Tennessee Senate Leader Forms Redistricting Committee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Senate’s leader has picked five Republicans and two Democrats to sit on a committee diving into the once-a-decade task of drawing new congressional and state legislative districts.

Republican Lt. Gov. Randy McNally’s announcement comes on the heels of the first redistricting hearing for the state House’s corresponding committee earlier this month.

Republican Majority Leader Jack Johnson of Franklin will be the Senate committee chairman. The two Democrats on the panel will be Raumesh Akbari of Memphis, the Senate Democratic Caucus chairwoman and one of two redistricting committee vice chairpeople; and Senate Minority Leader Jeff Yarbro of Nashville.

Like the House, the Senate announced public input options and the ability for people to submit their own redistricting map proposals. The map proposals drawn up by lawmakers will considered in the 2022 legislative session that begins in January.

Lawmakers will rely on new U.S. Census Bureau data, which shows Tennessee grew by 8.9% — exceeding the 7.4% national rate — and increased to 6.9 million residents in 2020 compared to 6.3 million reported in 2010.

Tennessee won’t gain or lose any congressional districts. The House delegation currently includes seven Republicans and two Democrats, whose districts center on Nashville and Memphis.