2021 Special Session Legislative Update

November 1, 2021

Redistricting Update

The Iowa legislature returned to the Capitol on October 28th to consider the proposed redistricting maps drafted by the Legislative Services Agency after rejecting the first proposed plan on October 5th. The Senate voted 32-18 to reject the proposed maps, with Republicans unanimously opposing and Democrats unanimously supporting the maps.

On October 28th, the legislature voted to approve the second proposed plan. Both House and Senate State Government Committees passed the bill out of committee with little discussion. The Senate voted 48-1, and the House voted 93-2 to support the maps.

"After review of the second redistricting plan, I believe it corrects the failures of Plan One to redistrict the state in a compact manner with minimal differences in population," Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, said in a statement. "Despite years of fear-mongering about gerrymandering and claims the first map could not be improved, the Iowa Senate followed the process outlined in Iowa Code, and a more compact map with better population differences has been approved."

Several incumbent state senators and representatives are drawn together in the new plan, creating many open seats that will be filled next November. The newly drawn 3rd Congressional District now includes incumbent Congresswoman Cindy Axne (D – West Des Moines) and current 2nd Congressional District Congresswoman Marianette Miller-Meeks (R – Ottumwa). A summary of the impacted legislators can be found here.

 The bill will now go to Governor Reynolds to sign into law.

“Today’s decision by the Iowa Legislature to approve the second draft of the legislative and congressional redistricting maps is very encouraging," Reynolds said in a statement. "I am confident in how the process played out — just as the law intended, and I believe these new districts will fairly and accurately represent the citizens of Iowa for the next decade.”