Mississippi could rezone some legislative districts

By Ashley Conroy

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - As part of the 2010 Census count, state lawmakers will generate a series of public meetings over the next month to hear concerns about potential "rezoning" of a legislative or congressional district.

It's a team of state senate and house members called the Congressional Redistricting, Elections and Legislative Reapportionment Committee.

At the Capitol on Monday, the committee held a preliminary meeting to discuss their plan for getting as much input across the state from the public.

Committee Chairman, Senator Terry Burton (R)-Newton, says these meetings will address public concerns about rezoning a district.

"We could add districts here, move one from a slow growth area to a high growth area and vice versa," said Burton.

Burton said adding more state house or senate members won't happen because there is already a cap in place.

"Those numbers won't change, they're set in stone. That's the maximum we can have under the constitution, so that's where we're going to be," said Burton.

However, Burton said adding another congressman to Mississippi could happen if there is a major shift in population.

Burton adds that the likelihood of adding a fifth one is slim-to-none based on passed population changes.

"We will neither grow enough to get another one or lose enough, to lose one. So I think we will continue to have four congressman," said Burton.

Meantime, before the committee will have any further insight as to what changes will happen, if any, the Census count won't be finalized until after the first of the year.

"The Census Bureau is going to have that data to us, according to what they project now, around February 4th or 5th," said Rep. Tommy Reynolds, (D)-Charleston.

The committee is meeting in Gulfport August 26. Below is a complete list of meeting dates and locations.

  • Monday, August 16, 6 p.m., Clarksdale, the Pinnacle Building Coahoma Community College.
  • Tuesday, August 17, 6 p.m., Itta Bena, the Science and Technology Building Auditorium at Mississippi Valley State University.
  • Thursday, August 19, 6 p.m., Oxford, Fulton Chapel at the University of Mississippi.
  • Friday, August 20, 6 p.m., Fulton, W.L. Benjamin Fine Arts Building at Itawamba Community College.
  • Saturday, August 21, 10:30 a.m., Starkville, Colvard Union Ballroom at Mississippi State University and 3 p.m. in Columbus Parkinson Auditorium at Mississippi University for Women.
  • Monday, August 23, 6 p.m., Meridian, Emma McCain Fine Arts Building at Meridian Community College.
  • Wednesday, August 25, 6 p.m., Hattiesburg, Thad Cochran Center Ballroom 1, University of Southern Mississippi.
  • Thursday, August 26, 6 p.m., Gulfport, Jefferson Davis Fine Arts Auditorium at Gulf Coast Community College.
  • Monday, September 13, 6 p.m., Summit, Hurst Fine Arts Building at Southwest Mississippi Community College.
  • Tuesday, September 14, 6 p.m., Natchez, Graduate Business Programs Lecture Hall at Alcorn State University.
  • Wednesday, September 15, 6 p.m., Downtown Jackson, Courtroom 1, Hinds County Courthouse.

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