Mike Sluss has a story on the front page of roanoke.com right now indicating a Richmond circuit court judge has declined to grant Senate Democrats a temporary injunction preventing Republicans from taking working control of a chamber that’s split 20-20.
As lieutenant governor, Bill Bolling may cast the tie-breaking vote giving Republicans organizational control of the Senate and therefore a working majority in the General Assembly as a whole.
From Sluss’s story:
In an opinion issued this morning, Judge Beverly Snukals concluded that “the public interest would not be served by having a deadlocked Senate that is unable to agree on organization.”
UPDATED AT 3:37 P.M.
Here’s the statement from Sen. Don McEachin, the Henrico County Democrat who filed the motion for a temporary injunction:
“While I respectfully disagree with the outcome, it was purely a procedural decision. The judge determined that the matter was not ripe for a final determination on the merits. The opinion was not a decision on the merits of whether the Lieutenant Governor can vote on Senate organization.
“I call on the Republicans to respect the will of the voters and past history. The senate is evenly divided, 20-20 so committees and responsibilities and power should be divided to reflect that even split, just as the Republicans said in 1996. Even then Governor Allen spoke to the need for parity under these same circumstances.
“The Senate Democratic caucus will continue to explore all its options, both legal and procedural, to resolve this issue in a way that reflects the actual outcome on election day, not an arrogant partisan power grab, totally to the benefit of one Party that does not reflect a majority of the Senate.”
And here’s the statement from Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling:
“We are very pleased with the court’s decision. We think it is the right decision, and it is what we expected. Hopefully, Senator McEachin and the Democrats will accept the court’s decision, forgo further unnecessary litigation and join us in preparing for the upcoming session and focusing on the important issues facing Virginia families.”