VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY PASSES REDISTRICTING REFORM

Richmond -- This afternoon, the Virginia House of Delegates advanced Senator George Barker’s SJ18, which calls for an amendment to the Virginia Constitution establishing a bipartisan redistricting commission. Today’s vote means that the constitutional amendment has passed through its legislative hurdles and will appear on the November 2020 ballot for a citizen referendum. Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie E. Locke (D-Hampton), Senate President Pro Tempore L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), Senator George Barker (D-Fairfax), and Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) issued the following statements:  

Said Senator Locke, "What Virginians have told us, loud and clear, is that they want voters to choose their legislators, not the other way around. I thank and applaud the members of the House of Delegates for having the courage to vote in the best interest of the people who elected us to the General Assembly."

 Said Senator Lucas, “Considered together, the constitutional amendment and the enabling legislation create a complete and historic redistricting package. This package fully encompasses the kind of reform Virginians have wanted for a long time: an equitable, transparent and bipartisan process to ensure our electoral maps are drawn fairly.”

Said Senator Barker, "This amendment will ensure that all Virginia voters have a fair say in our democracy, no matter where they live or what communities they come from."

Said Senator McClellan, “Virginia deserves a redistricting process that produces fair maps and ends partisan, racial, and prison gerrymandering. The criteria adopted by the General Assembly does just that.” 

 BACKGROUND:

Earlier, the Virginia House and Senate passed accompanying enabling legislation (SB203 and SB204) patroned by Senator L. Louise Lucas and a stand alone redistricting criteria bill (SB717) by Senator Jennifer McClellan. 

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