Redistricting Commission OKs new districts; maps now move to General Assembly for approval
STATE HOUSE — The Special Commission on Reapportionment approved new House, Senate and Congressional district maps during its final meeting on Wednesday.
Legislation enumerating the district boundaries will now be drafted and introduced in the House and Senate chambers. These bills will be assigned to committees and go through the same process as other bills. Once the General Assembly has codified the new districts into law, city and town clerks will be tasked with notifying the voters in their communities of any changes in their districts.
The new maps, which can be found at riredistricting.org, are the result of months of hearings around the state, all of which were open to the public and televised live on Capitol TV.
The 18-member commission was tasked with providing recommendations to the General Assembly by January 15. According to the legislation passed by the General Assembly last year and signed into law by the Governor, the commission included six House and six Senate members, requiring each chamber to have four members from the majority party and two from the minority party. Three members of the public were appointed by each chamber as well. The co-chairs were Sen. Stephen R. Archambault (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, North Providence, Johnston) and Rep. Robert D. Phillips (D-Dist. 51, Woonsocket, Cumberland).
The state constitution calls for the General Assembly to reapportion its districts as well as the two congressional districts after each 10-year federal census to reflect population shifts. The most recent census took place in 2020.