Governor decides state redistricting commission will continue its work
— As voters went to the polls last week to elect a new Congress, Gov. Larry Hogan amended an executive order to extend the work of a bipartisan redistricting commission.
Last Monday, Hogan (R) amended an early executive order to extend the work of the Maryland Redistricting Reform Commission until Nov. 8, 2017.
New Market resident Walter Olson served as co-chairman for the commission’s first year of work. Olson said he’s not sure whether Hogan will change membership of the board for the new year, but several commission members wanted to continue their work at a meeting last week.
“We’ve got more to say,” Olson said.
With an additional year of work, the commission can examine additional ideas for more representative congressional districts, Olson said.
The commission was appointed in August 2015 and issued its final report that November, before the 2016 General Assembly convened.
During last year’s session, half a dozen bills aimed at reforming the redistricting process, including one that Hogan proposed, failed.
A federal lawsuit challenging the state’s current redistricting map remains pending in federal court. That map, created by Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration, was allowed to take effect in 2012 without any changes from the Democraticcontrolled Legislature.
Seven of Maryland’s eight seats in Congress are held by Democrats. With Democrat Jamie Raskin taking over the 8th District seat held by Chris Van Hollen, Democrats retained seven seats in last week’s election.
The party holds a 2-to-1 majority among registered voters in Maryland.