Rhode Island enacts new congressional districts

Rhode Island enacted new congressional districts on Feb. 16, 2022, when Gov. Dan McKee (D) signed redistricting legislation that the General Assembly had approved the day before. Rhode Island was apportioned two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, the same number it received after the 2010 census. This map will take effect for Rhode Island’s 2022 congressional elections.

The State House of Representatives passed the district boundaries 57-6, with 53 Democrats and four Republicans voting in favor and four Republicans and two Democrats voting against. The State Senate approved the new maps 29-9 with all ‘yes’ votes from Democrats and five Republicans and four Democrats voting ‘no.’

Representative Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung (R) praised House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi (D), saying the plan made minimal changes to congressional district boundaries even though Democrats had majorities in both chambers of the legislature: “I think a lesser person might have played some games and the fact that the bills came through as is says a lot about your leadership in Rhode Island, where we are used to games happening.” Senator Jessica de la Cruz (R) criticized the process, saying, “There was not ample time for the community to comment on them.”

As of Feb. 17, 34 states have adopted congressional district maps, and one state has approved congressional district boundaries that have not yet taken effect. Federal or state courts have blocked previously adopted maps in two states, and seven states have not yet adopted congressional redistricting plans after the 2020 census. Six states were apportioned one U.S. House district, so no congressional redistricting is required. As of Feb. 16, 2012, 39 states had enacted congressional redistricting plans.

States have completed congressional redistricting for 330 of the 435 seats (75.9%) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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