Ohio’s top legislative leaders are being sued for not being transparent with the public in matters related to the state’s new voter-approved process for drawing new maps for Congress and the state House and Senate.
Freda Levenson with the ACLU of Ohio says House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and two top legislative leaders are not responding to repeated requests for documents involving Ohio’s new redistricting process.
She says the constitutional amendment that created the new map-drawing process requires transparency. But she says this inaction is reminiscent of the last map drawing, where top leaders spent much of it, behind closed doors, at a Columbus hotel.
“It seems like we are having the bunker all over again. We needed to go to court to compel these records and this just does not bode well for a transparent map-drawing process this time around,” Levenson says.
Levenson says she’s hoping the Ohio Supreme Court will order the release of the records.
The commission that will draw the House and Senate maps has to propose it and hold at least three public hearings by September 1. State lawmakers have to draw the Congressional map and hold at least two public hearings by September 30.
A budget provision to give Republican legislative leaders the power to hire a private attorney to intervene in the new process was vetoed by Gov. Mike DeWine.