By Bob Katzen
The House 151-8, Senate 26-3, approved and sent to Gov. Charlie Baker a bill that redistricts the state’s nine congressional districts. The plan is based on the 2020 U.S. census and will be in effect until the next redistricting cycle following the census in 2030.
Supporters said the process has been the most open, inclusive and transparent redistricting process in the history of the state.
“The Joint Committee on Redistricting conducted a broad, transparent examination of the congressional districts,” said Senate Redistricting Committee chair Sen. Will Brownsberger. “Hundreds of people participated. At the end we felt we had a plan that met all legal standards and it was uncontested in most respects.”
“This proposal simply does not meet the mark for millions of Bay Staters, slashing MetroWest into five different bits and bifurcating Fall River and New Bedford,” said Sen. Becca Rausch (D-Needham). “This map will have an impact on our democracy for at least the next decade to come. It is imperative that we do this right and that means advancing equity and compactness, not diluting representational power.”
“There is an inherent conflict of interest in having sitting office holders deciding where district lines should go,” said Rep. Lenny Mirra (R-Georgetown). “Other states have figured this out and have created independent commissions to do redistricting. It’s time Massachusetts does the same.”