SENATE DEMOCRATS VOTE AGAINST LOCKING PUBLIC OUT OF REDISTRICTING PROCESS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2015

SENATE DEMOCRATS VOTE AGAINST LOCKING PUBLIC OUT OF REDISTRICTING PROCESS 

CARSON CITY – Today, Senate Democrats voted unanimously against the Joint Standing Rules of the Senate and Assembly. Democratic senators voted against rules changes that would have made it more difficult for members of the public to exercise their right to participate in any redistricting process. Senate Democrats were not given proposed rules to review until a few minutes before the Senate was gaveled to order.

“It’s unfortunate that our Republican colleagues felt the need to exclude the public from participating in the redistricting process,” said Democratic Leader Sen. Aaron D. Ford. “Any redistricting effort in Nevada should be an open, public process, and not a product of backroom deals by Carson City insiders.”

Joint Rules from previous sessions required a robust process for public participation in all aspects of redistricting. Lawmakers had to hold videoconferences and hold at least one hearing in both Southern Nevada and rural counties. Further, all proposed redistricting maps were required to be available for public review, and members of the public were allowed to submit their own plans or amendments.

Democratic Assembly Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick did successfully amend the Rules to allow for Democratic Leaders in both houses to submit their own redistricting proposals should a Republican bill be brought forward. While Republican leadership refused to consider a public process, Democrats are committed to making the process open and transparent.  

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