Virginia votes to pass two constitutional amendments

Virginia votes to pass two constitutional amendments
Voting (Source: WOIO)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As Virginians headed to the polls on Tuesday, they voted on two constitutional amendments, which overwhelmingly pass.

The first proposed measure was the “Redistricting Commission Amendment,” which would create a commission to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

Currently, the Virginia General Assembly holds the power for drawing congressional and state legislative district boundaries, and when redistricting plans are passed, the governor has veto power.

With the passage, it will give a commission - made up of eight legislators and eight citizens - the power to draw the boundaries. The commission will include two Senate Democrats, two Senate Republicans, two House Democrats and two House Republicans, while the citizens would be recommended by legislative leaders and selected by retired circuit court judges.

The commission would draw the boundaries and send it to the General Assembly to vote on. The General Assembly would not be able to amend the maps. If the General Assembly were to reject the map, the commission would redraw it. Then, if legislators were to reject it a second time, the Virginia Supreme Court would then draw the districts.

The second amendment, which has officially been passed by voters, is the “Motor Vehicle Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans Amendment,” which exempts totally-disabled veterans from property taxes on one vehicle.

Right now, local governments can adopt taxes that are levied on a vehicle’s value, which is known as tangible personal property tax.

With the amendment passed, it will give veterans who have “a 100% service-connected, permanent, and total disability” tax exemption for one vehicle. A veteran’s disability rating is determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

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