Rep. Hayes applauds passage of bipartisan reapportionment reforms

| December 5, 2014

COLUMBUS—State Representative Bill Hayes (R-Harrison Township) has announced that the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation to reform the way Ohio’s state legislative districts are drawn.

House Joint Resolution 12 makes changes to state law regarding reapportionment procedures, which are completed every 10 years following the release of the United States Census. In an effort to increase protections for the minority party and safeguards against gerrymandering, the legislation requires at least two minority votes in order to approve the final map. It also requires at least one minority vote for actions to be taken by the Redistricting Commission, such as hiring staff and spending public funds.

“It’s great that we have reached a bipartisan agreement to fix our system for drawing Ohio Senate and House districts,” Hayes said. “Hopefully, it will work fairly for everyone.”

In the case of an impasse where the Redistricting Commission cannot agree on a final map, HJR 12 states that the majority on the Commission has the authority to adopt an “impasse map.” Under such a circumstance, however, the map would only be effective for two election cycles, or a total of four years, at which time the commission would reconvene to restart the process.

Additionally, an impasse map may come under stricter scrutiny by the Ohio Supreme Court. If the state’s Supreme Court finds that the approved map includes violations, such as issues concerning representational fairness, the court has the authority to order an entire new map be drawn by the commission.

Because every Ohio House and Senate district must contain a roughly equal number of residents, the district lines are redrawn every decade to reflect potential shifts in population.

Having received bipartisan approval in the House, the bill now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration. If passed by the Senate, this plan will be on the November 2015 general election ballot before Ohio voters.

Category: Government

About the Author ()

Article contributed to The Beacon.

Comments are closed.