Ohio legislators say gerrymandering needs to be fixed, but will they act? - Out of Line: Impact 2017 and Beyond

Sunday, 05 November 2017, 08:42:42 PM. Ohio legislators working on redistricting agree gerrymandering needs to be fixed, but it's uncertain if a bipartisan solution can be found.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - They've heard enough. State legislators, who sat through nearly five hours of testimony over two days from 38 scholars, good government advocates and private citizens, agreed Ohio needs to change how congressional district lines are determined. A co-chairman of the special House/Senate panel studying the issue said the group will now go behind closed doors to discuss a fix. Testimony was unanimous that gerrymandering for political gain is bad for Ohio voters. Under current rules, the Ohio legislature has authority to draw the maps without any state requirements to keep communities together or to have even a limited amount of support from the minority party. The result has been districts that split counties and weave in unusual ways across the state for the purpose of establishing safe Republican and Democratic districts. Read cleveland.com series Out of Line: Impact 2017 and Beyond, in search of a way to eliminate gerrymandering in Ohio. The lingering question is whether the two Republicans and two Democrats assigned to the special working group that heard the testimony can reach a bipartisan solution. What's next? Canton Republican Rep. Kirk Schuring, co-chairman of the working group, said the next public hearings would take place in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate if the group comes up with a plan to forward to the full legislature. Until then, Schuring said, the group will talk privately. "I think we have the right team," Schuring after the final public...Read more
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