Who should control the drawing of congressional district maps is at stake as Republican leadership at the statehouse come together to create a panel of four lawmakers who could develop a new method by the end of the year. For months, an effort supported by the League of Women Voters has been underway to gather signatures so a ballot issue could be placed before the people of Ohio. The measure would be similar to one introduced a few years ago. In 2015, voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot issue that restructured how the General Assembly districts will be drawn starting in 2021. To get to that point, four lawmakers sat down and hashed out a plan over a three-hour meeting; though to hear State Senator Matt Huffman tell the story, it was mostly himself and Vernon Sykes working out the details with some help from the other two men in the room, Keith Faber and Joe Schiavoni; this after hearing testimony from the public, of course.
Huffman and Sykes will be returning this fall to the negotiation table, and this time Kirk Schuring will be joining them. There has been no word yet who the second democrat will be, but whoever it is will be a member of the Ohio House of Representatives.
Senate President Larry Obhof and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger made the announcement late last Friday.
Huffman says the plan is to figure out a ballot initiative fairly promptly so it can be on a ballot for the voters in 2018.