On Wednesday, September 8, the Redistricting Committee of the Legislature released two different proposals for the new legislative maps. One proposal, which I will refer to as “Map A” is a non-starter for me. According to Map A, Legislative District 24, which comprises Seward, Polk and York counties, will be dissolved as it is currently situated and the district would be relocated to Sarpy County.
While I am always willing to consider what is best for the State of Nebraska, I believe moving LD 24 goes against the guidelines established under Legislative Resolution 134, which was adopted as the guidelines on how redistricting is to proceed. Under LR 134, district boundaries shall follow county lines whenever practicable. The district in which Seward County would be located clearly fails this test as it would contain Butler County, relatively half of Saunders County and Schuyler, which is in Colfax County. LR 134 also allows for the preservation of the cores of prior districts. By splitting up LD 24, as it is currently established, the proposed Map A clearly does not preserve the core of the district.
Map A also does not preserve communities of interest. For example, a majority of the population who attends Centennial School District resides in Seward and York Counties, with the remaining population living in Polk and Butler County. Under the proposed Map A, the population base would be split between LD 23 which would consist of Butler, Seward, part of Saunders and part of Colfax County and LD 34 which would consist of Hamilton, Merrick, Polk and York County.
Another community of interest is the Four Corners Health Department. As we all have learned over the past year and a half, our local public health departments provide an important task. Currently, LD 24 resides completely within the Four Corners Health Department. Under the proposed Map A, LD 23 would be served by three different public health districts and LD 34 would be served by two different health districts.
While this list of concerns are not exhaustive, I look forward to working with the Redistricting Committee and the rest of my colleagues to address the issues I have raised. With that said, I am adamantly opposed to moving LD 24 to Sarpy County and I will do everything within my power to prevent this from happening.