Weekly Republican Radio Address – September 17, 2021
The Maine Apportionment Commission will be wrapping up its work in the coming two weeks and the Legislature will weigh in on the newly drawn districts.
This is Representative Joshua Morris, of Turner, with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.
Every ten years, the legislature is required to redraw legislative districts to account for changes in population. This includes Maine’s two congressional districts, county commissioner districts, 35 Senate districts, and 151 House districts. The Maine Constitution also requires that the decennial census be used to guide reapportionment.
Maine’s method for redrawing district lines is also laid out in our state’s constitution. We use a bipartisan commission comprised of equal members of both parties. Further, any plan must be approved by two thirds of the legislature or otherwise end up in court.
Typically, this work would need to be completed by June 11th in the year following the census. This year has, of course, been different as data from the census usually provided in March was not available until August. That means the commission will have only had six weeks to complete the work that in a normal cycle is done over three months.
Despite the accelerated timeline, I am confident that we will be able to reach bipartisan agreement on the 151 districts of the Maine House. Both sides have been meeting regularly and have worked well together.
With a changing population, each house district will increase in size to approximately 9,000 people per legislative district. One of the strengths of our citizen legislature here in Maine is that our districts are small enough so that every citizen, if they choose, can meet with and get to know their legislator.
Strong representation means having districts that are responsive to the citizens who live there to ensure every Mainer has a voice.
The commission is working hard under difficult circumstances, and I am optimistic there will be broad bipartisan support for house legislative districts.
This has been Representative Joshua Morris with the Weekly Republican Radio Address. Thank you for listening, subscribing, and following us on Instagram and Facebook.