TRENTON – New Jersey public officials are currently in the midst of re-drawing the lines of the state’s 40 legislative districts.
The process must be undertaken at the beginning of each decade to account for population changes that occur during the previous decade within the geographic boundaries of the state to make sure that all residents receive equal democratic representation.
Because of a shift in population that saw the population of New Jersey’s northern counties shrink as its southern ones grew, the change in the legislative map is likely to be significant. Republicans believe the population changes will help them gain seats in the state Legislature.
“Of the 15 current legislative districts that are most under-populated, 12 are represented by Democrat Senators with significant concentrations in Essex and Hudson counties,” said Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (Union County). This isn’t particularly good news if you are a Democratic incumbent from northeast New Jersey.”
Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex County), co-chairman of the New Jersey Reapportionment Commission, on invited residents to visit the commission’s new website and attend two upcoming public hearings to make their opinions known.
“This is a once-a-decade process that is of vital importance to the future of our state,” said Wisniewski. “This process will help determine the direction of public policy in New Jersey for the next 10 years. It’s crucial that everybody have their voices heard and help ensure we get a legislative map that is fair to every New Jerseyan and enables a Legislature that actually looks like our state.”
This upcoming public hearings are slated for:
- 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, in the 14th Floor Conference Center at the Essex County Leroy Smith Public Safety Building at 60 W. Market St. in Newark.
- 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13, in the Scott Ring Room, 2nd Floor, Culinary Conference Center, 161 Newkirk St. at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City.
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