Representative Nathan Baskerville: New Congressional Maps

A special session of the North Carolina General Assembly convened on Thursday, February 18th and Friday, February 19th, with the purpose of redrawing the 1st and 12th Congressional District Maps.  GOP leadership formed a majority Republican special redistricting committee tasked with drawing congressional districts that comply with the US Constitution, and to determine a new congressional primary date. This special committee held public hearings on Monday, February 15th in locations throughout the state to gauge the public sentiment. The overwhelming public desire expressed at those hearings was to make the map drawing process more fair and transparent. The completed congressional district map and new primary date was presented to the entire NC House and NC Senate for a vote in the form of two pieces of legislation.

House Bill 2 (HB2), known as the “2016 US House of Representatives Primary,” sets the congressional primary date of June 7, 2016, and eliminates all runoff elections. HB2 passed the House of Representatives with along party lines with a 75-30. Senate Bill 2 (SB2), the “2016 Contingent Congressional Plan,” establishes a new Congressional District Map. This new map makes major changes to every congressional district in our state. In particular, the 1st District, which is represented by G.K. Butterfield and previously included all or parts of 24 counties, now has been whittled to 11 counties, maintaining all of Vance, Granville, and Warren counties within its borders.  SB 2 passed the House of Representatives along party lines with a 65-43 vote. North Carolina must now wait for federal approval of this legislation.