Wyoming is only state so far to change number of state legislators after redistricting

Aerial View of a Sunrise over Downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming (Jacob Boomsma/ Shutterstock)

By The Center Square

(The Center Square) – Wyoming enacted new state legislative district boundaries on March 25 when Gov. Mark Gordon (R) allowed the maps to become law without signing them. The bill adds one Senate seat and two House of Representatives seats to the state legislature, meaning that after the 2022 elections, Wyoming will have 31 state senators and 62 state representatives. As of April 14, 44 states have completed legislative redistricting after the 2020 census, and Wyoming is the only one thus far to change its number of legislators.

West Virginia adopted a redistricting plan changing that state’s House of Delegates from 67 to 100 districts but kept the number of legislators at 100. It will go from having 47 single-member and 20 multi-member districts to 100 single-member districts.

Nationwide, there are currently 1,971 state senators and 5,411 state representatives. After the 2022 elections, there will be 1,972 state senators and 5,413 representatives.

In Wyoming, the state House and Senate passed two separate redistricting proposals and a joint conference committee developed the final boundaries. The state Senate passed the new maps, 17-12, with all votes in favor by Republicans and 10 Republicans and two Democrats voting against. The state House approved the maps by a 44-12 vote. Thirty-seven Republicans, six Democrats, and one Libertarian voted in favor, and 11 Republicans and one independent voted against.

When the proposal to increase the number of legislators was discussed in Wyoming’s Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Interim Committee, Sen. Tara Nethercott (R) said, “Historically, the Legislature has had even more legislators than this amount. This is not a new concept for us to consider, or particularly profound in that way. The purpose is to identify the greatest amount of concern that we heard and provide solutions, really maximizing solutions to concerns.”

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According to the National Conference of State Legislators, Wyoming changed the number of members of its state legislature five times between 1964 and 1992. During that period, the state House of Representatives had between 56 and 64 members and the state Senate had between 25 and 30 members.

After the 2010 census, New York increased its number of state Senators from 62 to 63.

After the 2000 census, New York increased the number of state senators by one, to 62. Two states – North Dakota and Rhode Island – reduced the number of state legislators in both chambers.

 

The Center Square is a 501(c)(3) non-profit focused on state- and local-level government and economic reporting.