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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Ohio legislative leaders hand over redrawing of congressional map to redistricting commission

House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) says the legislature will not work on a new congressional district map, sending the process to the Ohio Redistricting Commission. [Andy Chow /  Statehouse News Bureau]
House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) surrounded by reporter microphones

Republican leaders in the House and Senate are punting the mapmaking process to draw new congressional districts back to the Ohio Redistricting Commission.

Legislative leaders say the commission will take over because a congressional map from that panel can go into effect immediately.

The deadline set by the Ohio Supreme Court for state lawmakers to draw a new map was Sunday.

The House and Senate would have to pass a bill through an emergency clause, requiring Democratic support.

"It became apparent that it wasn't possible to get a two-thirds vote in the House, which would enable the map adopted to go into effect right away, and without that it wouldn't go into effect until after the primary date," says House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima).

Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron), a commission co-chair, says the Ohio Supreme Court has created clear objectives through its rulings on district maps.

"You have to attempt to comply with the constitution. So if that's clear this time I think we'll be closer to coming up with a compromise and agreement," Sykes said.

House and Senate Democrats released their own map, which would create eight Republican-leaning and seven Democratic-leaning congressional districts. But that map would almost certainly not be approved by the Republican-dominated panel.

The rejected map created 12 districts that favored the GOP.

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