Storm Cleanup, Redistricting Continue

By Sarah Birnbaum

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Oct. 31, 2011

BOSTON — This week in Massachusetts politics, storm cleanup continues and the redistricting process moves forward. 

Crews will be working Monday to help clean up after this weekend’s storm. The nor’easter dumped more than two feet of snow in Western Massachusetts, and brought down trees and power lines. Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency on Saturday, and says it could be several days before power is completely restored to the region.

On Beacon Hill, the redistricting committee is drawing up new political boundaries. They have the potentially messy task of shrinking the number of Congressional districts in Massachusetts from ten to nine. But their job was made a whole lot easier last week, when U.S. Rep. John Olver of Amherst announced he plans to retire, so the committee won’t have to force two Democratic incumbents to square off. The committee could unveil the new map as early as this week.

Meanwhile, the Legislature is set to vote tomorrow on new House and Senate districts. The new maps are designed in part to increase the political clout of blacks, Latinos and Asian Americans. The changes reflect the demographic changes in the state during the last decade.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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