Democrats and Republicans struck their first major redistricting deal on Tuesday, when a bipartisan panel released an agreement to redraw the state’s 151 House districts.
It is the first set of consensus legislative maps released by the commission. Lawmakers released two sets of congressional and Maine Senate maps last week, with Republicans and Democrats showing little sign of compromise even as a Sept. 27 deadline neared.
Maine must redraw legislative districts every 10 years based on new U.S. Census data, which were delayed this year due to pandemic-related collection challenges. Each House district is required to be within 5 percent of the median district population of 9,022. Many districts needed boundary adjustments to meet population requirements after Maine’s population growth over the past decade occurred mostly in Cumberland and York counties.
There were no major changes to the districts in Maine’s largest cities, with Portland still split between eight districts and Lewiston and Bangor split across four each. But Bradley would be moved into a low-population district now comprising Old Town and Indian Island. The Ellsworth-Trenton district was divided, with Ellsworth to be combined with lower-population Waltham and Trenton moving into a district with towns on the Blue Hill Peninsula.
The commission will hold a public hearing to receive feedback on the maps at 9 a.m. on Thursday. The meeting will be conducted remotely via Zoom.