CHARLESTON — Relative to the day before it, Tuesday was a slow day for the redistricting process in the West Virginia Legislature.
The House of Delegates Redistricting Committee approved a proposed congressional map during a brief meeting Tuesday afternoon, while the Senate advanced the bills that establish its proposed state Senate district and congressional maps.
Tuesday was the second day of a special legislative session during which lawmakers are considering legislative and congressional district maps, allocating federal money and taking up other matters as called upon by Gov. Jim Justice.
Tuesday also was the last day of interim committee meetings separate from the special session.
The House’s congressional map proposal solidifies that there is agreement between the two chambers that West Virginia will be divided into northern and southern congressional districts.
There had been debate about whether to split the state into east-west districts or north-south districts, because West Virginia lost a congressional seat this redistricting cycle.
The Senate Redistricting Committee on Monday approved a northern-southern congressional district map. That committee didn’t meet Tuesday.
The difference between the two maps comes down to Ritchie and Pendleton counties.
In the House map, those counties are in the southern congressional district, and they’re in the northern district of the Senate map.
The House’s proposed congressional map is contained in House Bill 302, and it will be in amendment stage when the House convenes Wednesday.
The bills that contained the proposed House district (House Bill 301), Senate district (Senate Bill 3034) and the Senate’s proposed congressional district maps (Senate Bill 3033) are set to be up for a vote with the right for lawmakers to propose amendments Wednesday.
Historically, legislators in each chamber draw the maps for their respective legislative bodies, and legislators in both chambers propose congressional maps. That means the Senate draws the first draft of the Senate district map, and the House draws the first draft of the House district map.
The maps otherwise are in bill form and are subject to the regular legislative process in each chamber.
The House is set to convene at 11 a.m. Wednesday, and the Senate will convene at noon Wednesday.