COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio’s new congressional map has been criticized for favoring Republicans, but lawmakers from both sides of the aisle recognize the map shows another big problem.
Instead of 16 congressional districts, Ohio only drew 15 this year.
The U.S. Census showed Ohio’s population falling behind the rest of the country.
It’s a trend that’s been going on for decades, and both Democrats and Republicans say something needs to be done.
The problem is they can’t decide what.
Republicans say giving Ohioans incentives to stay in the state, like good-paying jobs, is the way to turn the tide.
Democrats point to some of the more extreme bills passing through the legislature as a reason people are fleeing.
“The brand is out there now, they call us the Mississippi of the north in terms of where we are politically, and results are really clear people are moving away from our state,” said state Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson).
“Democrats will say, ‘Oh, it’s these scary Republican policies that are the reason for this,’” said state Sen. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg). “Well, that’s not true and it’s not true because Texas and Florida are two of the states that are gaining members of Congress.”
Gov. Mike DeWine signed the controversial Congressional maps over the weekend. Fair map advocates warn a lawsuit is most likely coming.