Lawmakers return to Des Moines today with a bit of trepidation. The first plan for re-drawing the lines for legislative districts will be released Thursday morning. The re-alignment’s made using the 2000 Census figures. Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says it’ll be an interesting morning. Sometimes the new map lines are re-drawn so two legislators live in the same district, and must run against one another in 2002. District lines for legislators and members of Congress are re-aligned every 10 years to account for population shifts. Iverson says legislators often agree the plan is reasonable, even though it may not be the best for them personally.The plan has been drafted by the Legislative Service Bureau, a non-partisan agency that does the legislature’s legal work, like writing the bills. Iverson says there’s a good chance the first new map, which they’ll see Thursday, will be endorsed by the legislature. Senate Democrat Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs agrees. He says all it takes is a plan that’s fairly drawn.Public hearings will be held in the next few weeks around the state for Iowans to review and comment on the redistricting plan. April 27th is the earliest date legislators may vote on the plan. Legislators cannot amend the plan, they must accept it or reject it.If it’s not accepted, a second plan will be drafted and the legislative session will extend into May.
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