Colleen Rasa reports:
A hefty initiative on Ohio voters’ ballots this November – Issue 2 – will cost Ohio $11 million to $15.2 million, the Office of Budget and Management reports.
If Issue 2 passes, OBM states, “Those redistricting costs are expected to be somewhat lower than the start-up and redistricting costs from November 2012 through October 2014, although some of the savings from having a longer timeline will be offset by inflation in the intervening years.”
The estimated costs of Issue 2 would mainly come from the first two years of implementation and from creating a new redistricting commission, OMB says.
What is Issue 2?
It pulls the current redistricting process out of the hands of Ohio’s governor, state auditor, secretary of state and two legislative appointees, and awards that role to a new independent redistricting commission.
This commission would be composed of 12 members – four each chosen by the majority party (currently Republicans), the second largest political party (Democrats), and an independent party.
The cost analysis was requested by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and completed by OBM.
OBM broke down the cost into these categories: staff and member selection training, salary for staff, consulting services, litigation, travel & public outreach, equipment and office space, and post-redistricting phase-staff & litigation.
OBM said its fiscal analysis also took into account Ohio’s 2005 fiscal reports from a similar piece of legislation – Issue 4 – plus costs of the current Ohio redistricting process, and costs reported by two states (California and Arizona) that already use a redistricting process similar to what Issue 2 proposes.
The next redistricting will take place after the 2020 Census.