JLRC adopts new plans days before end of the 2022 Mississippi Legislative session.
On Sunday, the Mississippi Joint Legislative Reapportionment Committee (JLRC) met and adopted new legislative redistricting maps for the Mississippi House and Senate Districts. The plans will now be sent to both chambers to be voted on.
Through the process of legislative reapportionment, lawmakers redraw legislative districts to account for population shifts that may have occurred. Because there are population shifts within a state between censuses, some changes in district boundaries are necessary after a census is taken. This process follows the publication of decennial census information.
The House Legislative Reapportionment Committee met this afternoon and introduced the new legislative redistricting plan for the Mississippi House of Representatives.
Rep. Jim Beckett (R), Chairman of the Legislative Redistricting Committee, discussed how some districts were moved and others “slid around, some more than others.” Beckett said that some may have moved a precinct or two, and others, half a precinct.
The House Chairman said that one of the major changes includes the moving of two districts to another part of the state. Two districts would be cut, District 33 held by Rep. Tommy Reynolds (D) and District 20 held by Rep. Chris Brown (R) to account for new districts in DeSoto and Harrison County.
Shortly after the House Committee met, the Senate Legislative Reapportionment Committee met and adopted their new plan for legislative redistricting.
Vice-Chairman of the JLRC Committee, Senator Dean Kirby (R), said that drawing the map “wasn’t an easy chore,” but they kept the same number of Republican and Democrat districts.
“Everyone else is pretty much the same, I mean they all shifted, no-one got exactly what they wanted,” Senator Kirby said. “I have worked not only strongly with the Committee, I’ve had every Senator come over and look at maps and give me their recommendations.”
Kirby says to his knowledge, maybe 90% of Senators are very happy with the map.
“We’ll find out when we go to the floor,” the Vice-Chairman said.
Kirby said that changes in the Senate’s map included combining District 37 held by Sen. Melanie Sojourner (R) and District 36 held by Sen. Albert Butler (D) and a new district was moved to Rankin and Smith counties.
Speculation and rumor has swirled for weeks, mainly in the Senate, that leadership would be not protecting conservative voting interests.
Earlier in the day, Governor Tate Reeves weighed in on the redistricting proposals. He tweeted that when Legislative districts are drawn for fair competition, Republicans win because Mississippians believe in our ideals and principles. He then went further.
“Any plan that reduces the number of districts where Republicans can compete in favor of more easy Democrat wins should not be proposed – much less approved – by either chamber of the Legislature,” Governor Reeves wrote. “Mississippians put Republicans in charge in 2019 for a reason.”
Any plan that reduces the number of districts where Republicans can compete in favor of more easy Democrat wins should not be proposed – much less approved – by either chamber of the Legislature.
Mississippians put Republicans in charge in 2019 for a reason.
— Governor Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 27, 2022
Joint Resolution 201, the legislative redistricting map for the Mississippi State Senate, passed the Senate Rules Committee. The House Apportionment and Elections Committee passed Joint Resolution 1, the Mississippi House’s proposed legislative redistricting map.