Legislature convenes Tuesday to consider Iowa redistricting Plan 1

The Iowa Capitol Building [Carol M. Highsmith photo]

By O. Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa
This is the week Iowans will find out if the first plan for redrawing the boundaries for congressional and legislative districts will become law for the next decade.

The legislature is scheduled to meet Tuesday to vote on Plan 1. Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver says Republican senators first will meet privately to review the maps.

“We’re going to talk through what we want to do as a team and then we’ll go from there,” Whitver says. “A number of our members have expressed concerns with the map. Oher members have seen positive aspects of the map, but until we get together Tuesday, we won’t have a final decision.”

House Speaker Pat Grassley has said House Republicans have been reviewing the maps, but he’s also giving no indication of how Republicans view the new district boundaries. The 40 Democrats in the House are led by House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst. She announced before the new maps were released that she’d vote for the redistricting plan.

“A map that’s drawn using Iowa ‘gold standard’ redistricting process is a fair map and that’s one that’s good for Iow. It’s the most important thing — not to consider politics, but to consider fairness when we’re making this really important, once-a-decade decision,” Konfrst said this weekend on the “Iowa Press” program on Iowa PBS.

If the legislature approved the new boundaries for all 150 legislative districts and the four congressional districts, those maps will be in effect for the 2022 election. If the legislature rejects those maps this week, the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency has 35 days to deliver a second redistricting plan to legislators.