Terra Goodnight · January 23, 2018
Revising the way Ohio draws Congressional district lines will continue to be a fast-moving issue at the Statehouse this week, as two Republican-introduced plans get consideration in committee.
Senator Matt Huffman’s SJR5, unveiled last week, is scheduled for hearings both today and Wednesday in the Senate Government Oversight & Reform Committee. This bill in its current form has been opposed by both the Fair Districts = Fair Elections coalition and Democrats. It is likely to be amended in some form this week.
Both hearings will allow for supporters and opponents to testify. SJR5 is scheduled for a possible vote on Wednesday.
The House, meanwhile, indicated yesterday that it intends to introduce a competing proposal by Representative Schuring at a hearing of the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee on Tuesday. The hearing was cancelled, but additional hearings remain on the schedule for Wednesday and Thursday. It is unclear what form this proposal will take.
Bottom line: any plan must be approved by both chambers by February 7 to appear on the May 8 primary ballot. The key question is whether either plan can generate bipartisan support, or if a partisan plan will go before voters.
Contact your Senators and Representatives today and urge them to work on a bipartisan basis towards a redistricting solution that everyone can support. Partisan redistricting plans that can result in majority-drawn maps leave us no better off than we are under the current system, which splits the swing state of Ohio into 12 majority and just 4 minority districts.
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