Bill That Would Create 100 Single-Member House Districts Passes Judiciary Committee

Jan 15, 2018

A bill that would create 100 single-member districts after the 2020 U.S. Census is headed to the floor of the West Virginia House of Delegates.

 

The House Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 4002 during a Monday afternoon meeting.

The bill was amended in the committee to remove “findings of fact” in the bill that Del. Barbara Fleischauer argued were more of a matter of opinion. Vice Chairman Roger Hanshaw offered that amendment, which whittles the bill down to a single paragraph.

Another amendment, offered by Del. Mike Pushkin, called for a nonpartisan commission on redistricting. Pushkin argued that commission would prevent sitting members of the House from drawing new districts and the independent group would allow for a more fair process. That amendment failed on a party-line vote in the committee.

 

As noted in the original version of the bill, West Virginia is one of only 10 states in the country with multi-member districts. Only West Virginia and New Hampshire continue to have legislative districts consisting of three or more members.

The Judiciary Committee’s substitute now heads to the House floor for full consideration of the chamber.

Issues related to redistricting, gerrymandering and racial discrimination have recently caught the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court, where justices will soon hear a third round of arguments on the issue.