Statement of Mississippians for Fair Redistricting
on Senate Vote on Redistricting Plan

March 17, 2011
Contact: Cory Wilson

Statement from MFR Chairman Jim Herring:

Mississippians for Fair Redistricting applauds Lt. Governor Phil Bryant and the Senators – both Republican and Democrat – who voted not to accept the House leadership’s attempt to revive their flawed redistricting plan. Instead the Senate has voted to establish a conference committee so the House and Senate can work out their differences.

The House previously passed a redistricting plan that the Senate rejected. The House for a second time passed the same redistricting plan, and it was rejected again today by the Senate. In situations where the separate houses of the legislature disagree, our state law provides for a conference committee through which both houses can work out their differences.

Speaker McCoy has stated that he will not allow the House to participate in this process by refusing to appoint conferees. Since our constitution requires any redistricting plan to be approved by both houses of the legislature, the Speaker will effectively shut down the process and ensure costly litigation.

We urge him to reconsider. The Speaker should appoint conferees and let the legislative process work in order to produce a redistricting plan that will provide fair, legal districts for the people of Mississippi.

Mississippians for Fair Redistricting is a nonprofit corporation focused on providing factual, easy-to-understand information to the public about the redistricting process. For more information, visit www.Redistricting.ms.