Feb 9, 2011 7:27 PM
The Louisiana Legislature's joint statewide public meetings by the House and Senate Governmental Affairs committees on the upcoming redistricting process begin this month.
The joint committee will show the current district maps for each of the various elected bodies with the new 2010 Census population figures for such districts and discuss which districts no longer meet population guidelines and/or legal requirements.
It is important for the public to participate in these meetings and make their opinions known so that the committees may consider public input as plans are drafted and discussed.
In an effort to allow for maximum participation in the process, all meetings will be streamed live over the Internet and archived. Further, comments and questions can be submitted via Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social media sites. Information about the social media sites is available at http://house.louisiana.gov/H_Redistricting2011/ which also includes up-to-date information on all aspects of the redistricting process.
Public comments submitted in any format will be taken into consideration as plans are drafted.
A special session to adopt redistricting plans will convene on March 20th and must end no later than April 13th. With the regular legislative session beginning on April 25, this will give the legislature a short time to complete the redistricting process, as the plans must be submitted to the U. S. Justice Dept. for pre-approval. The department then has at least 60 days to either approve or reject the plan. Additionally, qualifying for most offices affected by redistricting begins September 6.
The legislature is required to re-draw congressional, legislative, public service commission, and BESE districts.
Due to the lack of population growth over the last 10 years, Louisiana will lose a congressional seat reducing that number to six. Federal and state districts will change due to the population shifts in the state, including those resulting from the hurricanes in 2005.
SCHEDULE OF REDISTRICTING MEETINGS 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011, 10:00 A.M. -- Fuhrmann Auditorium at the Greater Covington Center, 317 North Jefferson Street, Covington, La.
6:00 P.M. -- Dillard University, Professional Schools and Sciences Building, Georges Auditorium (Room 115), 2601 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans, La.
Monday, February 21, 2011, 10:00 A.M. -- Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center, 346 Civic Center Blvd., Houma, La.
6:00 P.M. -- Baton Rouge Community College, Louisiana Board Room in the Louisiana Building, Baton Rouge, La.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 10:00 A.M. -- Lake Charles Civic Center, Buccaneer Room, 900 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, La.
6:00 P.M. -- Acadiana Center for the Arts, Moncus Theatre, 101 West Vermilion Street, Lafayette, La.
Monday, February 28, 2011, 6:00 P.M. -- La. State Exhibit Museum Auditorium, 3015 Greenwood Road, Shreveport, La.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011, 10:00 A.M. -- Monroe Civic Center, Bayou Room, 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, Monroe, La.
6:00 P.M. -- Alexandria Convention Hall at City Hall, 915 Third Street, Alexandria, La.