DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa lawmakers have approved the second set of redistricting maps at the statehouse.
The House voted for the second set 48-1, with the Senate voting in favor 93-2.
Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:
“After review of the second Redistricting Plan, I believe it corrects the failures of Plan One to redistrict the state in a compact manner with minimal differences in population. Despite years of fear-mongering about Gerrymandering and claims the first map could not be improved, the Iowa Senate followed the process outlined in Iowa Code and a more compact map with better population differences has been approved. Senate Republicans look forward to continuing to serve the people of Iowa by delivering lower taxes and more pro-growth policies for the next decade.”
Senate Republicans rejected the first draft of new maps for legislative and congressional districts on Oct. 5.
"Iowa’s non-partisan redistricting tradition has been upheld thanks to the overwhelming support of Iowans," Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls said in a statement Thursday. "Iowans across the state stood up in defense of our democracy, against partisan gerrymandering, and made our voices heard in the legislative process. I am proud of everybody who stood up on this important issue."
The House State Government Committee met to discuss legislation giving Iowans the ability to opt out of vaccine mandates at their work, which was since approved by the full House.
On Oct. 21, the Legislative Services Agency, a nonpartisan state agency, released a second draft of maps for lawmakers to consider.
Major changes to the map include:
- Iowa's 4th Congressional District shrunk in geographical size.
- Iowa's 1st Congressional District grew in geographical size.
- Story County is back in the 4th Congressional District.
- Rep. Marianette Miller-Meeks, who currently serves the 2nd District, is placed in the 3rd District with Congresswoman Cindy Axne.
- Rep. Ashley Hinson, currently in the 1st District, moves into the 2nd District; she has announced plans to run for re-election in the 2nd.
- That leaves an open seat in the 1st District.
"Iowa's redistricting process has once again proven itself the gold standard and produced a nonpartisan, fair map for the people of Iowa," Speaker of the House Pat Grassley in a statement.
LSA says the second draft creates 10 open seats at the statehouse.
Senate Republicans pointed to compactness and population deviation as issues they saw with the first round.
Republicans in both the Senate and House were tight-lipped about this new set of maps.
State Democratic leaders support the new set of maps, saying they are fair.
Some Republican analysts in the state believe the new draft of maps favors the party and will gain the necessary support from Republican lawmakers in order to pass the legislature.