Constitutional amendment; Virginia Redistricting Commission established (first reference). (SJ260)

Introduced By

Sen. George Barker (D-Alexandria) with support from co-patron Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke)

Progress

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

Description

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); Virginia Redistricting Commission; partisan balance of districts. Establishes the Virginia Redistricting Commission, an eight-member commission tasked with establishing the districts for the United States House of Representatives and for the Senate and the House of Delegates of the General Assembly and apportioning the members of the House of Representatives and the members of the Senate and the House of Delegates among the districts, respectively. The districts are to be drawn to reflect the voting patterns of the Commonwealth with, to the extent practicable, half of the districts more favorable than statewide totals to each of the two political parties most often receiving the most votes cast in statewide elections. The bill also provides that redistricting is to happen in 2021 and every 10 years thereafter and at no other time, unless ordered by a court. Read the Bill »

Status

01/31/2017: Incorporated into Another Bill

History

DateAction
01/04/2017Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17102917D
01/04/2017Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/20/2017Assigned to P&E sub: Constitutional Amendments
01/31/2017Incorporated by Privileges and Elections (SJ231-Hanger) (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)

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.