Constitutional amendment; Virginia Redistricting Commission, criteria to redraw certain districts. (SJ231)

Introduced By

Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-Mount Solon) with support from co-patron Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); Virginia Redistricting Commission; criteria for legislative and congressional districts. Establishes the seven-member Virginia Redistricting Commission (the Commission) to redraw congressional and General Assembly district boundaries after each decennial census. The Commission is directed to certify district plans for the General Assembly within 30 days of receipt of the new census data or by June 1 of the year following the census, whichever occurs later, and for the House of Representatives within 60 days of receipt of the census data or by July 1 of the year following the census, whichever occurs later. The amendment also establishes the standards to govern redistricting plans, which include the current constitutional standards on population equality, compactness, and contiguity and additional standards to minimize splits of localities and to prohibit consideration of incumbency and political data. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

  • 11/30/2016 Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17100989D
  • 11/30/2016 Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
  • 01/20/2017 Assigned to P&E sub: Constitutional Amendments
  • 01/31/2017 Reported from Privileges and Elections with substitute (12-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
  • 01/31/2017 Committee substitute printed 17104950D-S1
  • 01/31/2017 Incorporates SJ230 (Sturtevant)
  • 01/31/2017 Incorporates SJ260
  • 01/31/2017 Incorporates SJ269 (Deeds)
  • 01/31/2017 Incorporates SJ280 (Lewis)
  • 02/02/2017 Reading waived (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/03/2017 Read second time
  • 02/03/2017 Passed by for the day
  • 02/06/2017 Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute with amendment SJ231S1
  • 02/06/2017 Read second time
  • 02/06/2017 Reading of substitute waived
  • 02/06/2017 Committee substitute agreed to 17104950D-S1
  • 02/06/2017 Reading of amendment waived
  • 02/06/2017 Amendment by Senator Hanger agreed to
  • 02/06/2017 Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute with amendment SJ231ES1
  • 02/06/2017 Printed as engrossed 17104950D-ES1
  • 02/07/2017 Read third time and agreed to by Senate (33-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/09/2017 Placed on Calendar
  • 02/09/2017 Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
  • 02/09/2017 Assigned P & E sub: Elections
  • 02/14/2017 Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely (5-Y 2-N)
  • 02/17/2017 Passed by indefinitely in Privileges and Elections (14-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)

Video

This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 2 clips in all, totaling 4 minutes.

Transcript

This is a transcript of the video clips in which this bill is discussed.

RESTITUTION. NOT THAT THEY WOULD NOT BE EVENT UALLY PAID, BUT THE RIGHT TO VOTE SHOULD NOT BE CONTINGENT UPON HAVING TO PAY THE FINES. AND YET THAT'S WHAT THIS MEASURE WOULD REQUIRE, THE PAYMENT OF FINES AND SO FORTH FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT IN A POSITION TO PAY THEM. NOT THAT THEY WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY THEM EVENTUALLY BUT THAT SHOULD NOT BE A CRITERIA FOR HAVING A RESTORATION OF RIGHTS. TO VOTE AND BE A CITIZEN OF THIS COMMONWEALTH AND PARTICIPATE IN THE CIVIC LIFE AND THE POLITICAL LIFE OF OUR COUNTRY -- OUR COMMONWEALTH. SO THAT'S JUST ONE REASON, MR. PRESIDENT. I WOULD HOPE THAT WE SAY NO TO THIS ILL CONCEIVED MEASURE. WE KNOW WHY IT WAS BROUGHT IN. IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE ONE GOVERN , WE'VE GOT -- EVERY FOUR YEARS. LET'S LEAVE IT THE WAY IT IS RIGHT NOW IN THE CONSTITUTION OF VIRGINIA. LET'S REJECT THE PROPOSAL. THE SENATOR FROM PORTSMOUTH, SENATOR LUCAS.

Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth): THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MY NAME HAS BEEN CALLED SO MANY TIMES TODAY, I FEEL COMPELLED TO SAY SOMETHING. AND I REMEMBER CONGRESSMAN SCOTT USED TO SAY EVERYTHING THAT NEEDS TO BE SAID HAS ALREADY BEEN SAID, IT'S JUST THAT EVERYBODY HASN'T SAID IT, AND WHAT I'D LIKE TO SUBMIT TO YOU IS THAT CARTER GLASS WOULD HAVE COSIGNED ON TO THIS MEASURE IN A HEARTBEAT. I THINK MOST OF US IN HERE KNOW THAT. I WANT TO MAKE THIS A LITTLE PERSONAL BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH WE WOULD ALL LIKE TO THINK THAT WE HAVE PERFECT FAMILIES, WE DON'T. ALL OF US HAVE SOMEBODY IN OUR FAMILY OR A RELATIVE OR A FRIEND WHO HAS BEEN ADVERSELY AFFECTED BECAUSE OF SOMETHING THAT THEY DID EARLY ON IN THEIR LIVES. I WOULDN'T BE TELLING THE TRUTH IF I DIDN'T SAY MY TWO BROTHERS MIGHT BE TWO OF THOSE SAME PEOPLE. MY BROTHER GOT HIS RIGHTS RESTORED BY THIS GOVERNOR. AND BUT FOR HIS SISTER, HE WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ABLE TO PAY HIS FINES. AND I CAN SAY THAT I WANT TO VOTE AGAINST THIS MEASURE FOR THAT REASON, FOR THAT REASON ALONE. EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE PLACES -- YOU'D ALWAYS HAVE TO SAY, DID YOU HAVE A FELONY OR WHATEVER YOUR CRIME HAS BEEN. FINGERPRINTS, IF A PERSON HAS A JOB, THEY'RE NOT ABLE TO KEEP THE JOB. I CAN SAY FROM A PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW, I HAVE TWO BROTHERS WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN ADVERSELY AFFECTED BUT FOR THIS GOVERNOR AND THE RESTORATION OF RIGHTS. IT'S FOR THAT REASON THAT I WILL BE VOTING AGAINST THIS AMENDMENT

[Unknown]: THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE SENATOR FROM JAMES CITY COUNTY, SENATOR NORMENT.

Sen. Tommy Norment (R-Williamsburg): MR. PRESIDENT, IF NO ONE ELSE DESIRES TO SPEAK --

[Unknown]: YOU HAVE THE FLOOR.

Sen. Tommy Norment (R-Williamsburg): I WAS SITTING HERE RATHER PASSIVE IN THE PRESENTATION OF THIS AND I'VE GOT TO SAY, I DON'T KNOW WHETHER I AM MORE APPALLED AT THE COMMENTS FROM THE SENATOR FROM ROANOKE CITY THAN I AM WITH THE COMMENTS FROM THE SENATOR FOR WESTERN FAIRFAX COUNTY. TO INVOKE A COMPARISON WITH A POLL TAX ON THIS BILL IS INEXCUSABLE. ABSOLUTELY INEXCUSABLE. TO HEARKEN BACK TO E. CARTER GLASS IN 1902 AND TO INVOKE THAT ON THIS BILL IS EQUALLY INEXCUSABLE. IT IS AMAZING TO ME, AS I SAID, I'VE BEEN HERE FOR A FEW YEARS, AND I HAVE BEEN BEATEN UP ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION BY A

Comments

ACLU-VA Voting Rights, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia supports redistricting legislation that is independent, non-partisan, and that adheres to fair and equal representation for all, upholding the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equality, “one-person, one vote.” Additionally, redistricting legislation must comply with the Constitution’s and the Voting Rights Act’s prohibition on the use of plans that result in diluting minority voting strength. Communities of color, in particular, have faced numerous obstacles to meaningful participation in the political process, including the redistricting process. Legislators should ensure these communities’ effective involvement and equal opportunity in the political process and the ability to elect candidates of choice. Legislators should recognize that every voter has a vital stake in the outcome of their community’s redistricting by supporting proposals that uphold these principles. Voters must feel welcome to participate meaningfully in redistricting through a collaborative process with lawmakers, redistricting experts, various groups and organizations to draw and analyze plans. Redistricting legislation should require and promote transparency, such as a mandatory report detailing the process and bases for decisions.

Eva King writes:

I strongly support redistricting reform. Parts of Virginia are heavily gerrymandered, which goes against all democratic principle. Voters select their representatives, NOT vice versa. We need an independent body to govern redistricting, not whichever party happens to be in power at the time.

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