Former local senator keeping busy helping with legislative redistricting

Former senator Lyle Hillyard talks to Jason Williams on KVNU's For the People

LOGAN — It’s a lengthy process that only happens every ten years and is now underway in Utah.

Under state law, Utah has formed a bipartisan committee to tackle legislative redistricting. On KVNU’s For the People program Thursday, former senator Lyle Hillyard talked about how he became involved with the redistricting process.

“President (Stuart) Adams of the Senate called me and said ‘I know you’re enjoying life without pressure, but we need help on this position’.  And he actually nominated me.

“The way the commission is set up, the Senate president nominates one (member); the Speaker (of the Utah House) nominates one; the minority leader in the Senate and the minority leader in the House each recommend one. Then…the governor does one or two, I think, and then the group picks another one,” he explained.

Hillyard said four of the committee’s members are really there by political appointment – two Republicans and two Democrats, and the others are neutral appointments. He added that the committee’s work is important and has a definite timeline.

“Normally the (Census population) figures are out by the end of April, so you have April through about October or November (to redraw political boundaries). You can even go over. But now we’re not even going to get the figures until the middle of August…hopefully.

“Then we have to be done by the first of November,” Hillyard added, “because the idea is …  to have the redistricting done and the bill passed before January 1st. Because on January 1st, people running for office need to know their districts so they can start gathering signatures.”

The former senator said he feels good about every one working on the committee. He thinks they all have a legitimate idea that they want to do what’s right for the state of Utah.

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