All this week, the South Carolina Senate Redistricting Subcommittee will hear from citizens on efforts to redraw state lines for a new congressional district the state gained for 2012.
Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell is the chair of the subcommittee and encourages residents to be at the hearings when the panel comes to their area. Each of the 10 meetings will focus on the specific district the counties represented are in. The senators will be in Conway on Monday. On Tuesday, the hearing will be in Columbia, Wednesday in Florence, and Thursday in Charleston.
McConnell says every 10 years they are required by federal law to redraw legislative and congressional districts. This year, they are looking at adding a seventh congressional seat. But first, the subcommittee wants to hear from the public.
Visit the redistricting website to find out details on a hearing near you at http://redistricting.scsenate.gov.
Meanwhile, the South Carolina House will also be holding similar hearings across the state over the next two weeks. Rep. Alan Clemmons (R-Horry) is chair of the subcommittee spearheading the effort. Clemmons said he was disappointed by low turnout at the panel’s first meeting in Columbia last week. Only five people testified.
Clemmons is concerned that a lack of public input may cause legislators to split communities and towns that have natural ties.
It’s very important that we have this input. Without it, we have to make guesses… with it, we don’t have to guess. We’ll have information to back us up.
He also urged residents to tell the panel as much as possible about each area, to help legislators make informed decisions. Although Clemmons had not been elected yet during the 2001 redistricting, he said officials made some mistakes due to a lack of input.
Everybody steps back and scratches their head and says, “Why is it that the people we have always been with in the past are now separated from us?” This is the time to prevent that from happening.
For a complete schedule of when legislators will be in your area, visit the subcommittee’s website.