04/01/19 -- HB 973 -- Enacts transparency provisions relating to the state demographer
HB 973, introduced by Representative Curtis Trent (Republican - District 133) requires the State Demographer to establish a "redistricting public comment portal" to accept comments, maps, and other communications from the public. It also requires that any submissions to the portal that were financed by a third party must disclose that information.
This is a transparency bill designed to make sure that if 3rd party organizations, individuals, or entities submit maps or information to the State Demographer for consideration that becomes accessible public record. This helps make sure that the Demographer remains unbiased and that an open discussion can be had regarding feedback and suggestions in relation to redistricting. While I was not a fan of Amendment 1 that created the Demographer position in the first place, this is a good bill that will improve the implementation of the new redistricting process.