GOP Lawmakers Introduce Redistricting Bill That’s Likely to Sit on the Shelf

    In what is likely a ceremonial gesture, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) introduced a bill this week in the General Assembly that would redraw the lines between Maryland’s 6th and 8th congressional districts.

    The proposed map was created by an emergency commission on redistricting convened by Hogan after last year’s federal court order declaring the 6th District contours unconstitutional.

    A U.S. District Court panel had ruled that the state needed to produce a new map by March 7 and suggested that it be drawn by a bipartisan commission. The court’s judgment, however, was stayed until the outcome of the case at the Supreme Court, which heard arguments this week.

    Nevertheless, the Hogan Administration introduced House Bill 1430 and Senate Bill 1050 to change the congressional map on Thursday, with just over a week left in the 2019 General Assembly session. The Senate voted 47-0 and the House of Delegates voted 136-1 to allow the late introduction of the bill; Montgomery County Del. Gabriel Acevero (D) cast the lone dissenting vote in the legislature.

    The bill is not likely to see action this session. Aside from the very late introduction, General Assembly leaders have said they will wait for direction from the nation’s high court before moving forward with drawing new districts, convening a special session, if necessary.

    If a new map is ultimately required for the 2020 elections, it would be used once before the next regular decennial redistricting process.

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    Danielle E. Gaines
    Danielle Gaines covered government and politics for Maryland Matters for two years before moving into an editing position. Previously, she spent six years at The Frederick News-Post ― as the paper’s principal government and politics reporter for half that time, covering courts and legal affairs before that. She also reported for the now-defunct The Gazette of Politics and Business in Maryland and previously worked as a county government and education reporter at The Merced Sun-Star in California’s Central Valley.