“There were definitely a number of public remarks that didn’t really give” the initial wage increase, Commissioner Stephen Lett told reporters after the meeting. “We took that into account and I think all the commissioners thought.”
Britney Kellom, a Democrat, was the only commissioner on the bipartisan commission to vote against the pay change. Members considered canceling wage increases at previous meetings, as they also continued to discuss when – and how – to disband until 10 years after the next U.S. census, new political maps need to be redrawn.
The commission has completed most of its work by the end of December, but there are two lawsuits challenging the legislative cards they created and the congressional cards that will be used for the first time in the fall election in Michigan.
As previously reported by Bridge Michigan, voter-approved amendment to the constitution, which created a commission for the reconstruction of districts under the leadership of citizens in 2018 clear expiration date not included for the panel.
Members considering the dissolution are awaiting a legal opinion from their lawyers by April 8. If the commission decides to dissolve, the commissioner’s payment will stop in 30 days, said Edward Woods III, director of communications and advocacy.
“No one is trying to stay here forever, and no one is trying to spend taxpayers’ money, but we are trying to be accountable to the constitution,” Woods said. “We want everything done. Make no mistake. But we want everything done right.”
Along with ongoing lawsuits, the commission must pay all outstanding bills before its work is complete, Woods said. Current budget funding from the Michigan Legislature “may” last until April, CEO Sue Hammersmith told reporters.
But the panel is preparing to ask for additional appropriations, Hammersmith added, noting that the commission could face a “shortage” due to lengthy litigation and “card protection” lawyers in court.
The process of creating a commission map was the first for Michigan, where lawmakers have long outlined their political boundaries, which led to what a federal judge in 2019 called Herrimanding. “historical dimensions».