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Government & Politics

Officials Dispute Group's Suggestion That Redistricting Talks Might Violate Ohio's Open Meetings Law

Ohio Redistricting Commission meets for public hearing
Dan Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
A government watchdog group says the negotiations between members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission and others in the Statehouse could be in violation of the state's public meetings law.

While commission leaders have been circulating around the Ohio Statehouse, none of the negotiations have been public. This has good government groups suggesting commissioners might be breaking public meeting laws.

Commissioners are working toward an agreement for new 10-year Ohio House and Ohio Senate district maps. Staff says the leaders have been in and out of different meetings throughout the day.

But Catherine Turcer, with government watchdog group Common Cause Ohio, suggests that could be in violation of open meetings law and against the spirit of the redistricting reform passed in 2015.

"We don't know what they're doing but how are they not having discussions and conversations and making decisions out of the public eye," Turcer said.

She didn't offer any specifics of when meetings that violated the law might have happened.

Commission staff says leaders have not been in violation of Ohio's open meetings law. And Gov. Mike DeWine also said commission members are not violating the law.

The maps need the approval of two Democrats to last 10 years. Maps that pass without Democratic support would last four years.
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.