Republicans Seek Changes On Redistricting Bill

Republican state lawmakers are considering a hearing or even legislative action to modify a redistricting bill after opinions released by the Government Accountability Board this week.

Republicans said they are confused by just who they represent after the GAB issued a memo on the interpretation of the redistricting bill earlier this week. The memo said that while the redrawn maps are in effect for contact with constituents, recall elections would be held under the old district maps.

GOP leaders said they believe this could cause problems for clerks who would hold elections in the spring under new local maps and then might need to revert back to old maps for spring recall elections.

But GAB officials said that’s how the law was written.

GAB member Kevin Kennedy explained the reasons for the policy.

“In this case, the Legislature adopted a particular policy, which was to make the new districts effective for election purposes in November of 2012,” Kennedy said.

The GAB will meet to discuss the issue at its Nov. 9 meeting.

“I think if the elections committee wanted to invite the GAB in to talk about it, or maybe to express what are those different issues that could emerge with two sets of maps out there,” said state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. “I think that would be appropriate and would make sense.”

Lawmakers said they are discussing having a hearing in the elections committee sooner than that.

They also said they discussed moving up the legislation effective date although no decisions have been made.

This would have implications on the makeup of districts in any recalls and the balance of power in the state Senate.