Monday, February 2, 2009

Nonpartisan Redistricting Bill Unanimously Passed Senate

Sen. Creigh Deeds has been a long time supporter of nonpartisan redistricting and it's been one of his biggest issues during the last few general assembly sessions. Even though the Republican run House of Delegates hasn't always been friendly towards the issue (perhaps because they don't want to lose their control), the Senate has worked with him in a bipartisan manner to pass legislation on the issue. This appears to be the case once again as the Senate has unanimously passed SB 926 which would set up non-partisan redistricting.
“This important reform can change the way we do business in state government by putting an end to the bitter partisanship that keeps us from moving Virginia forward,” said Deeds. “With the next redistricting just around the corner, my proposal ensures that the electorate chooses their elected leaders; not the other way around.”

This is the seventh year that Senator Deeds has carried a proposal to reform the partisan process where legislative districts are drawn to protect incumbents and maximize the strength of the ruling party. SB 926 would create a commission with an equal number of members appointed by leaders in both political parties. A seventh independent member would be chosen by a majority vote of the six appointees. The commission would be bound by criteria for drawing legislative districts that excludes the use of previous voting results, demographic data, or the addresses of incumbents.
While he was in office, Brian Moran worked hard to get the discussion on this topic going in the House but it still looks as though the Republican leadership isn't willing to risk losing their gerrymandered districts. With this bill being passed unanimously in the Senate, however, I highly recommend people give their Delegates a call --especially if they are Republicans. As I recently heard it put by Sen. Mark Herring; the people deserve to elect their representatives, it's not the other way.

No comments:

Post a Comment