Redistricting bills killed in committee
By Jackelyn Severin
Two measures addressing the issue of legislative redistricting failed in the House State Affairs committee. One of the measures creates a bipartisan citizen commission to choose new legislative districts this fall. Majority and Minority leaders select the first four commissioners who then pick three more citizens from across the state.
Currently legislative redistricting is done by lawmakers chosen by the Executive Committee. Democratic Representative Peggy Gibson of Huron says House Bill 1101 stops the abuse of power by incumbents and prevents them from having an unfair advantage in the redistricting process.
"Incumbency just by its very nature tends to taint a fair and judicious American governmental system. And when our constituents deem that our elections are not fair and competitive they have no incentive to pay attention, become informed about important issues, participate in campaigns or vote," says Gibson.
Opponents of the bill say there is nothing wrong with the way legislative districts are drawn right now and House Bill 1101 is unconstitutional.
The committee killed the measure by a vote of 9 to 4.
House Bill 1090 also failed the House State Affairs committee. The measure created single-member house districts statewide.
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