Republican-Led House Panel Throws Out 20 Proposed Bills

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at General Assembly building at General Assembly building

A slew of proposed amendments to Virginia's Constitution were all shut down in a Monday morning meeting in Richmond.

With a single vote, the Republican-led House panel moved to throw out more than 20 bills. Some measures would have revised Virginia law dealing with re-instating ex-felons' ability to vote. Other efforts looked at changing the way voting districts are drawn in the commonwealth.

GOP lawmakers who supported the action said voters won't be overwhelmed with ballot questions the next time they head to the polls.

Democrats on the panel argued the bills should be taken up one by one, and with a recorded vote.

"It seems that they're not all about one subject matter. So from that standpoint I would suspect that they're not appropriately placed in a block," 90th District Del. Joseph Lindsey (D) said.

"I think the directive from Chairman Cole was based upon how many voter referendum items can functionally be on the ballot. So really there is no rule, it was simply a request," 10th District Del. J. Randy Minchew (R) said.

Another possible factor at play is that lawmakers are approaching the deadline for bills to get out of their chamber. There's still plenty of legislation to debate and act on.

The subcommittee previously spent hours hearing testimony on each proposed measure. The advocacy group OneVirginia2021 expressed disappointment that bills to take politics out of the re-districting process went down.

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