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HJR 615 - Establishes an Independent Redistricting Commission - Virginia Key Vote

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Title: Establishes an Independent Redistricting Commission

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to adopt a conference report that amends the Virginia Constitution in order to establish an Independent Redistricting Commission composed of lawmakers and citizens.

Highlights:

 

  • Establishes the Virginia Redistricting Commission which will reapportion the state’s districts after each decennial census beginning in 2020 (Sec. 6).

  • Specifies that the commission will consist of 16 members, made up of the following (Sec. 6):

    • 2 members of State Senate who belong to the majority party;

    • 2 members of the State Senate who belong to the minority party:

    • 2 members of the House of Delegates who belong to the majority party;

    • 2 members of the House of Delegates who belong to the minority party; and

    • 8 members of the citizenry who will be selected by the General Assembly.

  • Requires that, for citizen selections, the majority and minority leaders in both chambers of the General Assembly must submit a list of at least 16 candidates to the commission, each of which will receive 2 selections (Sec. 6). 

  • Establishes a Redistricting Commission Selection Committee consisting of 5 retired judges from the state circuit courts, 4 of whom will be selected by the majority and minority leaders in both chambers of the General Assembly, and 1 of whom will be selected by the first 4 selections (Sec. 6).

  • Requires the commission to hold a public meeting at which a citizen member will be selected as chairman (Sec. 6).

  • Requires the commission to submit redistricting plans by the later date of July 1 of the census year, or 45 days after the receipt of census data for the General Assembly, and 60 days for the U.S. House of Representatives (Sec. 6). 

  • Specifies that for redistricting plans to be proposed to the General Assembly, they must first receive the approval of 6 out of 8 legislative, and 6 out of 8 citizen members of the commission (Sec. 6). 

  • Prohibits amendments on redistricting bills that reach the General Assembly (Sec. 6).

  • Specifies that if the deadlines for the submission or approval of redistricting plans are missed, the districts will be determined by the Supreme Court of Virginia (Sec. 6). 

  • Requires the commission to hold at least 3 public hearings to receive comments from the public prior to redistricting (Sec. 6). 

NOTE: AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION REQUIRES MAJORITY APPROVAL IN EACH CHAMBER IN TWO SUCCESSIVE SESSIONS. IT MUST THEN BE APPROVED BY A MAJORITY OF CITIZENS VOTING IN THE NEXT ELECTION TO BECOME ENACTED.

Title: Establishes an Independent Redistricting Commission

Title: Establishes an Independent Redistricting Commission

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