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Ohio Lawmaker Wants To Begin Talks Now On New Congressional Map

State Rep. Jack Cera was part of a group that came up with Ohio's new redistricting amendment.
Ohio House
State Rep. Jack Cera was part of a group that came up with Ohio's new redistricting amendment.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is seeking to delay an order to redraw Ohio’s congressional map. But if that effort fails, lawmakers could be in a time crunch.

The state legislature has been ordered to draw up a new map of Congressional districts for next year’s election by June 14, now that a panel of federal judges say the current map is unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

Yost requested a stay of the court decision, while he appeals the gerrymandering case to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a court filing, he pointed out the court-ordered deadline comes right in the middle of the state budget timeline.

Longtime state Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) was on the bipartisan working group that drafted an amendment to change the way Ohio draws Congressional districts, which voters approved last year. He said the budget is the top priority for lawmakers now because it needs to be completed by the end of June.

Cera says he’s worried lawmakers also have to draw that new map at the same time, so lawmakers should get started now.

“I think we should start discussing it, because if the court would not grant the stay and we have to move forward, that’s a little over a month to have something resolved," Cera said.

Cera said the first thing he voted on when appointed to the House in 2011 was the disputed congressional map, and he was one of 21 Democrats who voted for it, but says he now has reservations.

Under the court decision, if Ohio lawmakers fail to pass an acceptable new map, the judges will take control of the redistricting process themselves.