Proposed redistrict plan released
For those who haven’t taken heard about the proposed re-district plans yet, take a look to the right.
If unaware of the process, every 10 years following the census, the nonpartisan Legislative Service Agency is tasked with drawing boundaries that determine state House, Senate and Congressional districts.
These districts are based on population.
The Iowa Legislature can only approve or decline the proposed map. If the first map fails to be approved, the LSA will start the process over, and a new plan must be delivered within 35 days.
Iowa is losing a Congressional seat and the new map essentially quarters the state by population.
Under the proposed map, current Congressmen Steve King of Kiron and Tom Latham of Ames would be forced to run against one another in 2012, as would Democratic Congressmen Bruce Braley of Waterloo and Dave Loebsack of Mount Vernon. They can avoid head-to-head matchups, if they move to another county in another district.
Under these plans, 27 incumbents in the Iowa House would be forced to run against another representative while in the state senate, 14 senators would have to run against another senator in 2012.
Senate President Jack Kibbie of Emmetsburg and Senator David Johnson of Ocheyedan are in the same First District in this plan, which includes Clay, Dickinson, Palo Alto, Osceola and Lyon counties.
Emmet County is in the proposed Fourth District along with Kossuth, Winnebago, Hancock and Wright counties.
In the Iowa House Emmet County remains in District 7, but the new District 7 includes Winnebago County and northern and central Kossuth County including Algona. John Wittneben currently represents Emmet County and along with Palo Alto and the north half of Kossuth.
The timeline for this first plan began Thursday. The next step will be public hearings from April 4-7. The first day the Legislature can consider a map is April 13.
Generally, a plan must be adopted by Sept. 1, 2011 and signed by the governor by Sept. 15. If this does not occur, the Iowa Supreme Court is given power to create a redistricting plan. Historically, the legislature has accepted: the third plan without amendment (1981), the first plan (1991) and the second plan (2001).