Redistricting commission seeks input on plans for districts

December 5, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The commission to redraw political districts in Rhode Island is seeking public input on its initial plans for the layout of the General Assembly districts.

The Special Legislative Commission on Reapportionment has scheduled hearings around the state to present the plans. The first is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday in the auditorium of Smithfield High School in Smithfield. Masks are required inside the building.

There will be a presentation and discussion about whether prisoners should be counted at their home addresses rather than their prison addresses for census and redistricting purposes. The agenda also includes an explanation of the drawing process, the presentation of initial alternative plans for House and Senate districts and an explanation of the remaining timeline for the reapportionment process. Public comment will be accepted.

The commission is charged with drafting and reporting to the General Assembly on how the legislative and congressional districts should be reapportioned. The state constitution mandates redistricting for the General Assembly districts and the two congressional districts after each 10-year census.

Rep. Robert Phillips, a Woonsocket Democrat, and Sen. Stephen Archambault, a Smithfield Democrat, lead the commission.

The meeting will be broadcast on Capitol Television and streamed online.