COLUMBUS— The Ohio Senate today gave overwhelming bipartisan approval to Senate Joint Resolution 5, which revises the process by which Ohio draws its legislative and Congressional districts. Co-sponsored by Senators Frank LaRose and Tom Sawyer (D- Akron), it passed by a vote of 32-1.
“We came together as a bipartisan group and worked to draft a plan which is not designed to benefit one party or the other but truly to set up a better method of drawing districts that is in the best interest of all Ohioans,” LaRose said. “This resolution creates a process that is fair and accountable, and establishes a solid foundation from which to build in the next General Assembly.”
Under the resolution, a seven-member redistricting commission would be established, consisting of the Governor, Auditor of State, Secretary of State and four members appointed by the legislative leaders in each chamber. The commission would elect bipartisan co-chairs, and none of the members could be a sitting member of the state Legislature or Congress. Any plan proposed by the commission must receive five votes – including at least one vote from the minority party.
"Our goal is to establish a redistricting process that works for Ohioans, not politicians," said LaRose. "I'm proud of the plan we developed last year to achieve a more balanced way of drawing state legislative lines, and there is no good reason not to extend its provisions to federal districts as well."
"I was honored to spend time with these talented leaders from Bulgaria, a remarkable country I had the opportunity to visit back in 2000," said LaRose. "From adopting online voter registration to making redistricting procedures more equitable, Ohio faces electoral hurdles that these leaders have also confronted firsthand."
As we celebrate this Independence Day, let us be reminded of the extraordinary boldness that propelled our founders to victory and inspires us to serve the country that we love. Let us be bold, for it is our inheritance and responsibility.
"Now that the Senate is summer recess, I'm looking forward to spending more time with constituents in my district," said LaRose. "Summer is a great time to explore new ideas for legislation, so I value the input of everyone who comes to office hours."