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Joint Legislative Committee on Redistricting Concludes First Day of Hearings

(Phoenix, State Capitol)—The Joint Legislative Committee on Redistricting has wrapped up its first day of hearings. The committee is comprised of Republicans and Democrats from the Senate and House. Committee members today learned about the process the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission took in drawing preliminary Congressional and

Legislative maps.

A large part of today’s four-hour meeting was devoted to public testimony. Committee members listened to citizens frustrated with the draft maps, with many focused on the issue of communities of interest.

“These folks made some good points. You’ve got a Congressional district proposed by the IRC that goes from Yuma, up through Yavapai County and then back down, wrapping into Fountain Hills. It’s hard to see how that is a community of interest,” says Senator Steve Pierce, co-chair of the committee.

This committee was formed to comply with the Arizona Constitution, which specifically authorizes the Legislature’s comment authority.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have voiced concerns about the proposed maps from the IRC, but Democratic leadership abruptly chose to “boycott” today’s hearing, and their two Members were not present.

“I find that an odd decision,” says Senator Pierce. “We’ve heard complaints from both sides of the aisle on some of the questionable decisions made with the maps. Senate and House leadership lived up to their Constitutional duties and formed a bipartisan committee to look at the maps and hear from Arizonans. Then, just minutes before our first hearing, they run off.”

The Joint Legislative Committee on Redistricting will meet again on Monday, October 24 at 1 p.m. in House Hearing Room 4.

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