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Va. Senate, House holding separate redistricting hearings

Rosalind Helderman

The lengthy process of drawing new legislative district lines following this fall's release of population counts from the 2010 census has gotten off to a rocky start.

The Democratic-led Virginia Senate Wednesday announced that the chamber's Privileges and Elections committee will hold four public hearings about the process between October and December.

But the Republican House of Delegates has already announced dates it will be holding separate public hearings. Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) has said she asked her counterpart in the House, Del. Mark Cole (R-Spotsylvania) if the two chambers could hold joint hearings but the idea was rejected by House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford).

The initial tension does not bode well for a process that requires the cooperation of both chambers and Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). The General Assembly will hold a special session in the spring to consider redistricting plans.

A stalemate between the House and Senate is a distinct possibility, as each party looks to draw new lines in ways that accommodate population shifts since the last census while improving their own chances of picking up seats and protecting their incumbents. An extended deadlock could affect Virginia's 2011 elections.

Details of the Senate hearings are as follows. Read about the House hearings here.

Wed., Oct. 27, 7 p.m.
Virginia Western Community College Natural Science Center
3102 Colonial Ave. SW
Roanoke, Va.

Thurs., Nov. 4, 7 p.m.
Herndon Town Council Chambers
765 Lynn St.
Herndon, Va.

Thurs., Dec. 2, 7 p.m.
The Forum, Building A, Tidewater Community College
120 Campus Dr.
Portsmouth, Va.

Fri., Dec. 17, 11 .m.
Senate Room B, General Assembly Building, Capitol Square
Richmond, Va.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  |  September 15, 2010; 5:10 PM ET
Categories:  House of Delegates , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , State Senate  
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See? ABC privatization is already creating new jobs! :-)

Posted by: joeduffus | September 16, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

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