A change in the way lawmakers draw redistricting lines is likely to end up in front of voters this fall. Senate Bill 18 would give legislators more direction in how to split counties during redistricting, as well as require them to follow federal law. It would throw decades of past state precedent out the window.
The bill is partly a response to this year’s redistricting lawsuit, in which the state Supreme Court threw out new maps.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he supports the change and says it will likely pass both chambers this session.
“To embrace that concept in this session would effectively have been a de facto admission there was a problem. Well now that the court’s already ruled and we know that we do have a problem I think it’s proper in going forward and addressing the issue,” he says.
If voters pass the constitutional amendment, the new rules will be in effect immediately, which will allow lawmakers to use those rules when they try legislative redistricting again in 2013.