Constitutional amendment; Virginia Redistricting Commission (first reference). (SJ306)

Introduced By

Sen. George Barker (D-Alexandria) with support from co-patron Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Springfield)

Progress

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

Description

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); Virginia Redistricting Commission. Establishes the Virginia Redistricting Commission, a 16-member Commission tasked with establishing districts for the United States House of Representatives and for the Senate and the House of Delegates of the General Assembly. The Commission consists of eight legislative members and eight citizen members. The legislative members consist of four members of the Senate of Virginia and four members of the House of Delegates, with equal representation given to the political parties having the highest and next highest number of members in their respective houses. The citizen members are selected by a selection committee consisting of five retired judges of the circuit courts of Virginia. The selection committee is tasked with adopting a process by which registered Virginia voters may apply to serve on the Commission and selecting from the applicants a list of 16 candidates. The amendment requires four of the candidates to be voters who affiliate with the political party receiving the highest number of votes for governor at the immediately preceding gubernatorial election, four candidates to be voters who affiliate with the political party receiving the next highest number of votes for governor at the immediately preceding gubernatorial election, and eight candidates to be voters who do not affiliate with any political party. The Speaker of the House of Delegates, the minority leader in the House of Delegates, and the majority and minority leaders in the Senate then strike names from the list until there is the final list of eight citizen members, two of whom affiliate with the political party receiving the highest number of votes for governor at the immediately preceding gubernatorial election, two of whom affiliate with the political party receiving the next highest number of votes for governor at the immediately preceding gubernatorial election, and four of whom do not affiliate with any political party. The Commission is required to submit to the General Assembly plans of districts for the Senate and the House of Delegates of the General Assembly no later than 45 days following the receipt of census data and plans of districts for the United States House of Representatives no later than 60 days following the receipt of census data. In order to be submitted to the General Assembly for a vote, a plan must receive an affirmative vote of at least six of the eight legislative members and six of the eight citizen members. No amendments may be made to a plan by the General Assembly or the Governor. In the event that the Commission fails to submit a plan by its deadline, or the General Assembly fails to adopt a plan by its deadline, or the Governor fails to act on or vetoes a plan by his deadline, districts shall be decided by judicial decision. Read the Bill »

Status

03/21/2019: Awaiting a Vote in the Privileges and Elections Committee

History

DateAction
01/09/2019Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/19 19104200D
01/09/2019Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/22/2019Reported from Privileges and Elections with substitute (13-Y 0-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
01/22/2019Committee substitute printed 19105499D-S1
01/24/2019Reading waived (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/25/2019Passed by for the day
01/28/2019Passed by for the day
01/30/2019Read second time
01/30/2019Reading of substitute waived
01/30/2019Committee substitute agreed to 19105499D-S1
01/30/2019Reading of amendment waived
01/30/2019Amendment by Senator Howell agreed to
01/30/2019Amendments #1 and #2 by Senator Sturtevant withdrawn
01/30/2019Amendment #3 by Senator Sturtevant rejected (17-Y 23-N) (see vote tally)
01/30/2019Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute with amendment SJ306ES1
01/30/2019Printed as engrossed 19105499D-ES1
01/31/2019Read third time and agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2019Placed on Calendar
02/04/2019Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
02/04/2019Assigned P & E sub: Subcommittee #4
02/11/2019Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (5-Y 3-N)
02/15/2019Reported from Privileges and Elections with substitute (12-Y 10-N) (see vote tally)
02/15/2019Committee substitute printed 19106689D-H1
02/19/2019Taken up
02/19/2019Committee substitute agreed to 19106689D-H1 (51-Y 48-N)
02/19/2019Engrossed by House - committee substitute SJ306
02/19/2019Agreed to by House with substitute (51-Y 48-N)
02/19/2019VOTE: ADOPTION (51-Y 48-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2019House substitute rejected by Senate (0-Y 40-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2019House insisted on substitute
02/21/2019House requested conference committee
02/21/2019Senate acceded to request (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2019Conferees appointed by Senate
02/21/2019Senators: Barker, Vogel, Cosgrove
02/21/2019Conferees appointed by House
02/21/2019Delegates: Cole, Rush, Leftwich, Krizek
02/23/2019C Amended by conference committee
02/23/2019Conference substitute printed 19107724D-S2
02/23/2019Conference report agreed to by House (85-Y 13-N)
02/23/2019VOTE: ADOPTION (85-Y 13-N) (see vote tally)
02/23/2019Conference report agreed to by Senate (39-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
03/07/2019Enrolled
03/07/2019Bill text as passed Senate and House (SJ306ER)
03/07/2019Signed by Speaker
03/09/2019Signed by President

Comments

JoAnn Kennedy Flanagan writes:

Voting districts are like playing fields, everybody knows that they have to be fairly drawn or the game is rigged. This bill seems to have no transparency to allow the voters or the judiciary to determine how the voting districts are drawn. Seems that it would set us up for another decade of expensive court cases to suss out and correct the mistakes of a secret redistricting process. Now is the time to make this process transparent, while neither political party is firmly in control.

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