Gov. Martin O’Malley quietly released his legislative redistricting map Wednesday afternoon, the deadline for its introduction as a joint resolution in the Maryland General Assembly.
The new map made a number of changes to the legislative lines proposed to his advisory committee in December, after the governor and his committee heard three hours of testimony and reaction to the map at a public hearing before Christmas.
O’Malley responded to community concerns about splits of unincorporated areas, particularly in Prince George’s County. The governor’s plan reunites a Seabrook precinct in District 22, puts more of the Lake Arbor community together in District 24, rejoins more of Woodmore in District 23, and brings together more of Hillcrest Heights in District 26.
O’Malley also put most of Severna Park back together in District 33 in Anne Arundel County, a move that pleased Republican legislators there. “I think it’s very good news for my delegates,” Sen. Ed Reilly said.
“I believe the community of Severna Park will be united in one district,” said Del. Cathy Vitale, who had asked the governor to do just that. Del. Tony McConkey called it “a victory.” He, Vitale and Del. Ron George, who was moved out of a district dominated by Annapolis, would now run in a three-member district, unlike Republican delegates in Baltimore and Carroll counties who would be forced to run against each other.
The advisory committee plan had split unincorporated Severna Park into a two-member and a single-member district.
The governor’s official map also made substantial changes in the Baltimore area, partly at the request of local legislators. In Baltimore County it made Districts 7, 10 and 42 more compact, and made changes in Baltimore City to increase the neighborhoods that remain in their current district in Districts 41 and 44A.
Many legislators had not had a chance to examine the new districts Wednesday afternoon.
An interactive map of the new districts is available here. Clicking on a district will show statistical information about its racial makeup.
Unless a majority of both houses agree to revise O’Malley’s map, it automatically goes into effect in 45 days.