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Proposed redistricting map puts Braley, Loebsack in same district

The proposed Iowa congressional district map released Thursday by the Legislative Services Agency.
The proposed Iowa congressional district map released Thursday by the Legislative Services Agency.
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UPDATE: Democratic congressmen Bruce Braley of Waterloo and David Loebsack of Mount Vernon were thrown together in a new 1st congressional district and Republican congressmen Steve King of Kiron and Tom Latham of Ames were thrown together in a new 4th congressional district in a new reapportionment map issued today.

Braley, currently Iowa’s 1st District representative, and Loebsack, who represents the state’s 2nd congressional district both reside in a newly revised district in northeast and east-central Iowa that was part of the first reapportionment plan (www.legis.iowa.gov) drafted by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency based on 2010 U.S. census data.

King, currently Iowa’s 5th District representative, and Latham, who represents the state’s 4th congressional district, both reside in a newly revised district in northwest and north-central Iowa.

REACTIONS TO REDISTRICTING PROPOSAL:

U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Des Moines, is part of a revamped 3rd District that stretches from Des Moines to the Missouri River in the state’s southwestern quadrant. A new 2nd district from the Missouri border along the Mississippi River up to Clinton and west to Newton currently has no incumbent U.S. representative residing in the area.

“This map is a first draft and the first step in a process that will determine new Congressional districts,” Braley said in a statement. “We’ll all have to wait and see how the process plays out. I’m honored to represent northeast Iowa in Congress, and I’m focused on the very important work we have in front of us: monitoring the conflict in Libya and working on passing a responsible, long term budget to provide stability and certainty to American families and businesses.”

Slow population growth over the past decade resulted in Iowa losing one of its current congressional districts, shrinking the number from five to four for the 2012 election.

Also released this morning were new districts for the Iowa House and Iowa Senate redrawn by LSA drafters and attorneys. The new legislative district boundaries were expected to reflect population shifts from rural areas to urban centers and surrounding suburban communities. Iowa law provides that no legislative district should vary from the ideal population size by more than 1 percent.

A special five-member Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission will conduct public hearings next week in Council Bluffs, Bettendorf, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines to gather comments on the proposed new districts before making a recommendation to the split control Legislature and Republican Gov. Terry Branstad.

Either the House, which currently is controlled by Republicans 60-40, or the Senate, where Democrats hold a 26-24 majority, or Branstad can reject the initial LSA proposal.

The earliest that lawmakers expect to take action on the first plan would be April 14.

The legislative verdict is an up-or-down vote on the proposed reapportionment plan without amending it. If the first draft is rejected, LSA drafters must submit a second proposal for redrawing congressional and legislative districts within 21 days, and the process is repeated. The third proposal, if needed, can be changed if the Legislature and governor have not reached an agreement by that point.

The Iowa Supreme Court would step in and redraw the districts if no agreement is reached on the third plan by Sept. 1 and passed into law by Sept. 15. In 1981, the Legislature approved the third redistricting plan. In 1991, the first plan was accepted. In 2001, the reapportionment process was completed on the second try.

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