DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Iowa Legislature will reconvene for a special session on October 5 to start their part of outlining new congressional and legislative districts to reflect Iowa's population changes from the 2020 census.
The Iowa Supreme Court also cleared the way for the Legislature to complete the redistricting process after the constitutional deadline has passed. Under the Iowa Constitution, legislators have to approve a plan by September 1 and for it to be enacted by Sept. 15. After that, the process falls to the Iowa Supreme Court.
Because of delays in census data brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers have not and will not meet those deadlines. The court issued a statement Tuesday allowing the redistricting process to be completed by December 1.
Iowa currently has 4 U.S. House districts, and the census data confirmed the state will retain those 4 seats and not lose or gain any. Redistricting occurs every 10 years after the national census has been finished. New boundaries will be drawn for the 4 U.S. House districts as well as the 50 Iowa Senate and 100 Iowa House districts based on that data. The goal is to make the districts as close to equal in terms of population size as possible, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency, which draws the maps.
Redistricting maps are set to be delivered to the Legislature on Thursday. State law then gives the Iowa Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission 14 days (which in this case would be until Sept. 30) to hold public hearings to gather public comment and prepare a report for the Legislature. Lawmakers then can meet in special session to vote on the maps 3 days after they receive the report, hence the Oct. 5 date.
The Iowa Supreme Court's full statement can be found here: