Redistricting could cost Virginia $10 million

Now that the governor has approved the General Assembly’s redistricting plans, the State Board of Elections must find millions of dollars to implement the new maps.

“They split over 500 precincts, and we have to equip them,” said Charles Judd, chairman of the State Board of Elections. He estimates that it would cost about $20,000 to equip each of the 500-plus new precincts. That would put the total price tag at more than $10 million.

“This is what you’d call an unfunded mandate,” Judd said.

He said federal funds may be available to help localities prepare for the fall elections, when all 100 delegates and 40 senators in the General Assembly are up for election. If the federal funds don’t come through, localities will have to raise the money themselves.

For the past month, legislators have been trying to redraw political boundaries to account for population changes reflected in the 2010 census. For example, because of population growth in Northern Virginia, that region merited an additional Senate seat and three more House seats.

The General Assembly approved plans last month, but Gov. Bob McDonnell vetoed them, saying they split too many communities. So the assembly took another crack.

On April 28, lawmakers passed House Bill 5005, containing revised maps. The following day, McDonnell signed the bill.

“It is a great improvement over the previous plan that I vetoed,” the governor said in a statement.

Voting on HB 5005 was delayed after the unexpected death of the House clerk, Bruce Jamerson. After memorializing Jamerson in a series of commendation bills and recessing until April 27, the House voted 90-8 to pass the bill. The next day, the Senate approved it on a 32-5 vote.

The General Assembly still must redraw congressional districts.
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Community

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.

project:HOMES’ ‘Renew Crew’ helps Henrico citizen


The project:HOMES "Renew Crew" (above) recently assisted an elderly member of the Laurel Presbyterian Church in Henrico by clearing brush, trimming hedges and raking leaves in her yard.

The Renew Crew serves low-income, disabled and elderly homeowners in need of small-scale home repairs such as porch, railing and step repairs, exterior painting, clearing overgrown yards, tearing down outbuildings, wheelchair ramps and other critical repairs and accessibility modifications. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


The past couple of days haven’t felt like it, but it’s finally December and this weekend is packed with holiday events. Kicking the weekend off is Glorious Christmas Nights’ production of “Finding Christmas” at West End Assembly of God. Gayton Baptist Church’s annual Jazz Nativity starts tonight. Another annual favorite is tomorrow – the tree lighting at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. In search of Christmas concerts? The Virginians Barbershop Chorus will present its annual Christmas Show tomorrow at the Collegiate School and the Richmond Choral Society will perform Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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The Unitarian Universalist Community Church, 11105 Cauthorne Rd. in Glen Allen, will present “To Drive the Cold Winter Away: An Irish Celebration of the Returning Light” at 7 p.m. Dec. 9-10. The Music & Arts Ministry of UUCC presents a full-scale winter extravaganza complete with costumes, adult choir, children’s choir, handbells, brass, dancers, drums and more. A $10 love gift is requested for persons over the age of 12. For details, visit http://www.uuccglenallen.org/winter-celebration-2016. Full text

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