Press Release – BETTER UTAH DISMAYED BY UTAH SENATE REJECTION OF REDISTRICTING STANDARDS

Salt Lake City, UT – This morning, the Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee voted along party lines to reject HJR 1: Joint Rules Resolution on Redistricting Standards.

The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Merrill Nelson (R – Grantsville), would have adopted fair and reasonable standards to guide the Utah Legislature during the next redistricting process in 2021. In addition to allowing for constitutionally permitted deviations in populations between districts, the resolution would have guided the Legislature to create district boundaries that are compact and contiguous, follow city and county lines, and combine together similar business interests.

Chase Thomas, Better Utah’s policy and advocacy counsel, issued the following statement:

“After soaring through the State House without one dissenting vote, today, Senate GOP lawmakers blocked the first step to ensure fair and equal representation on Capitol Hill. By voting against HJR 1, Senate Republicans are making the statement they care more about picking their voters rather than voters electing their representatives.

“The extreme politics of the right and left on the national stage are a direct result of gerrymandering tactics that Senate Republicans endorsed today. We hope and challenge the Utah Legislature to adopt fair and proportional redistricting standards that will protect all Utahns’ right to be heard and represented in the people’s government in this and future Legislative Sessions.”

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