Colorado's Independent Restricting Commissions will hold a joint public hearing on first round of proposed realignments for Congressional and state legislative districts in Durango. See how the changes impact Southwest Colorado. Sponsored by TruWest Auto and Whole Health Family Medicine Clinic
Montezuma County would be cut in half and Cortez would be included in the same Colorado House District as Durango if the proposed new redistricting maps are adopted. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by Truwest Auto and Whole Health Family Medicine. The Independent Congressional and Legislative Redistricting Commissions will hold a joint public hearing on the preliminary map proposals at 1:00 PM on Saturday, August 7th at the Durango Public Library. Voting districts for the U.S. House of Representatives and the state legislature are redrawn every 10 years following the U.S. Census to account for population growth and shifts in the country. Colorado's redistricting process will look different this year because of changes made by the passage of Amendments Y and Z in 2018. In the past, the state legislature was responsible for congressional redistricting and a politically appointed reapportionment commission redrew legislative districts. Now, two independent commissions will take on those tasks with each commission, comprising four Republican, four Democratic and four unaffiliated representatives. Non-partisan legislative staff will assist both commissions and were responsible for drawing the preliminary maps based on population estimates. The hearing scheduled for August 7th in Durango is part of the first round of public hearings to allow the public to comment on the proposals. After the census numbers are finalized, legislative staff will refine the maps based on the data and commission guidance. And, a second round of public hearings will be held. When the commissions approve the maps, they'll be forwarded to the Colorado Supreme Court for review and final approval. Although census data has not yet been finalized, Colorado will gain an eighth seat in Congress. The preliminary maps propose to carve that district out of the three congressional districts surrounding Denver. The third congressional district that includes Southwest Colorado will lose roughly eight counties, including Pueblo County and the San Luis Valley, but will gain Park, Teller, Chaffee, Fremont, and Grand Counties. District Three's incumbent representative, Lauren Boebert, a Republican, will be eligible to run for reelection. Significant changes have been proposed for Southwest Colorado Senate and house legislative districts. Senate District 6 has been reconfigured to create Senate District 7 with the addition of Delta and Hinsdale County. Archuleta county will be included in Senate District 8 with Southern Colorado counties east of the Continental Divide State Senator Don Coram, a Republican from Montrose, remains in the new district. House District 59 has been significantly altered on the proposed map. The Eastern half of Montezuma County, including Cortez, Dolores, and Mancos have been combined with Archuleta and La Plata Counties to form District 52. Representative Barbara McLachlin, the incumbent, is a Democrat from Durango. San Juan, Hinsdale, Ouray, Montrose, San Miguel, Delores, and Delta Counties will join the Western half of Montezuma County in the new 53rd House District. If you can't make the hearing in Durango, you can submit your comments online and learn more about the process at redistricting.colorado.gov. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network.