Utah Redistricting Commission
Utah needs to make their commission more than just advisory. They need to have authority to have their plan accepted unless challenged. The legislature could have final approval but should not be able to submit their own plan. By involving the legislative committee in rejecting the commission's plans and proposing their own plan, they have completely over ridden the intent of Proposition 4. The legislative committee should only be allowed to select from the commissions proposed maps and not submit one of their own.
Proposals for Utah congressional districts: #1 A northern and a southern district then divide the center area into two districts divided with a vertical line depending on the numbers. #1a Have one center district with as much of Salt Lake County as needed for one district and the rest of the state in the other district. #2 Much as it is now only put District 4 mostly or all in Salt Lake County as the numbers allow. #3 Like a pie dividing the state into four quarters. Two of the submitted plans followed #1a and #2 in that they had a north and a south district with two small area districts in the major population center. The third map was done as #3 with four districts each reaching into Salt Lake County but going to a state line thus including rural areas.
In following the 2021 process in Utah from a neighboring state, these are our observations. The commission came up with three plans that they submitted to the legislative committee. At this point it appears that they have adopted or proposed a plan that looks very much like their current plan with some adjustments to account for population shifts and rejected the commission's plans. The process has two levels. The independent commission is appointed in a bipartisan manner from the citizenry and had some very high profile members. Their assignment is to review and adjust the census data and recommend a plan, or plans, to the legislative committee which is made up of legislators appointed by the legislature and is selected with the same partisan formula as other legislative committees. This committee then reviews and makes a recommendation to the legislature much as any other legislative committee. Meeting in special session, the Utah legislature passed the legislative committee's map and the Governor has signed the bill.