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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - John C. Watkins
Virginia's Republican House speaker on Wednesday ruled against a measure muscled through by Senate Republicans to redraw all 40 state Senate districts, defusing a partisan dispute that had threatened to stymie progress on major legislation.
State Senate Republicans muscled a surreptitious redraft of Virginia's 40 Senate districts to passage Monday by a single vote over bitter objections from Democrats who were blindsided by the surprise move.
Dozens of Southside Virginia proponents of uranium mining arrived by bus at the Capitol on Thursday as lawmakers provided more details on proposed legislation that would end a 1980s state moratorium on mining the ore used in nuclear power reactors.
Proposed uranium mining in Virginia easily survived its first legislative test Monday, with lawmakers recommending the development of regulations for the mining of the radioactive ore.
The indestructible force met the immovable object last week: Grover Norquist, the anti-tax advocate who presides over Americans for Tax Reform, dared to take on Virginia Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, Fairfax Democrat.
The Virginia Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that will require women to undergo ultrasound imaging before having an abortion, after a torturous process through the legislature that saw Gov. Bob McDonnell broker a compromise on the high-profile measure.
Despite virtually unchecked Republican power in Richmond, another conservative priority was shot down Monday as the GOP tries a pivot to budget issues amid significant backlash over high-profile women's health measures.
The Virginia Senate on Monday signed off on a major priority of Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, approving a constitutional amendment stipulating that private property can only be taken for public use.
Mr. Watkins said that along with creating the new black-majority district, the revised map reduces the number of split localities from 65 to 43 and adheres more closely to the "one person, one vote" principle.
Mr. Watkins quoted a 2011 newspaper column by L. Douglas Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor, as saying a Senate redistricting plan passed when Democrats ruled the Senate could shortchange minority representation in the General Assembly.