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Agricultural News

State Representative Dale DeWitt to Help Shape New Districts Next Year After Census

Mon, 23 Aug 2010 16:06:05 CDT

State Representative Dale DeWitt to Help Shape New Districts Next Year After Census House Speaker-Designate Kris Steele named a bipartisan Redistricting Steering Committee earlier this month that will help the House prepare for the redrawing of state and federal legislative lines following the 2010 census. Three key rural lawmakers are included on the Steering Committee, including State Representative Dale DeWitt who will serve as one of the co-chairs.

The eight members who represent each area of the state named to the committee include:

Rep. Dale DeWitt, R-Braman
Rep. John Trebilcock, R-Broken Arrow
Rep. Danny Morgan, D-Prague
Rep. Paul Roan, D-Tishomingo
Rep. Jabar Shumate, D-Tulsa
Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview
Rep. Randy McDaniel, R-Oklahoma City
Rep. Lisa Billy, R-Purcell

"We want to ensure that this process is bipartisan and fair as we construct appropriate districts to reflect the changing population of our state," said Steele, R-Shawnee. "I have complete faith that these members will put in the hard work necessary to ensure Oklahomans remain well-represented at the state Legislature and in Congress."

The committee's first task will be to create guidelines for redistricting, which will serve as the framework as the lines are redrawn. The committee will examine the law governing redistricting and the process required, develop a timeline for the various tasks to be completed, establish guidelines, and will help communicate the plan of action with the public and other legislative colleagues.

Reps. DeWitt and Trebilcock will serve as the co-chairmen of the redistricting committee, and Reps. Morgan and Roan will serve as co-vice-chairmen.

"Redistricting is one of the most important issues we will deal with this next year," said Steele. "The expertise the members of this committee bring to this process will be invaluable as we move forward. They represent a good cross-section of the state and are politically and geographically diverse. I look forward to going to work as soon as possible as we seek to create fair and balanced districts that meet the criteria required by law."

It is expected that the U.S. Census Bureau data that will be used to redraw the lines will not be available until mid-March. Work on redrawing the House and Senate district lines must be completed by the end of the 2011 legislative session. New lines for Congressional and county offices should be completed before the 2012 elections.



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