GOP speaker says no to Senate GOP redistricting plan

Posted at 6:30 PM, Feb 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-06 18:30:51-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- It has been the most unexpected divisive issue of the General Assembly session: redistricting.

Past by the Senate GOP when Senate Democrat Henry Marsh was attending the inauguration of President Obama, it led to Democratic lawmakers rebelling on bipartisanship -- even calling the move "plantation politics."

But without a vote, the Republican controlled House of Delegates killed the proposal.

No Republican voted, it was rejected by Republican Speaker William Howell in a procedural move.

"This vast re-write goes well beyond the regular technical tweaks that are customary," Howell said to delegates in the chamber.

Howell proceed to give five minutes worth of remarks to his colleagues listing why he thought the amendment Senate Republicans added was "non-germane."

"HB259 as amended by the Senate has been modified to stray dramatically from, in my opinion, the legislators original purpose," Howell said.

For Senate Democrats the move was a cause for celebration.

"We are elated," State Senator Don McEachin said. "We look forward to working with the speaker and his transportation plan to see if we can strike a grand bargain."