Sen. Rest statement on release of Minnesota redistricting plan
Earlier this afternoon, a Supreme Court-appointed Special Redistricting Panel released its plan for the new electoral boundaries of Minnesota’s eight Congressional districts and 201 legislative districts. Senator Ann H. Rest, the DFL lead on the Senate Redistricting Subcommittee, released the following statement:
“Every ten years Minnesota’s congressional and legislative districts are redrawn to reflect the population changes over the past decade. This process—known as redistricting—is first the responsibility of the State Legislature; however, after the GOP-controlled legislature and DFL Governor Dayton failed to agree upon a single redistricting map last year, statute required the courts to carry out the process. This has been the norm of the recent era, as the last several redistricting maps for Minnesota have been put together by the courts.
The new legislative districts released today are, in the court’s view, the fairest possible way to create electoral constituencies of equal population. It is from these districts that candidates for the Minnesota House and Senate and the U.S. Congress will run for office in this year’s election and in every election until 2022.
From the start, the DFL has been committed to making the redistricting process as transparent and collaborative as possible. I commend the judges on the Special Redistricting Panel for hosting eight public hearings across the state to gather input from the communities that will be represented within the new legislative districts. Redrawing legislative boundaries is tremendously complex, and I have deep respect for the judges that undertook this responsibility.
As I take the time to review the new district maps released today, what I will look for is fairness. The lines should not be skewed to help or hinder a particular party or an incumbent legislator. They should follow clear principles that address equal population, contiguity and compactness, minority representation, and preserving communities of interest.
Being one of 67 senators, my job is to give a voice at the Capitol to all of my constituents. No matter where a line happens to fall on a map, that job is not going to change for me.”