Legislation intended to eliminate what the bill’s sponsor calls misrepresentation caused by the Census Bureau counting prisoners in state and federal facilities where they are confined rather than where they come from has been opposed by a number of lawmakers, as well as the Department of Corrections. HB 1496 would require the Secretary of State’s Office prepare re-districting population data to reflect incarcerated people at their residential address instead of the prison facility.
C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) represents the 100th District, which includes a portion of the Riverbend. He says in his hometown there are a number of inmates. After they move in, Davidsmeyer says the families will often move to town as well to be closer to their loved one.
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Department of Corrections officials say the records of the inmates’ addresses are not reliable, that they have no way of verifying what those addresses are, and they don’t have the funds to add investigators to go out and check on them. The bill failed to receive enough votes for passage this week, so it was pulled back by its sponsor in an attempt to garner support for another try.