(Editor's note: The following information was submitted by the office of state Rep. Paul Adams, R-Andover.)
Beacon Hill Democrats overwhelmingly rejected on Wednesday a proposal that would create an independent commission charged with redrawing federal and state legislative districts for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The vote was 123-31.
The impartial seven-member commission supported by State Representative Paul Adams and his Republican colleagues would consist of: (i) a dean or professor of law, political science or government from a Massachusetts institution of higher learning appointed by the Governor; (ii) a retired justice appointed by the Attorney General; (iii) an expert in civil rights law appointed by the Secretary of State; and (iv) four legislators selected by the three non-elected commission members from a list of nominees submitted by the House Speaker, House Minority Leader, Senate President and Senate Minority Leader, thereby ensuring bipartisan balance.
After the vote, State Representative Paul Adams commented, “Our proposal sought to create a fair and impartial commission to redraw boundaries, ensuring transparency in the process and an outcome that would better serve the citizens of the Commonwealth.”
“Collaborative redistricting has broad bipartisan support among citizens and government officials,” Adams said. “The Democrats' rejection of this approach to a once-in-a-decade event will be to the detriment of the people of Massachusetts in the years to come.” Adams continued, “While I am very disappointed that our proposal for impartiality was rejected by the Democrats, I will continue to seek greater transparency on Beacon Hill.”
The idea of an independent redistricting commission has been endorsed by the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Governor Patrick and former Governor Mitt Romney.