Legislative redistricting public hearings set
Every 10 years the state of Wyoming is required to redraw state legislative districts. The Joint Corporations Legislative Committee is responsible for developing redistricting plans to present to the legislature for consideration. The committee has scheduled public hearings throughout the state from May-July. Read more for hearing schedule.
According to the Wyoming Legislative website, the legislature must redraw the districts at the first budget session following the federal census which will be the 2012 session.
Redistricting and why it is important to you
According to the Wyoming Legislative website, redistricting is the process of redrawing the boundaries of the districts from which state legislators, both house and senate, are elected. Simply put, it is a process that affects who you can elect to represent you in the state legislature.
The Joint Corporations Committee has set a public hearing schedule beginning May 25 and running through the summer. The purpose of the hearings will be to receive public comments and suggestions on redistricting; no formal action will be taken by the committee.
“The important issue for rural areas is to make sure their concerns about representation are heard by the committee,” Ken Hamilton, Wyoming Farm Bureau executive vice president, said.
“It still gets down to one man, one vote, but at the end of the day you can have a district that is urban and throw in a piece of a rural area where the amount of land is significant, but the number of voters is pretty small and that makes those people feel somewhat disenfranchised,” Hamilton continued.
The Joint Corporations Committee met April 12 in Cheyenne and agreed to keep the numbers the same with 30 senators and 60 representatives. With that guideline set they will now consider adjusting boundaries of legislative districts given the population increases in Wyoming in the last ten years.
According to Brett Moline, WyFB director of government and public affairs, the entire state gained population with the exception of Hot Springs and Platte counties which lost population. Two energy booming counties had significant increases in population. Campbell County grew by nearly 37 percent and Sublette County had a 73 percent population increase.
“The districts that encompass a large geographic area might have to get even larger,” Moline said. “The difference in population between the most populated district and the least populated district can be no more than 10 percent.”
“That means the least populated district will be no more than 5% lower than the average and the highest population will be no more than 5% higher than the average,” Moline explained.
Voice your opinions
Check the dates for a public hearing near you and make plans to voice your opinion.
Legislative Redistricting Public Hearings
- 9:30 a.m.-Noon: City Hall Council Chambers in Rock Springs
- 5-7:30 p.m.: Sublette County Library in Pinedale
- 9:30 a.m.-Noon: Game and Fish Regional Office (3030 Energy Lane) in Casper
- 5-7:30 p.m.: Wright Branch Library in Wright
- 9:30 a.m-Noon: Laramie*
- 5-7:30 p.m.: Capitol Building Room 302 in Cheyenne
- 9:30 a.m.-Noon: Northwest College in Powell
- 5-7:30 p.m.: Worland Community Center Complex in Worland
- 9:30 a.m.-Noon: Lander*
- 5-7:30 p.m.: Rawlins*
* Location TBA.