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Va. assembly reaches deal on new legislative map

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Derechos Donating Member (892 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-30-11 09:07 AM
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Va. assembly reaches deal on new legislative map
RICHMOND The Virginia General Assembly agreed Thursday to a new bipartisan compromise on state legislative boundaries as Senate Democrats bowed to a gubernatorial veto of a redistricting proposal they adopted this month without Republican support.

The Senates map, the result of three days of sometimes-contentious negotiations between leading Democrats and Republicans, would result in districts that divide somewhat fewer communities than did the previous map, which Gov. Robert F. McDonnell vetoed April 15.

It would also make the states 40 Senate districts more competitive in elections, including this Novembers.

McDonnell (R) said that the changes satisfied his concerns and that he would sign the bill into law.

It is a great improvement over the previous plan that I vetoed, McDonnell said in a statement.

Democrats said they think that the new proposal gives them the opportunity to retain their slim 22 to 18 Senate majority. Each side wanted more, and we had to settle halfway, said Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax). They gave up some, we gave up some. Thats what its all about. . . . Both sides did okay.

Legislative action was repeatedly delayed as negotiations slipped into Thursday evening as Republican senators negotiated among themselves over whether to support a plan hammered out by General Assembly leaders. In the end, lawmakers voted 32 to 5 to adopt the proposal, but Senate Minority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. (James City) said Republicans were hardly pleased with the results.

Im going to vote for this plan not because I embrace it with any degree of affection, he said.

The revised map brings the 140 districts of the state Senate and Republican-held House of Delegates into alignment with population shifts detailed in the 2010 Census. Northern Virginia would gain a new Senate seat and three new delegates under the proposal.

In the House, delegates voted 80 to 9 for a redrawn map of its 100 districts after making a handful of small changes from its original plan by unsplitting precincts in Norfolk and the Richmond area.
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