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Hogan Creates Redistricting Commission

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Frustrated by legislative inaction, Governor Larry Hogan signed an executive order Tuesday to create a citizens’ commission to redraw Maryland’s Congressional district lines.  

The lines Democratic state lawmakers drew almost 10 years ago often have been held up as a textbook example of partisan gerrymandering. And Hogan’s attempts to create a citizens’ commission to redraw those lines have never gotten out of a legislative committee.

So, he said in an afternoon news conference he would take things into his own hands.

“Now, more than ever, this is far too important to ignore, or to play partisan politics with,” he said. “So today, I am launching the beginning of what will be a sustained effort to restore fairness and competitiveness to Maryland's congressional and legislative districts.”

The nine-member commission, three Republicans, three Democrats and three independents, would take the ability to draw those lines out of the hands of political power brokers, he said.

“This time, we want to make sure that the people of Maryland are actually the ones drawing these lines, and not the politicians or the party bosses.”

Senate President Bill Ferguson has argued previously that the problem of gerrymandering isn’t restricted to Maryland and that unfairly drawn districts is an issue that should be handled nationally.

In a statement Tuesday, the Democrat urged Congress to pass a federal bill to eliminate gerrymandering and said Democrats in the General Assembly would focus on their legislative priorities rather than “political theatrics.”

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