Happy Women’s History Month!
Curious about redistricting news? Check out the new VCET website page for all redistricting updates! Head over to MapVA.us to see the new page. There you will find daily updates, related articles, and court cases, as well as weekly tutorials on drawing maps and other events. Questions? Let us know! Email our Redistricting Coordinator, Erin at Erin@engageva.org.
This week’s update comes to us from Ohio, whose attorney general has filed a lawsuit to sue the Census Bureau. According to the NCSL, “Ohio’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit challenging the Census Bureau’s decision to push back the release of 2020 census data. The complaint alleges that the release of redistricting data by September 30, rather than its statutory deadline, will irreparably harm the state, and asks that the Census Bureau comply with its statutory deadline of March 31. Under its constitution, Ohio’s redistricting commission must finalize its state legislative districts by September 1, 2021—clearly not possible if the data comes later.” This is the first lawsuit of its kind this year and will likely help set a precedent for other states in similar positions.
Abolition of the Death Penalty
“The Virginia House and Senate have both approved landmark legislation to abolish the death penalty in the commonwealth and Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam says he plans to sign the bill into law once it reaches his desk.” (NPR) [Read more].
The Voting Rights Act of Virginia
“The Virginia Voting Rights Act is designed to prevent last-minute poll closures and other election changes that could disproportionately affect voters of color. The House of Delegates approved the bill from Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) in a party-line vote on Monday. The Senate is set to vote on identical legislation from Del. Cia Price (D-Newport News) this week. Backers say it’s partly a response to a 2013 Supreme Court decision that effectively stripped the federal government’s close oversight over elections across the South, including Virginia.” (VMP) [Read more].
Prenatal Care for Undocumented Women
The Virginia General Assembly has passed “a budget amendment proposed by the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) that would enact a federal provision that would extend Virginia’s CHIP/FAMIS program coverage of prenatal care services to expectant mothers regardless of citizenship status who meet all other eligibility criteria.” (VICPP) [Read more].
Repeal Ban on Abortion Coverage
“The Virginia Senate passed a bill Thursday repealing the ban on abortion coverage on the state’s health care insurance exchange. The legislation could make Virginia the first state in the South to repeal the coverage ban.” (Patch) [Read more].
SAVE THE DATE: VAPLP Cohort 7 Welcome Reception!
The Virginia Progressive Leadership Project will kick off its 7th Cohort on April 9th at 6:30 PM ET. Please join us in welcoming leaders from across the Commonwealth to our very first virtual Cohort. We are honored to have Sean Perryman, VAPLP’s very own alum of Cohort 4, to be our keynote speaker and to welcome Cohort 7 members.