Update: Prince George’s County Council Redistricting Plan Amendment Postponed Indefinitely
In case you missed it. On July 5th, the Prince George's County Council voted to postpone indefinitely their bill to amend the legislative process for the County's decennial redistricting plan. Among other issues, the bill specified that the Council is mandated to enact a law to change the Redistricting Commission's plan.
Vote to postpone CB-050-2022. Credit Prince Geroge's County Council
CLPA posted an analysis of this bill in June. CB-050-2022 was a response to that decision by the Maryland Court of Appeals which upheld a lower court decision to strike down the Council's map and reinstate the district map recommended by the Redistricting Commission. This bill was a response to that decision by the court.
CB-050-2022 would have made the following revisions:
The bill would have revised the language regarding the redistricting procedure in the County Charter that states, "such law shall be adopted by resolution of the County Council upon notice and public hearing." CB-050-2022 would have made it clear that if the Council did not enact a law via the legislative process changing the Redistricting Commission's plan, then the plan, as submitted, would become law.
The law shall become effective upon enactment or adoption.
The County Executive cannot veto any law enacted by the Council changing the Redistricting Commission's plan.
The new law can't be considered"emergency legislation."
This bill had a contentious process leading up to its tabling compared to other bills considered by the Council. During the Committee of the Whole meeting on May 31st, there was much debate about the law not being subject to an executive veto. Council Member Turner, the primary sponsor of CB-050-2022, noted that Anne Arundel County and Baltimore County have no executive veto provisions in their Charters, but that did not appease many members. It was also stated that even with the lack of executive veto power, there is a remedy under the Maryland Constitution. A substitute motion to remove the language to nullify the county executive's veto power was made; however, it failed 5-5
Motion: Remove the language to nullify executive veto.
Result: Fail (5-5)
After the failure of the substitute motion, the Committee of the Whole voted to report CB-050-2022 out of the Committee favorably with amendments from Councilmember Glaros, which made grammatical corrections and added gender-neutral language. The vote result was 6-4.
Motion: Council Bill be favorably recommended with amendments to the County Council
Result: Pass (6-4)
After CB-050-2022 was introduced to the Council during the next Council meeting in June, the bill sat as "introduced" until the July 7th meeting. During the July meeting, instead of a vote to enact CB-050-2022, Council Member Turner motioned for the bill to be postponed indefinitely. The Council voted unanimously to table this bill.
Motion: To postpone the bill indefinitely.
Result: Pass (11-0)
During the Council Meeting, there was no reason given as to why CB-050-2022 was being tabled. However, Council Member Turner noted during the vote that the Council would have to address the redistricting issue and clarify what can be done in the future due to the Maryland Court of Appeal's ruling. As of the posting of this blog, there have been no plans announced to revisit this issue in the Council. If you have concerns or need more information about redistricting or CB-050-2022, please contact the office of Council Chair Calvin Hawkins at (301) 952-2195 or email him at At-LargeMemberHawkins@co.pg.md.us.