The Amendment

Constitutional Amendment to Create a Redistricting Commission

On January 22, the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee voted on several bills involving legislative redistricting in Virginia – including SJ274, a bipartisan constitutional amendment proposing an independent Citizens’ Redistricting Commission.  To see the people who helped come up with the policy proposal, click here.

In the end, it was a split decision for OneVirginia2021. SJ274 was killed in committee, however a number of other redistricting reform measures passed through to the full Senate – including SJ306, receiving bipartisan support in the committee.

SJ306 passed the Senate UNANIMOUSLY on January 31st.

This amendment (SJ306) is a great start to give Virginians a better way to draw district lines than the hyperpolitical process we have now. In fact, there are several substantive provisions found in our original proposal, SJ274, including:

– Constitutional Amendment, and not simply a law that could be undone

–  This commission includes eight citizen members, including the chair

– The citizen selection process is identical to the one outlined in SJ274

– Prohibits the General Assembly from tinkering with the final map by amending it

– A final committee vote requires 12 of 16 members, preventing one faction or party from colluding

– A transparency provision was added to SJ306 on January 30th that is similar to the transparency provisions of SJ274.

And here’s How SJ306 differs from SJ274:

– Number of committee members is 16 instead of 10

–  Committee members are split between citizens and legislators (8 of each)

– Legislature is given authority to approve or reject the committee’s final map

– Lacks specific provisions prohibiting gerrymandering

 

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

 

Looking ahead, we look forward to working with members of both parties in the General Assembly to make sure significant reforms are passed this year. That’s where you come in.

Please continue contacting your lawmakers, and ask that the final version of SJ306 includes amendments that require:

– Full transparency of all meetings, minutes and data

– Clear rules prohibiting gerrymandering

– Criteria to keep existing communities together

 

Tell Your Legislators to Support Transparency and Rules in SJ306

For any inquiries, including speaking opportunities, please contact Brian Cannon at [email protected] or call 804.240.9933.


Thank you for your interest in redistricting reform!  Gerrymandering is bad.  We are the good folks here in Virginia trying to stop it. 

If you’d like to support our efforts with a contribution, please click below.

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