Senate, House Adopt Resolution, Motion to Start Redistricting Process
Charleston, WV (WWNR)- The 2020 Census showed a decline in West Virginia’s population. the largest population drop of any state in the country with a 3.2% decrease. Costing the Mountain State one of its three seats in the U.S. House. The decline in population will force the state to draw new maps for equal representation in the mountain state.
After delays with getting the data from the Census Bureau, State Officials have to move quickly to have redistricting lines redrawn before filing deadlines in any upcoming elections.
Senate President Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, and Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, issued statements following the Senate’s adoption of a resolution and the House’s adoption of a motion, respectively, creating Select Committees on Redistricting.
This will provide for each body to appoint members to a Joint Committee on Redistricting. The Joint Committee on Redistricting will be approved by a motion during Tuesday’s meeting of the of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.
The Joint Committee on Redistricting will be led in the Senate by Sen. Charles Trump, R-Morgan, and by Delegate Gary Howell, R-Mineral, in the House.
“This process is monumental, and it’s important that we have as much time as possible to gather feedback from our citizens this summer and ensure the process is interactive, transparent, and productive,” Senate President Blair said.
“Appointing this Joint Committee now will allow us to plan for public meetings this summer and give West Virginians the confidence that they will have the opportunity to be heard as we shape our House, Senate, and Congressional districts for the next 10 years,” said House Speaker Hanshaw.
According the WV State Legislatures website, The Census Bureau Director will provide geographically defined population counts to the Governor, legislative leaders and state liaisons.
Once the data is received, legislative leadership forms redistricting committees, which are charged to work with the Redistricting Office analysts to draw new political boundaries for Congressional, State Senate and House of Delegate Districts to ensure equal representation within West Virginia.
Once the initial plans are completed, the Redistricting Office generates the reports and maps needed for the formation of the Redistricting Bill.