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As of April 14, the thorny question of reapportionment seems to have been partially clarified but since it passed the Senate by a bare majority, 13-12, it must come up again for consideration at the next legislative session, special or regular session. Should it pass again, it will then be submitted to the voters for ratification in time for the 1966 election.
The plan does not conform exactly to the blueprint laid down in the court memorandum which urged legislators to establish single member representation be based on population rather than geography.
According to the bill, the neighbor islands present membership will be reduced from 15 to 6. Oahu will absorb the remainder in five multimember districts and thus obtain a more than 2½ to 1 majority in the upper house. Meanwhile, each of the neighbor island counties will be constituted into single districts with Hawaii getting 3 members, Maui 2, and Kauai 1.
Senator Sakae Takahashi, chairman of the conference committee which drafted the bill, defended it before the court by asserting "there was nothing wrong with multi-member districts in either the House or Senate". He also pointed out that the Senate historically incorporated larger geographical districts than the House. This tradition would be broken on an Oahu divided into single-member senatorial districts.
|Top Home Newsletters||October 1965|