New Hampshire Lawmakers Get Public Opinion on Redistribution | New Hampshire News


By HOLLY RAMER, Associated Press

CONCORD, NH (AP) – Lawmakers tasked with redesigning New Hampshire’s legislative districts will begin to hear from the public on Tuesday.

The House Redistribution Committee will hold its first public listening session in Concord. Similar sessions will take place statewide, with meetings scheduled in Dover on September 22 and Manchester on September 30.

Republicans hold eight of the 15 House committee seats, while the Senate redistribution committee is made up of two Republicans and a Democrat. The Senate panel will initially focus on redesigning the 24 state Senate districts and the five Executive Council districts, while the House will launch plans for the 400-seat House and the two Congressional districts.

Republicans also controlled the Legislature when the current plan was approved in 2012. But the card was vetoed by Democratic Gov. John Lynch, who argued it was unconstitutional because it refused to 62 cities and districts their own seats in the House and that it was separating unnecessarily. municipalities. The legislature overrode the veto, and the state Supreme Court subsequently declared the plan constitutional.

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Republican Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed bills in 2020 and 2019 that would have created an independent redistribution commission, saying it was not necessary because gerrymandering – drawing limits for the benefit of the ruling party – is rare in the state and the current redistribution process was fair. The GOP-led legislature killed similar bills this year.

Although Democrats hold both seats in the United States House, the 1st District seat swung five times in seven election cycles before Democrat Chris Pappas won his first term in 2018. Some Republicans want to use the process of redistribution to increase their chances of regaining the seat, but Sununu recently told New Hampshire Public Radio: “This is really stupid.”

“Constituencies and elections and the public service are won with good candidates. If you don’t have a good candidate, I don’t care how good you are doing the district, ”he said. “I’m just a big believer that it’s just a bunch of political nonsense that really has no place and never really happens.”

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