N.C. House members pushing bipartisan redistricting bill
The prime sponsors of a nonpartisan redistricting bill in the N.C. House of Representatives plan a press conference at noon in the Statehouse press room tomorrow to discuss their support for H.B. 606. The bill is based on the so-called "Iowa Model" -- a criteria- and data-driven model that avoids partisanship and gerrymandering in the redistricting process. The bill has some 57 co-sponsors, who believe the new method "will create stability, certainty, and citizen involvement" in the process, according to a press release from the N.C. Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform, a non-partisan group advocating transparency in government. Rep. Chuck McGrady, Republican of Henderson County, is one of the primary sponsors of the bill; Western North Carolina co-sponsors include Reps. Susan Fisher of Buncombe County and Joe Sam Queen of Jackson County, Democrats, and Republican Nathan Ramsey of Buncombe County. The bill is the same as a bipartisan bill that passed easily in the House in the last legislative session, but which was never acted on by the Senate.