WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia Speaker Against Redrawing Senate District Lines

Play associated audio

Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell has shot down a controversial plan to redraw state Senate districts that was narrowly passed by the Senate two weeks ago.

The redistricting plan had been lying dormant since last year, and was brought to the Senate on the day of the inauguration, which Democratic Sen. Henry Marsh was attending. This gave Republicans a one-vote margin. The new plan was attached to a House bill and created a new minority-majority district and an advantage for some Republicans. Democrats were appalled and hoped that Speaker Howell would toss the plan out. He did.

Sen. Dick Saslaw and other Democrats had argued it's unconstitutional. "The small technical changes that the House has made would pass constitutional muster," says Saslaw. "Where you run into problems is if you did a wholesale redistricting, which is what occurred here."

Senate Republicans said they remain committed to creating a sixth majority-minority district as required by the Voting Rights Act, and said they're confident that those new districts will be the ones under which the 2015 elections will be conducted.

NPR

How Mike Birbiglia Applies 'Yes, And ...' To Improv And Beyond

Birbiglia's new film follows a fictional New York improv troupe. Don't Think Twice explores the tension between personal ambition and being an "endlessly generous" team player.
NPR

Scraped, Splattered — But Silent No More. Finally, The Dinner Plate Gets Its Say

Instagram is the Internet's semi-obsessive, borderline-creepy love letter to food. But behind every great meal is a plate doing a pretty-OK job. So a comedian made an Instagram to celebrate plates.
NPR

WATCH: Tim Kaine Makes Campaign Trail Debut: 'I Like To Fight For Right'

"Do you want a 'you're fired' president or a 'you're hired' president?" Kaine asked the crowd in Miami.
NPR

Making The Cloud Green: Tech Firms Push For Renewable Energy Sources

Few people can demand what kind of electricity they get. But Microsoft and Facebook, which operate huge, power-hungry data centers, are trying to green up the electricity grid with their buying power.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.