Republicans now have control of the Virginia State Senate. GOP Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling yesterday broke a tie between 20 of his fellow Republicans and 20 Democrats to allow his party to impose rules in the chamber. Democrats have argued that Bolling does not have the constitutional right to hand over such control to the Republicans.
The GOP rejected the Democratic motion to evenly apportion committee seats and oversee them with co-chairmen. Bolling is asserting he has the right to cast a tie-breaking vote. The party will have a large advantage in the House of Delegates this General Assembly session.
The Democratic Party is expected to challenge his authority via parliamentary moves. Democratic State Senator A. Donald McEachin told the chamber, “only members of this body can organize this house.” The Republican leader, Senator Thomas Norment, Jr. argued Bolling had the authority to cast the organizing vote.