Oklahoma Senate Democrats comment on passage of Senate Redistricting Bill

Staff Report 
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Legislature has settled on Legislative district lines for the 2022 elections in both the House and Senate, subject to review after finalized U.S. Census data is released later this year. 

Senate Democratic Leader Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, released the following statement after the Senate passed Senate Bill 1066, the Senate’s redistricting bill, in early May:

“Oklahoma Senate Democrats continue to believe the redrawing of legislative districts should be handled by an independent redistricting commission. Since this option is not currently possible, we chose to engage with the existing process led by the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting. Our caucus had three members on the committee, Sen. Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa, Sen. Julia Kirt, D-Oklahoma City, and Sen. Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City, who served as a vice chair of the committee.

“While the new map produced by the committee and approved by the Senate today is not perfect, members of our caucus were able to vote for it because the redistricting process included input from our caucus and from the communities we represent. The redistricting bill passed by the Senate Tuesday also includes an amendment authored by Sen. Kirt, which will ensure the district lines are adjusted if necessary when final population data is received from the United States Census Bureau later this year.

“As the redistricting process moves forward, Oklahoma Senate Democrats will continue communicating with our constituents to make sure they are aware of the new districts and have an opportunity to make their voices heard.”

In related news, state Senator Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle, said in a recent release sent to The City Sentinel, CapitolBeatOK.com and other news organizations, “At the outset, we pledged to have an open and transparent redistricting process and we delivered. At every turn, we engaged with the public and sought their input in the redistricting process as part of our commitment to transparency. The results were maps that are more compact and better than the current legislative boundaries.” (https://capitolbeatok.worldsecuresystems.com/reports/house-senate-redistricting-chairs-comment-on-final-passage-of-legislative-redistricting-plans)

Note: Every 10 years, the Oklahoma Legislature is constitutionally required to redraw legislative and congressional district boundaries using the latest U.S. Census data. The requirement is stated in the U.S. Constitution, at Article I, section 2, clause 3. Pat McGuigan, editor of The City Sentinel newspaper and founder of CapitolBeatOK.com, an online news service, contributed to this report.