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The New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission meets virtually on September 1, 2021. (Image: NJ Globe).

Wallace says congressional redistricting commission will exceed required number of public hearings

By David Wildstein, September 01 2021 11:31 am

Former Supreme Court Justice John E. Wallace, Jr. says that he expects the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission to hold more than three public hearings to get input on the redrawing of the state’s 12 House districts.

“This Commission will have at least three public hearings in different parts of the state,” said Wallace, elected by the Supreme Court as the tiebreaker on the panel.  “Although we are required to have three public hearings, I expect that we will have many more.”

The commission held their first public meeting on Wednesday, unanimously approving by-laws and appointed the non-partisan New Jersey Office of Legislative Services as secretary of the panel.

Wallace said that the schedule, in advance of preparing a new map before the January 18, 2022 deadline, will be released later.

“I understand that the chairs will be discussing scheduling and that the Commission will provide the public with a schedule of hearings in new course,” Wallace stated. “It is my intention to receive public testimony at some of our meetings. We welcome public input and will have certain guidelines in terms of testimony that will be in place at the time of the public hearings.”

Wallace announced that “members of the public are welcome to submit written testimony and other maps of various kinds.”

Democrats announced that Sarah E. Jones, a former district director for Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) and the director of government affairs for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, will serve as their executive director of the commission.   Republicans had previously named Harrison Neely, the top political advisor to Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr., as their top staffer.

All twelve members of the commission: Michele Albano, Jeanne Ashmore, Iris Delgado, Mark Duffy, Janice Fuller, Vin Gopal, Stephanie Lagos, Mark LoGrippo, Jeffrey Nash, Lynda Pagliughi, Dana Redd, and Doug Steinhardt.

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