Five-member committee will hold first meeting on Wednesday, July 6th
ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 4, 2011) – Governor Martin O'Malley today announced the creation of the Governor's Redistricting Advisory Committee (GRAC). The five-member committee will hold public hearings, receive public comment, and draft a recommended plan for the State's legislative and congressional redistricting.
“The Committee will immediately develop a schedule of public hearings to allow citizens the opportunity to participate in the process,” said Governor O’Malley. “The process of working together with citizens, members of the General Assembly and our Congressional delegation will ensure the maps developed by the Committee accurately reflect the diversity of the State.”
Governor's Redistricting Advisory Committee Members:
Jeanne D. Hitchcock, Esq. - Will serve as chair of GRAC. Presently serves as Governor O'Malley's Secretary of Appointments. Prior to joining the Governor's Office, she served as Deputy Mayor to then-Mayor Martin O'Malley. While Deputy Mayor, Ms. Hitchcock was instrumental in the redistricting process that, for the first time, created single member districts in Baltimore City. She also served as an Assistant Attorney General from 1980 to 1987.
Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. - Senate President since 1987, member of the Senate since 1975. President Miller also served on the GRAC in 1991 and 2001.
Michael E. Busch - Speaker of the House since 2003, member of the House of Delegates since 1987.
James King - Served as a member of the House of Delegates from 2007 to 2011 representing District 33A, Anne Arundel County. Small business owner who employs more than 100 Maryland residents. Recently named Business Owner of the Year by the West County Chamber of Commerce and in 2008, named Taxpayers Advocate of the Year by the Maryland Taxpayers Association.
Richard Stewart - Presently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Montgomery Mechanical Services Incorporated. A member of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Mr. Stewart also has held positions as a board member, director and past president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Metropolitan Washington. Member of the Maryland Stadium Authority since July 2007.
“Having worked on redistricting in Baltimore City, I am aware of the necessary and critical role citizens play in the redistricting process,” said Secretary Hitchcock. “I look forward to working with the members of the Committee to set up a schedule of public hearings, ensuring citizens across the State of Maryland have the opportunity to participate.”
"The Census revealed real changes in Maryland's population, and I look forward to working with the members of this Committee to develop congressional and legislative districts that reflect those changes," said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. "We are committed to an open and fair process that produces the best result for the citizens of Maryland."
"As we begin the redistricting process, I want to commend the Governor for his selection of a diverse group of individuals who will keep the best interests of state voters central in their deliberations," said Speaker Michael E. Busch. "This process will be open and transparent and engage as many voters as possible, as we endeavor to craft new Congressional and legislative districts."
“I am honored to serve the residents of Maryland on the Redistricting Committee,” said James King. “It is imperative that the minority party have a voice in this extremely important process. The decisions and recommendations that the Committee will offer will play a critical role in the make up of the state’s electoral process for the next decade. I look forward to bringing balance to this process.”
“I am pleased to represent the citizens of Maryland on the Committee,” said Richard Stewart. “The Committee will work hard to ensure our recommendations fairly and accurately represent the diversity of the State of Maryland.”
Using the results of the federal census and input collected during public hearings, and complying with state and federal Constitutional and legal standards, the GRAC will submit recommendations for a legislative redistricting plan to the Governor. After considering those recommendations, the Governor will prepare a plan that creates the legislative districts for electing members of the State Senate and House of Delegates. It will be introduced as a joint resolution to the General Assembly on January 11, 2012 - the first day of the legislative session. The General Assembly will have 45 days to either approve the Governor's plan or pass an alternative plan. If no plan passes in 45 days, the Governor's plan as submitted becomes law. Each legislative district in Maryland consists of one senator and three delegates.
The GRAC will also make recommendations to the Governor for the redistricting of Maryland's eight Congressional districts. Unlike the legislative districts, there is no Constitutional time constraint on the passage of a Congressional redistricting plan. Given the timing of the upcoming 2012 Presidential election, it is anticipated that the General Assembly will consider the Governor's Congressional redistricting plan in a special session the week of October 17, 2011.
As has been the case in previous redistricting phases, the GRAC will hold a series of public hearings, review Congressional and legislative plans submitted by public officials and members of the public, and develop a recommended legislative and Congressional redistricting plan for the Governor's review. The Committee will develop a schedule for regional meetings, to which members of the public will be invited to attend. The Committee's organizational meeting will be held in Annapolis on Wednesday, July 6 at 1:00 p.m. in the Governor’s Reception Room.
Once the public hearings are completed, the GRAC will draft their recommendations to the Governor. The recommended Congressional plan will be drafted in advance of the special session. In the past, the Committee's final recommendations on a legislative redistricting plan have been sent to the Governor by mid-December. Throughout the entire process, the Committee will be assisted by staff from the Department of Legislative Services and the Department of Planning.