Redistricting hearings kick off
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – West Michigan had the most population growth in the last ten years, while the east side of the state saw the biggest regional population declines in the state. That's according to state demographer Ken Darga. He testified before a state House panel on redrawing Michigan's legislative and congressional districts.
Detroit is expected to lose a few seats in the Legislature after Michigan's political maps are redrawn. The city saw a 25 percent decline in population since 2000. State demographer Ken Darga says it's unclear right now how political clout will shift around the state.
"We'll have to see how the numbers and how the districts are drawn," says Darga. "It certainly does increase the political clout of areas that are growing, and decrease the political clout of areas that are declining in population."
The state's political maps need to be redrawn before this fall, but some Democrats fear Republicans will force the redistricting process through this spring. They say they hope the process is open and fair, and they say the only way to do that is to take time to draw the new lines.