A panel appointed to make recommendations on how the state's congressional and legislative districts will look for the next decade will hold its final 10 meetings beginning tonight.
The five-member Governor's Redistricting Advisory Committee is charged with recommending plans to redraw the state's eight congressional districts and 47 state legislative districts.
The panel will hold 12 public hearings, including one tonight at 7 p.m. at the Prince George's Community College Largo Student Center Rennie Forum.
Other scheduled meetings include:
- Wednesday, August 10, 7 p.m., The Universities at Shady Grove Building #1 Auditorium, 9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, Montgomery County.
- Friday, August 12, 7 p.m., Morgan State University, Student Center Calvin & Tina Tyler Ballroom #4, 1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore City.
- Wednesday, August 24, 7 p.m., The College of Southern Maryland Center for Business and Industry, Room BI-113, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata, Charles County.
- Saturday, August 27, 11 a.m., Harford Community College Amoss Center, 200 Thomas Run Road, Bel Air, Harford County.
- Saturday, August 27, 2 p.m., Towson University Stephens Hall Theater, 8000 York Road, Towson, Baltimore County.
- Tuesday, August 30, 4 p.m., Anne Arundel County (Location to be announced).
- Tuesday, August 30, 7 p.m., Howard County (Location to be announced).
- Saturday, September 10, 12:30 p.m., Salisbury University, 1101 Camden Avenue, Salisbury, Wicomico County.
- Saturday, September 10, 4 p.m., Chesapeake College Todd Performing Arts Center, Routes 50 and 213, Wye Mills, Talbot County.
Two other hearings were held earlier this month in Washington and Frederick counties.
Members of the public who plan to testify at any of the hearings may sign up in advance. Comments and attachments can be e-mailed to Redistricting2011@mdp.state.md.us.
The proposed congressional districts must be substantially equal in size. The target population for each district, based on new census data, is about 721,529 people.
Congressional districts must be drawn to be as equal in population as possible.
The courts have typically ruled that districts can deviate from the target figure by plus or minus 5 percent.
The target population for the state's redrawn 47 legislative districts is 122,813. The actual population could range between approximately 116,672 to 128,954.
Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, appointed the five-member commission earlier this year.
Jeanne Hitchcock, the governor's secretary of appointments, will chair the committee. Hitchcock helped develop single-member city council districts when O'Malley was mayor.
Also on the committee are:
- Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.
- Speaker of the House of Delegates Michael Busch.
- Former Del. James King, an Anne Arundel County resident and lone Republican on the committee.
- Richard Stewart, a member of the Maryland Stadium Authority and president and CEO of Montgomery Mechanical Services.
The committee is expected to make recommendations on redrawing the state's congressional districts late this fall. The General Assembly will hold a special session the week of Oct. 17 to finalize those districts in time for the 2012 elections.
The plan for redrawing the 47 state legislative districts is expected to be delivered to the General Assembly for the 2012 session.
Additional information about the redistricting process can be found on the state Department of Planning's redistricting website.
Note: This story has been updated to correct an error regarding target size of the state's eight congressional districts based on the 2010 census.