LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS®
RSC (2012-6) Redistricting
Because 2012 was a redistricting year, and there was substantial opposition to the plan recommended by the Governor, it was expected that the 2012 legislative session would see reform legislation. HJ 1/SJ1 - Legislative Districting Plan of 2012 passed both houses of the General Assembly without a hearing, and was signed into law by Governor O’Malley. A petition drive is underway to put the enacted plan before the voters on the November 2012 ballot.
There were seven alterative redistricting plans submitted as bills, but none of these received a hearing either.
A number of redistricting reform bills were heard, but none received serious consideration in either house:
HB 451 – Election Law – Legislative Districting and Apportionment Commission would have created an independent redistricting Committee appointed by President and Minority Leader of the Senate and Speaker and Minority Leader of the House, from a pool of candidate nominated by the Court of Appeals.
HB 295 – Legislative and Congressional Districting Process would have required a number of additional public hearings on districting plans presented by the Governor.
HB 599 – Elections – Study Commission on the Redistricting Process in Maryland and HB 775 – Task Force to Study Redistricting in Maryland were both heard briefly in the House Ways & Means Committee, but no further action was taken.
HB 748 - Maryland Constitution – Congressional Districts – Requirements as to Territory, Form and Boundaries, was sponsored by Delegate Parrot and 31 other delegates, and cross-filed with SB 805, sponsored by Senator Brinkley and nine other senators. This legislation would have required that each Congressional district consist of adjoining territory, be compact in form and ensure that due regard is given to natural boundaries and the boundaries of political subdivisions. The bill would have added requirements regarding Congressional districting to the Maryland Constitution, which currently has no such requirements. One hearing each was held.
Senator Brochin and others introduced a number of bills which would have completely revamped the legislative and Congressional districting processes in Maryland (SB 160, SB 161, SB 162), buteach had one hearing with no further action.