VIRGINIA DIGEST

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By Virginia Digest
Wednesday, January 24, 2007

House Panel Approves Mandatory HPV Vaccine

A House committee yesterday approved a measure requiring 11-year-old girls to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention links to 99 percent of cases of cervical cancer.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Jeion A. Ward (D-Hampton), would require girls to receive three doses of the vaccine. Parents would be allowed to opt out of the vaccination after reviewing material explaining the link between the virus and cervical cancer.

The bill would become effective Sept. 1, 2008.

-- Amy Gardner

Senate Passes Bill to Make Redistricting Commission

The Senate narrowly approved legislation yesterday to create a bipartisan commission that would redraw congressional and legislative district boundaries -- an exercise historically controlled by the General Assembly's majority party.

However, the measure faces an uphill battle in the House of Delegates, where a committee last week overwhelmingly rejected several other measures intended to take the politics out of the once-a-decade reapportionment process.

The Senate voted 22 to 18 to pass the proposed constitutional amendment sponsored by Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath). The measure would have to be passed again next year and then approved by voters before taking effect.

Deeds's proposal would establish a 13-member commission made up of two appointments each by Senate and House leaders, the minority leaders of each chamber and the state Democratic and Republican party chairmen. The 12 partisan members would select the 13th member, and if they were unable to agree, the Supreme Court would make the choice.

The only demographic consideration that would be made in drawing district lines would be population.

Republicans controlled redistricting for the first time in 2001 after taking control of the General Assembly in the late 1990s, redrawing boundaries with the aim of strengthening their grip on power. The next redistricting will be in 2011, after the 2010 Census.

-- Associated Press

On the Web

For more information about the General Assembly session, visit the blog by The Washington Post's reporters in Richmond at http://blog.washingtonpost.com/richmondreport.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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