The measure passed the Committee and is expected to be in front of lawmakers during the first week of the 2022 session.

Today, the Mississippi Joint Legislative Redistricting Committee met to discuss Congressional redistricting and adopt its proposed maps.

The Committee held a meeting in November at the Capitol to discuss its recommendations to the full Legislature on the redistricting plan for the state when the 2022 session begins in a couple of weeks. Today, the group moved the proposal forward.

You can watch the full hearing below.

During today’s meeting the Committee discussed the Congressional redistricting plan per the provisions of Mississippi Code Section 5-3-121 et seq.

House Speaker Pro Tem Rep. Jason White presented the “Magnolia 1” plan for Mississippi’s new congressional map.

The Statewide population decreased in the 2020 Census by nearly 6,000 people. In the four Congressional districts, three of those slightly gained population and one of those, District 2, experienced significant loss in population.

District 2 experienced a decrease of over 9.08%, while the other three districts increased.

District 1 had a 2.21% increase, District 3 had a 1.24% increase, and District 4 had a 4.82% increase.

Rep. White explained that as a result, District 2 had to gain a significant population to the tune of over 65,000 people. At the same time, the Committee has to ensure that they are in compliance with the Voting Rights Act as it pertains to the black voting age population, or BVAP.

In an interview with the Speaker Pro Tem, White discussed the proposed changes and the push by the Mississippi Legislature not to rely on the courts to redraw Mississippi’s congressional districts this coming session as has been done previously. 

Speaker Pro Tem, Jason White

“There was a great attempt by this Committee to not have to rely on the courts this time to draw the plan. We wanted to handle Mississippi’s business by elected Mississippi officials. And so with that in mind, we leaned greatly on the current federal plan that is in place,” White told Y’all Politics.

The “Magnolia 1” plan changes Adams, Wilkinson, Franklin, and Amite Counties from District 3 into Congressman Bennie Thompson’s District 2.

White explained that there were also some slight changes in Hinds County, but they had to find people that would equalize the other congressional districts. He stated that with the changes in Hinds County and Adams, Wilkinson, Franklin, and Amite Counties, it would level District 2 with Districts 1,3, and 4.

District 4 would lose Marion County and four precincts in Jones County, as well as no longer take in portions of Clarke County. Those areas would move to District 3.

Following the Joint Mississippi Congressional Redistricting meeting, State Senator Dennis DeBar talked with Y’all Politics about the proposed maps that were adopted by the committee.

Sen. Dennis DeBar

“Today, the joint committee adopted a plan to present to the full chamber, the House and the Senate, probably the first week of January,” Senator DeBar said.

DeBar noted that it was important to get the plan out now so that the public can have input and allow lawmakers to review it. That way legislators can “hit the ground running” come January 4 and adopt the plan as soon as possible.

Watch the full interview with Senator DeBar below.

UPDATE:

Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon following the release of the proposed Congressional Redistricting plan:

“Our Standing Joint Congressional Redistricting Committee, under the Senate leadership of Pro-Tempore Dean Kirby, held nine hearings in 2021 in all regions of the State to hear from citizens about the map. For the first time, all hearings were webcasted and archived in the interest of accessibility and transparency. We are grateful for the Committee’s work and look forward to seeing their progress on the legislative lines in 2022.”