New Reapportionment Map Headed To Governor

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The state’s new reapportionment map is on its way to Governor Peter Shumlin for his signature.

The map reflects population trends in Vermont over the past ten years. For the most part, the map maintains current House and Senate district lines although there are some changes for both chambers.

The Senate gave its approval to the plan over the weekend and House endorsed it yesterday by a vote of 124 to 8.

House Government Operations chairwoman Donna Sweaney says lawmakers were, for the most part, able to avoid the bitter and partisan fight that occurs in many other states with this issue.

"This time however the effort was done with the idea that the map could be constructed in an open and transparent setting and with a major attempt to make what can be a very politically charged exercise as non political and fair as possible," said Sweaney. "Granted these maps of the House and the Senate may not make everyone happy."

Milton Rep. Ronald Hubert voted for the bill but he said he was disappointed that the six member Chittenden County Senate district, which is the largest in the country, was not cut in half.

"In doing so we would have fixed a long standing problem. The change would not have harmed any of the sitting senators," said Hubert.  "This is going to be a problem and cause someone to take the map to court and this is something we were hoping would not happen."

The legislation could be challenged in court because the Chairman of the Republican Party, Jack Lindley, has indicated that he sees significant legal problems with the new map.

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