Now in control of both the Virginia House and Senate, legislative Republicans are rocketing their congressional redistricting plan to passage over Democratic objections that it shortchanges black voters.
Having missed a constitutional 2011 deadline for passage, the Republican-authored plan was advanced on a voice vote Thursday to a final reading Friday in an overwhelmingly GOP House. A Democratic-ruled Senate stymied the plan last year.
That happened less than 24 hours after a committee quickly and quietly approved the bill shortly after the 2012 session opened Wednesday. The Senate, now under GOP rule, could complete work on the bill early next week, readying it for Gov. Bob McDonnell's pen by next Friday.
Democrats said the bill boosts black voting age percentages in Virginia's lone minority district by making adjacent districts whiter.