State Redistricting Process Nearly Complete

April 30th, 2011 by karenadmin

The state Senate passed a compromise redistricting bill Thursday 32-5, and Governor Bob McDonnell said Friday he was ready to sign the bill. The Senate map was the sticking point for the governor, who vetoed the original plan.

The previous version of the Democrat-controlled Senate redistricting map would have had a great impact on the Historic Triangle by significantly changing Sen. Tommy Norment’s 3rd District in the area. Currently Norment represents all of Williamsburg and James City County, parts of York County and other nearby localities. The previous map shifted him out of part of James City and Williamsburg and also elongated his district. Williamsburg Mayor Clyde Haulman sent a letter to McDonnell arguing against splitting the city.

Thursday’s compromise bill keeps the new 3rd District roughly in the same shape as had been proposed earlier. Williamsburg, however, remains intact, though it is now shifted completely to Sen. John Miller’s 1st District.

The House put forward a bill with new House districts nearly identical to those created before the Governor’s veto.

“I thank the General Assembly for passing this new redistricting plan. I will sign this legislation as soon as it reaches my desk. The plan as passed does address most of the criteria I outlined in my veto letter,” McDonnell said Thursday.

“In my veto letter, I asked the Senate to send me a plan that was bipartisan and addressed potential legal issues. The plan approved today is in line with those goals.

“This plan retains more geographic and municipal boundaries, contains districts that are somewhat more compact, and passed the Senate on a strong bipartisan vote. In these aspects it is similar to the House plan. It is a great improvement over the previous plan that I vetoed, and which failed to gain a single vote from the minority party. I applaud the Republican and Democratic members of the Senate who worked well together to craft this compromise plan.”

The state now has its new House and Senate districts, as well as 11 new U.S. Congressional districts. After the Governor signs the bills the Department of Justice needs to review them.

These maps each change current boundaries within the Triangle. To view a map with current and proposed House, Senate and Congressional districts, visit the state’s redistricting website and select the district type and other criteria you wish to view.

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