Virginia Democrats in the State Senate, now in control of that body thanks to Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s tie-breaking vote, have begun reorganizing the chamber. However, things are going beyond that and wholesale rules changes are being implemented.
According to state Sen. Bryce Reeves (R):
Rules that have governed this chamber have been dramatically changed.
According to Willie Deutsch:
This is no small change…
. . .
Pulling members off committees, allowing members to be removed from a committee with a majority vote instead of 2/3rds, and something about requiring some portion of all bills to be reviewd by the rules chair before bills go to the floor.
. . .
First time ever members will be removed from a committee midsession. Would think some Democrats could just get some more committee assignments so the ranking member would become chair.
. . .
Bill Stanley arguing the Rules committee rule change violates the constitution and ends what it means for a body to be a bicameral body. (Rule 19.I)
All of this sets dangerous new precedents. Too bad Republicans are generally too spineless to retaliate in kind when they have the opportunity to do so.