House Republicans on Wednesday laid out their agenda for Monday’s upcoming congressional redistricting special session in Richmond, setting times for a committee meeting and public hearing. GOP leaders said the process — an 8:30 a.m. meeting of the Joint Reapportionment Committee and a public hearing at 3 p.m. — will provide an overview, input and criteria needed to produce a redrawn map. A federal panel has ordered legislators to redraw the state’s congressional boundaries because the current map unconstitutionally packs too many black voters into the 3rd District, diluting their voting strength elsewhere.
It appears unlikely that the process will continue into the next day. Rather, Republicans, who control the House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate, are expected to adjourn after Monday’s hearings and then return the following week or the last day of the month to finish the process by the court-ordered deadline.
Republicans have objected to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s calling of the special session for Monday. They say the process should be put off until Republican congressmen challenging the federal court ruling exhaust all legal appeals.
The current boundaries, which Republican lawmakers drew and then-Gov. Bob McDonnell signed off on in 2012, when the General Assembly was under GOP control, have resulted in an 8-3 Republican edge in the state’s delegation.