State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) issued the following statement on the Redistricting proposal voted out of the General Assembly today:

“I’ve been told by voters that people should pick their Representatives - not a rigged political system that permits Representatives to pick the people they want to represent. 

“Burning a process into the state constitution because we cannot break through the partisanship of a rigged system is an indictment of our present political status. Colleague after colleague said they are hopeful this will bring about better relationships; I submit to my constituents that hope is not a strategy.

“I have problem with burning a political process into the State constitution.  I have a problem with designating a batch of communities that can be carved up by partisan map drafters, I have a problem that legislators didn’t go far enough to define what it means that maps cannot be drawn to unduly favor or disfavor a political party. Lastly, I have a problem with the rush to put this bill out ahead of the citizen led initiative when we could have taken more time to develop a better process; one not burned into the constitution.

“The redistricting proposal before the General Assembly is being rushed through for political reasons – so it can beat the citizens led initiative to the ballot box. A more favorable process does not equal a fair process and we need more time to come together to ensure this outcome.”

Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 5 does the following with respect to redistricting the state’s Congressional districts:

-Sixty-five counties cannot be split, eighteen can be split once, and five can be split twice.

-A ten-year map is proposed by the General Assembly that must garner three-fifths vote of each chamber and fifty percent of the minority caucus.

-If the map cannot be agreed on, the Ohio Redistricting Commission will draw a 10 year map and will need two minority votes from a seven member body.

-If the commission is unsuccessful, the General Assembly must draw a map and obtain a three –fifths vote in each chamber and one-third of the minority in each caucus.

-If the three-step process fails, a four year map will be drawn with a simple majority, but cannot be drawn to “unduly favor or disfavor one political party”; legislators would be required to detail in the bill language, why the districts were drawn in that manner.

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