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Last-minute bill change torpedoes independent West Virginia redistricting panel


Charleston Gazette-Mail

Del. Kayla Kissinger, R-Fayette

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Lawmakers working on a bill to decide how to redraw legislative districts after 2020 completely changed their proposal at the last minute Thursday, removing all mention of a nonpartisan, independent commission to redraw the districts.

Instead, the proposal now would have legislators redraw their districts after the 2020 U.S. Census, as they have done after previous censuses.

The five-member subcommittee working on the proposal is scheduled to present its work to the House Judiciary Committee on Friday.

Delegate Kayla Kessinger, R-Fayette, offered the amendment Thursday that walks back much of the work subcommittee members did over the past few weeks — specifically, the appointment of someone other than legislators to draw legislative districts.

Kessinger said Thursday she introduced the amendment when she realized lawmakers are better suited to draw their own districts than any appointees could.

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