Former senator tasked with helping redistricting would change things on the next commission

Former senator Lyle Hillyard talks to host Jason Williams on KVNU's For the People program on Tuesday.

LOGAN — Former Utah Senator Lyle Hillyard is a current member of the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission.

The body was created by ballot initiative in 2018 with the intent to create an independent process for recommending maps to the legislative committee, which has now received those recommendations as of Monday.

On KVNU’s For the People program on Tuesday, Hillyard said this is his first time on this type of commission and there would be things he would change.

“First of all, I would change the makeup of the commission. I think all of us had some political background. I would do away with that even though I was very careful never to get any information where people live.

“I think that’s really important that our commission did not know where people live. I obviously know where four or five legislators live and I never said that, never shared that in the meeting,” he explained.

Hillyard said something else he would change is when the commission starts its work.

“The other thing I’d change is I would make sure we start two years early. So that our staff…and the commissioners had a chance to work the process. I would have a much better outreach program to determine community of interest. I say this…you have 104 legislators they probably know the state individually better than anyone. The argument is ‘well they’re all in self-interest’, maybe so, I don’t think a lot. But they stand up for election…we don’t.”

It is a process that is constitutionally mandated every 10 years with the U.S. Census.

The legislative committee who gets the final say will meet next week in a special session and then an official vote will happen. The governor will be involved and then it will be done.

You can check out the district maps recommended by the independent commission at UIRC.utah.gov.

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