The bill redistricts in a way to favor Republicans.
The vote, 20-19, would have been a tie had Democratic Senator Henry Marsh been present. Marsh, a civil rights leader, was in Washington, D.C., attending the inauguration.
Had Marsh been present, however, the state’s Lieutenant Governor, Bill Bolling, would likely have broken the tie. The bill was reportedly pushed through in a matter of hours.
According to Virginia politics blogger Ben Tribbett, the move could potentially eliminate at least one Democratic seat, the 25th district, which currently belongs to former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sen. Creigh Deeds (D).