Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.
McDonnell displeased with GOP redistricting push
Gov. Bob McDonnell said yesterday’s surprise redistricting effort from the members of his party in the state Senate was something he only learned about right before it happened.
Senate Republicans used the absence of one Democrat in the 20-20 chamber to push through an amendment that would redraw state Senate district lines, creating a new majority-minority district but also lumping two senators together and making changes to other districts that Democrats say would favor Republican candidates.
While the amendment was clearly in the works for some time, as Republicans provided to the press a full bill and a map of the proposed new districts, Democrats — and the governor — were unaware of the plan until it happened.
“I certainly don’t think that’s a good way to do business,” McDonnell told reporters this morning after speaking to a business group in Richmond.
He said his two legislative priorities this session are K-12 education and transportation funding reform (which Democrats say is “dead” now after the Republican redistricting maneuver).
“I would prefer nothing else get in the way of those significant reforms,” McDonnell said.
He said he has not yet spoken to House leadership about the redistricting issue. The Senate redistricting plan must go to the House next.