pre-tolling times
  • HB 1539, Metro Funding, significant legislation