Point of View: Redistricting making progress in Oklahoma Senate
Additionally, the public comments made have been submitted to the Senate and House redistricting committees and posted for viewing by the public on the redistricting page of the Senate website. Each of these steps is a part of the Senate’s overall commitment to conduct an open and transparent redistricting process.
Among the most common questions at the town hall meetings were how lawmakers planned to take into account the growth in population in many legislative districts. Another common request was to include whole towns, cities, or counties in the same legislative districts. And of course, there were several process questions.
Where we are in the process now is an important step. Now is the time for Oklahomans to submit their input on redistricting. You can do so in the Senate by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Submit your thoughts on what your local district should look like, what are the communities of interest that matter most to you, and eventually what you think the new legislative maps should look like. The Senate Select Committee on Redistricting will soon announce the guidelines and process of public map submissions. As you may have seen, the U.S. Census Bureau has announced a delay in the release of census data. The situation remains fluid, and the Legislature will have to adapt as we move forward.
Don’t forget: Redistricting bills go through the legislative process just like a typical piece of legislation. Once the redistricting bills are drafted, they will be filed and available for viewing. The redistricting bills will be considered by the redistricting committees of each chamber, and if passed, be considered on the floor of each chamber.
Then the bills will head the chamber of opposite origin and start the process over. The bills approved by the Legislature will then head to the governor for his consideration.
We’ve made a lot of progress but there is still more work ahead. And the public’s role in the process is not done. Reach out to your local legislators and share with them what you’d like to see in the process. Redistricting happens once a decade, so don’t let this time pass without sharing with us your input.
State Sen. Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle is chair of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting.