Senator Robert Hedlund cosponsored an amendment today during the redistricting debate that would have reunited the coast from Quincy to Provincetown into one Congressional district.
Hedlund (R-Weymouth), who represent Hingham, argued that the map proposed by the Joint Committee on Redistricting is predicated on the interests of incumbent Congressmen rather than communities of interest and geographic considerations.
“The map that has been proposed makes several changes that simply do not make sense for the entire state, let alone our region,” Hedlund said in a written statement. “This proposal pays lip service to protecting communities’ interests and seeks only to protect incumbents interests.”
Senator Hedlund’s plan would have made another important statewide improvement to the original plan by limiting the division of municipalities between congressional districts. Under the original plan ten towns and eight precincts are divided between two Congressional districts, while under Senator Hedlund’s plan only five municipalities and zero precincts were divided between two districts.
The amendment received bipartisan support but ultimately failed with most members voting with leadership.
Earlier this year, Senator Hedlund offered a proposal to establish an independent commission that would have been charged with the decennial redrawing of legislative and congressional boundaries and take legislators out of the redistricting process.
The proposal, backed by Common Cause of Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick, and others, also failed.
After limited debate, the Senate ultimately passed the original Democrat leadership redistricting plan put forth by the Joint Committee on Redistricting. Senator Hedlund, citing major opposition to splitting up the coast and communities of interest across the state, voted against the plan.
“If you look at the map offered by the redistricting committee, much of the South Shore and Metropolitan Boston appears to be gerrymandered,” Hedlund said. “This serves as another example of why we need an independent redistricting commission.”