Republican members of the House Privileges and Elections subcommittee voted against reporting one of several redistricting bills they considered during a meeting inside the General Assembly Building in Richmond, VA Tuesday, Feb. 14 2017. Committee members Luke Torian, D-Prince William, and Mark d. Sickles, D-Fairfax, who voted to report the bills and Delegates Margaret B. Ransone, R-Westmoreland, Mark L. Cole, R-Spotsylvania, S. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk and Buddy Fowler, Jr., R-Hanover, voted against the measure.
After the debate invoked an old dispute and deal between two legislators in opposite chambers and opposing parties, the Republican-controlled House Privileges and Elections subcommittee killed two proposed Senate resolutions on 5-2 votes that could have put redistricting reform on the statewide ballot in 2018.
A soft call of “shame” rose as SJ 231 died from a crowd asking persistently for reform. The bill carried by Sen. Emmett W. Hanger Jr., R-Augusta, would have created under the state constitution a commission to redraw the lines in 2021 and standards under which they should operate.
The subcommittee also killed SB 846 carried by Sen. L. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, that would have formed an interim redistricting commission to address fallout if Virginia’s congressional and state lines were declared unconstitutional. Two court cases are pending.
The nonprofit OneVirginia2021 rallied support from Virginia residents throughout the 2017 General Assembly, including for a slew of House bills that died mostly on a block vote last month.