Following months of negotiation, the Ohio House today passed Senate Joint Resolution 5, bipartisan legislation that puts a constitutional amendment before voters in May to restrict congressional gerrymandering in the state. 


“Today’s actions are the result of an effort in compromise. Although nothing is perfect, I applaud the bipartisan effort the authors of this legislation intended to create a fair and solid framework to improve the structuring of congressional districts and form a better representation of Ohio’s voting citizens,” said state Rep. John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake). “It is my hope Senate Joint Resolution 5 will allow our congressional districts to be more representative, more responsive and certainly less dysfunctional. There is always room for improvement at the federal level, and is my hope that this legislation will enable Ohio’s congressional delegation to improve their representation of our citizens and their interests.”


Democratic House expressed concerns over several parts of the proposed plan that they see as loopholes that, in extreme cases, could still allow partisan congressional district rigging. Ultimately, most Democrats still supported the final language in the resolution.


If approved by voters in May, the reform plan will be the first time fairness criteria for congressional districts will be included in the state’s constitution. Included among the plan’s changes are the right for a citizen-led referendum on any map, the governor’s authority to veto a map, requirements to limit community and county splits, and bipartisanship requirements for a 10-year map.

 
 
 
  
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