Unlike 10 years ago, Massachusetts will not lose a congressional seat as a result of the U.S. Census.
Massachusetts grew by enough people over the past decade to keep all nine U.S. House seats as the state’s population climbed to more than 7 million, according to the State House News Service, but Secretary of State William Galvin said Monday that the process of redrawing congressional districts still will be challenging.
The U.S. Census Bureau released state population totals and congressional apportionment data on Monday, the news service reported, giving state officials an early glimpse of what might be in store this year as they wait for more specific, community-level counts later in the summer. The population totals govern not just how many seats in Congress a state has, but also how trillions of dollars in federal formula funding get allocated.
The news service reported that redistricting will be overseen by Assistant House Majority Leader Michael Moran and Senate President Pro Tempore William Brownsberger. The committee is planning a minimum of 10 hearings between now and August, including events in each of the nine districts, to solicit input, and additional hearings will be held after maps are released.
U.S. Census officials have said the precinct-level data will be given to states no later than Sept. 30, creating a time crunch for many states to take that data and draw maps before the end of the year.
In 2011, U.S. Rep. William Keating, who represents the Cape and Islands, moved his full-time residence from Quincy to Bourne to run for the newly redrawn 9th Congressional District.