Redistricting commission divided on whether to hear from legislative leaders

Letting legislative leaders comment on redistricting drafts would “extend an olive branch prior to the draft maps being completed.

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission is split on whether to invite Democratic and Republican leaders from the legislature to address the commission, with a majority of members leaning against it.

Commissioners last month first raised the issue of whether the four partisan leaders of the Arizona House of Representatives and Senate should be invited to an AIRC meeting to share their thoughts on redistricting. Independent Chairwoman Erika Neuberg said the issue came up during a discussion with legal counsel.

Eric Spencer, the Republican co-counsel for the AIRC, noted that the Arizona Constitution grants the legislature the explicit right to make recommendations after the commission finishes the first draft of its legislative and congressional district maps. Starting that process early, he said, would “extend an olive branch prior to the draft maps being completed in order to create a more cohesive and less adversarial relationship.” 

However, that idea met with a cool reception among some commissioners, and skepticism grew during the subsequent week.

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