SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah State Legislature Redistribution Committee unveiled its long-awaited maps on Friday night, ahead of a special session to adopt the political boundaries of the Congress, Legislature and School Board of the State.
The cards were released to the public ahead of a hearing on them Monday, where comments will be sought. They are different from those put forward by the Independent Redistribution Commission, which was created by voters who approved Proposition 4 in 2018.
The most controversial map will be the Congress map, which divides Salt Lake County (the most populous area in the state) into four districts, resulting in a mix of urban and rural areas. It appears that 3900 South will be the dividing line between the four districts.
“After listening to the Utahns and touring the state, Rep. Ray and I created maps that we believe incorporate the interests of all Utahns,” said Redistribution Committee co-chair Senator Scott Sandall, R -Tremonton, in a press release. The map we offer includes the four delegates representing the urban and rural areas of the state. Rural Utah is the reason there is food, water, and energy in urban areas of the state. We are one Utah and believe that urban and rural interests should be represented in Washington, DC by the entire federal delegation. “
Governor Spencer Cox convenes the legislature in special session starting Tuesday to approve the cards. Every 10 years, political boundaries are redrawn for Congress, Legislature, and School Board based on updated US Census data in a process known as “redistribution.”
The legislature has faced increasing pressure to accept the maps drawn by the independent commission, whose supporters insist are more “fair” and represent thousands of public comments from across the state on what constitutes a community. Some have also accused the legislature of gerrymandering in an attempt to keep Republicans in control.
But under the law, the legislator has the final say.
“The legislature has the constitutional responsibility to divide the state into electoral districts,” said committee co-chair, Rep. Ray R-Clearfield, in a statement. “Sen. Sandall and I have worked tirelessly to define boundaries that best represent the diverse interests of the people we have been elected to represent. I am grateful for the feedback we have received directly from local communities and look forward to discuss our cards with the committee and the entire Legislature.
The Independent Redistribution Commission has been criticized by lawmakers on Capitol Hill, especially after former congressman Rob Bishop resigned, complaining that some maps were too “metrocentric”.
A link to the interactive versions of the maps proposed by the legislature is here.
State House of Representatives:
State school board: