Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) issued the following statement in response to a letter written by Governor Terry McAuliffe:
“I appreciate the Governor’s comments, but do not see the need for a meeting. Redistricting is a lengthy, complicated process that requires legislative committee meetings, public hearings and input from all 140 legislators. I agree with the Governor that the process should be open and transparent, but a meeting to work out a deal ahead of time is the opposite of that.
“The House and Senate have requested an extension of the September 1 deadline to allow the defendants the opportunity to further pursue their appeal and give the General Assembly the necessary time to prepare for a special session. It would be inappropriate, in our view, to begin the redistricting process before the defendants have exhausted their appeal options. It would also be inappropriate and unfair to the public to rush this process.
“We remain confident the Court will grant our request for an extension.”