Legislative leaders are pushing back the schedule for the redistricting maps and special session.
Posted — Updated
By Laura Leslie
On the day of the first round of public hearings on new minority voting maps, legislative leaders are taking steps to slow down the redistricting process. That's according to a message with a new schedule sent to legislators today.
The full maps - legislative and congressional - were scheduled to be released July 1st. Now, the congressional maps will be out July 1st, with a public hearing on them July 7th.
The full legislative maps are now set for release July 11th, with a public hearing on them set for July 18th.
The House and Senate Redistricting committee meetings originally set to start July 13th have been pushed back eight days. The committees will now meet Thursday, July 21st through Saturday, July 23rd.
The bills will be read in Sunday, July 24th. The floor debates and votes on the maps are now scheduled for Monday July 25th through Thursday the 28th.
Lead Redistricting attorney Brent Woodcox confirmed the schedule change. "We wanted to increase transparency and the time for deliberation, and also create an additional opportunity for public comment.”
“We had two public meetings scheduled. Now, there’ll be three,” Woodcox said. “It gives everybody more opportunity to say what they want to say.”
Woodcox stressed that people can talk about any of the maps at any of the meetings. “There’s a misconception out there that after today, you can’t talk about the VRA maps. Of course you still can. We’re not going to cut you off.”
Legislators will still return to town on July 13th. Under the rules set out in the adjournment resolution, they could use the time to work on election laws and veto overrides. Or they could hold skeleton sessions for a week until the redistricting work starts July 21st.