Published Thu, Dec 15, 2011 1:08 pm Dateline
Updated Thu, Dec 15, 2011 4:30 pm
State Rep. Debbie Phillips (D-Athens) says the compromise reached in the statehouse yesterday leaves much to be desired.
A compromise bill enacts new congressional districts for Ohio and unites the state's two primaries. The House passed the bill 77-17, and later, the Senate signed off on the bill with a 27-6 vote.
Phillips, a Democrat, says only having one primary, which will be held March 6, will save taxpayers at least $15 million.
However, she takes issue with how the redistricting was handled.
"I think that the process has been deeply flawed," Phillips says. "I think the report that came out about the secret negotiations and work that went on in the bunker in a hotel room in Columbus where private business leaders and a key staff person for the speaker of the U.S. House, John Boehner, were involved in working on these maps while the public was closed out of that process raise very serious questions about the overall process. I think that there needs to be a full investigation of how we got to where we are."
State Rep. Andy Thompson (R-Marietta) says the new congressional map is about as good as it gets.
The bill would also create a task force to study reforms to the map-making process.
The map favors Republicans with 12 of Ohio's 16 U.S. House seats.
"In the interest of protecting the taxpayers, saving the $15 million, and trying to reduce the potential for chaos and confusion for the voters moving into an election year, we felt that it was important to come to some kind of compromise and move forward," said Phillips.