Says open, transparent process critical to deliver fair maps for Ohio
State Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) last week called on House Republican leaders, including Speaker Robert Cupp (R-Lima), to schedule hearings on House Bill 313, which has sat idle in the House Government Oversight Committee since its introduction in May, 2021. The Hicks-Hudson-sponsored bill would strengthen transparency requirements in the redistricting process and help Ohio fulfill its duties under the reforms voters overwhelmingly passed in 2015 and 2018.
“House Bill 313 was introduced May 18 and assigned to committee on May 19, but it still hasn’t had a hearing. Though we’re halfway through the process, we should not lose sight of the need to ensure the deliberations of the legislature and Redistricting Commission be transparent and accessible. Ohioans deserve to see this process unfold in front of them in an open and straightforward manner, not have fully baked maps thrust upon them at the eleventh hour,” said Rep. Hicks-Hudson.
HB 313 would create the constitutionally required joint legislative committee to hold hearings on new congressional district maps. To date, the Speaker has not convened a joint committee. The deadline for the legislature to adopt a bipartisan, 10-year plan is Sept. 30.
Other provisions of the bill would set requirements regarding public records, public meetings, and funding which the legislature would need to follow to meet the Constitutional obligations mandated by voters in 2015 and 2018.