Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The NEXT time we redistrict

Though he was reluctant to get into specifics before Connecticut finishes its reapportionment of Congressional districts — there are, after all, only two days left before the Supreme Court takes control — Sen. John McKinney said the process itself, should change.
"A process that does not involve sitting legislators is a better process," McKinney said.
At present, of course, we have a nine-member panel, comprised on four Democrats, Four Republicans and one independent outsider, drawing district lines.
That means there are more people running for the state's 5th district than there are deciding what that district will look like.
McKinney said the state should look at what happened in California, where "prop 20" changed the process considerably. Prop 20 moves the responsibility of redistricting to a Citizens Redistricting Commission, a body that was formed several years ago by "prop 11." Prop 20, though:
"Removes elected representatives from process of establishing congressional districts and transfers that authority to recently-authorized 14-member redistricting commission comprised of Democrats, Republicans, and respresentatives of neither party. Fiscal Impact: No significant net change in state redistricting costs."
 McKinney said that like California, changing the process "would require a Constitutional amendment," which he said was "not an easy thing to do."
Well, there are 10 years before the next redistricting process takes place, but McKinney said that might be just what the state needs — time.
"It might take that long to change the process," he said.

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