Reapportionment Commission to begin work on Sept. 9
STATE HOUSE – The Special Commission on Reapportionment will hold its first meeting on Thursday, Sept. 9, at 4 p.m. in Room 313 of the State House.
It will be an organizational meeting that will include the election of the co-chairs, one from the House and one from the Senate. A presentation will be made by Kimball Brace, president of Election Data Service Inc., a consulting firm from Virginia that will assist the commission. Public comment will also be taken.
The state constitution calls for the General Assembly to reapportion its districts as well as the two congressional districts after each 10-year federal census.
The 2020 census data was made public on August 12, 2021, which is several months later than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the late release, the commission is organizing earlier than in the past – the first meeting 10 years ago was October 4, 2012.
The 18-member commission will use the results of the census to redraw district lines to reflect population shifts. It must make its recommendations to the General Assembly by January 15, 2022. According to the legislation (2021-S 0852A, 2021-H 6222A) signed into law by the Governor, the commission is comprised of six House and six Senate members, requiring each chamber to have four members from the majority party and two from the minority party. Three members of the public are appointed by each chamber as well.
Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi has appointed Representatives Arthur J. Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence), Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence), Katherine S. Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence), Brian C. Newberry (R-Dist. 48, North Smithfield, Burrillville), Robert D. Phillips (D-Dist. 51, Woonsocket, Cumberland) and David J. Place (R-Dist. 47, Burrillville, Glocester). From the general public, he has appointed Antonio Lopes, the CEO and founder of TILT Communications; Kaprece Ransaw, a real estate agent; and former State Rep. Stephen Ucci, who co-chaired the reapportionment commission 10 years ago.
President Dominick J. Ruggerio has appointed Senators Stephen R. Archambault (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, North Providence, Johnston), Walter S. Felag, Jr. (D-Dist. 10, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton), Ana B. Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence), V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham), Jessica de la Cruz (R-Dist. 23, Burrillville, Glocester, North Smithfield) and Gordon E. Rogers (R-Dist. 21, Foster, Coventry, Scituate, West Greenwich). From the general public, he has appointed Maria Bucci, a former Cranston City Council member; Alvin Reyes, an organizer with IBEW Local 99; and Harold M. Metts, a former state senator, retired school administrator, and community leader.
All meetings will be live streamed at http://rilegislature.gov/CapTV/Pages/default.aspx and televised on Capitol Television, which can be seen on Cox Channels 15 and 61, on Full Channel on Channel 15 and on Channel 34 by Verizon subscribers.