Columbus – With unanimous, bipartisan support, the Ohio Senate today passed a plan to reform the process for drawing Ohio’s congressional districts. The passage of Substitute Senate Joint Resolution 5 follows weeks of negotiations between the leadership of both parties in the General Assembly and various redistricting reform coalitions.
 
“This plan establishes a responsible map making process that requires bipartisan support and keeps communities together,” said Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina).
 
The reforms keep communities together by limiting divisions of counties, townships and municipalities.

  • Sub. S.J.R. 5 specifies that at least 65 counties will be kept whole and limits how many total county splits can occur.
  • Cleveland and Cincinnati will remain whole within their districts.

 
The plan requires significant support from both parties, ensuring a map with bipartisan approval.

  • Step one: A 10-year map proposed by the General Assembly requires a three-fifths vote in each chamber with 50% of the minority party’s vote. If there is no agreement on the initial map, the process moves to the bipartisan Redistricting Commission, which Ohio voters approved in 2015.
  • Step two: A 10-year map drawn by the 7-member Commission requires two minority votes to pass. If that effort fails, the map drawing responsibility moves back to the legislature.
  • Step three: A 10-year map requires a three-fifths vote in each chamber with a one-third vote of the minority party. If the required votes are not obtained, a 4-year map can be passed with a simple majority, but it cannot be drawn to unduly favor or disfavor one political party.


 More highlights include:

  • Preserving and protecting voters' civil rights.
  • Protecting the governor’s ability to veto a map.
  • Maintaining Ohioans’ ability to file a referendum against a congressional map.
  • Clarifying that a court challenge can be brought to an entire map not just individual districts.

Senator Matt Huffman (R-Lima), sponsor of Sub. S.J.R. 5, added, “This plan ends the process of stretching districts far across the state, while maintaining the importance of the historic Voting Rights Act. I appreciate the long hours and hard work that many put into reaching today’s solution, and I’m proud of the plan we are able to deliver to the people of Ohio.”
 
Sub. S.J.R. 5 now moves to the Ohio House for consideration. Once passed by the General Assembly, Sub. S.J.R. 5 will go to the May ballot for Ohio voters to approve. 

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts

Huffman Announces 2019 Legislative Fellowship Program

 

“The fellows that have worked in my office have been an invaluable resource for my staff and me," said Senator Huffman. "They regularly help us with constituent communication, legislative research, and a broad array of priorities that often change from day to day.”



 
 

Ohio Senate Passes Historic Congressional Redistricting Reform Plan With Bipartisan Support

 

Columbus – With unanimous, bipartisan support, the Ohio Senate today passed a plan to reform the process for drawing Ohio’s congressional districts. The passage of Substitute Senate Joint Resolution 5 follows weeks of negotiations between the leadership of both parties in the General Assembly and various redistricting reform coalitions.



 
 

Republicans Announce Significant Changes Made To Congressional Redistricting Plan

 

“By defining a process and ensuring bipartisan support, we are proposing a historic change in how Ohio draws its congressional district lines,” said Huffman, sponsor of S.J.R. 5. “As part of our good faith effort to reach a solution, we are making substantial changes today based on our discussions with Democrat leadership and feedback we have heard from coalition leaders and the public. I believe we are providing the people of Ohio with a plan that is both fair and responsible.”



 
 

Huffman Introduces Resolution To Reform Ohio's Congressional Redistricting Process

 

"We have heard the concerns of Ohioans to ensure that the process for drawing congressional district lines is fair and equitable no matter which party is in the majority, and we are committed to reaching a reasonable solution in a bipartisan manner," said Huffman.