Republican leaders of the House of Delegates have put together a plan for establishing an independent redistricting commission, aiming to change the process of drawing legislative boundaries even as they challenge a current redistricting effort in court. The plan rolled out Monday by Del. Mark L. Cole (R-Spotsylvania) and endorsed by Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) would call for an amendment to the state constitution to set up a 12-member commission appointed mostly by the legislature. The speaker of the House would appoint four members, two from each major political party, while the Senate Rules Committee and the governor would each do the same.
The commission would then prepare district maps for both houses of the state legislature and Congress and submit those to the General Assembly, which would have to consider them — unchanged — in a straight up-or-down vote.
If the legislature rejected any plans, the commission would try again. And if that plan also failed, the state Supreme Court would set the districts.
“It’s not perfect,” Cox said Monday after Cole presented the latest version of his plan to a House subcommittee. “But I think it’s better than any other plan I’ve seen.”