RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) -- Senators Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) and Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) have introduced enabling legislation that would ensure the diversity, transparency and non-partisan results of the redistricting commission established by the proposed constitutional amendment up for its second approval in the 2020 General Assembly, according to a press release.
Senate Bills 203 and 204 will add additional safeguards to create a comprehensive redistricting package by building on the significant and historic reform provisions in the proposed constitutional amendment.
The enabling legislation addresses four specific ways to statutorily improve the redistricting process:
“These pieces of enabling legislation create a complete redistricting package to work alongside the historic constitutional amendment,” said Lucas. “SB203 and SB204 will fully encompass the kinds of reforms Virginians have wanted for a long time: an equitable, transparent and bipartisan process to ensure our electoral maps are drawn fairly.”
According to the release, the proposed commission would give citizens an equal voice in the redistricting process for the first time.
Officials say the amendment to the Virginia Constitution requires a second approval in the session that opens on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
According to a December 2019 poll by the Wason Center at Christopher Newport University, 70 percent of Virginia voters support passage of the amendment in 2020.
Other co-patrons of the bill include Senators John Bell (D-South Riding) and Jennifer Boysko (D-Herndon).