Senate Republicans Congratulate House Privileges And elections Committee for Heeding Message of Governor’s Veto
Richmond, Va, 18 April 2011: Senate of Virginia Minority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City) and Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Stephen D. Newman (R-Lynchburg) today congratulated the House Privileges and Elections Committee for passing House Bill 5005, which was approved today by a bi-partisan vote of 16 to 0.
“Delegates who serve on the House Privileges and Elections Committee today strengthened their redistricting plan, which has consistently won strong bi-partisan support,” Senator Norment remarked. “They took a plan that had already earned the support of a majority of delegates from both parties and made it even better. Clearly, the House has worked to successfully meet the challenge Governor McDonnell posed in his veto message last Friday.”
In issuing his veto message of April 15, Governor Robert F. McDonnell focused on multiple deficiencies in the Senate redistricting plan, which had been added to House Bill 5001. In vetoing the legislation, Governor McDonnell cited the failure of the Senate plan to adhere to several constitutional requirements and legal standards, including preserving equal representation and creating compact districts. In contrast, he applauded “the House for its bipartisan approach.”
“In his veto message, Governor McDonnell encouraged ‘the House to pursue opportunities that will strengthen its plan,’” noted Senator Newman. “Today, the House Privileges and Elections Committee set the House on a course to do just that. Now, Senate Democrats need to do the same, and begin working in a bipartisan manner to craft a redistricting plan that satisfies the Governor’s legally and constitutionally valid concerns and objections.”
The General Assembly is scheduled to return to Richmond on Monday, April 25, to resume its Special Session on redistricting.