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Credit - Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Ohio lawmakers on Tuesday approved a bipartisan plan to curtail gerrymandering by changing how congressional district lines are drawn.

Why it matters: The proposed constitutional amendment will be placed before voters in May as a ballot initiative. If passed, it would change the current law that gives the state's Republican-controlled legislature the authority to draw and approve legislative maps. It would go into effect for the next redistricting process in 2021.

  • When the legislature draws new maps to align with updated U.S. Census figures, it would need three-fifths support from each chamber and at least one third from the minority party.
  • If lawmakers fail to approve the plan, the bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission would take over the process and create either a 10-year map with minority consent or a four-year map without.

What they're saying: Gov. John Kasich (R), who has been calling for reform, lauded the bipartisan compromise, as well as Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D), who represents Ohio's most infamously gerrymandered district, referred to as the "snake by the lake."

The backdrop: This comes as some lawmakers in other parts of the country are locked in major racially and politicly-charged gerrymandering court battles. The U.S. Supreme Court is also currently deciding whether Wisconsin Republicans created unconstitutionally gerrymandered legislative districts to benefit their candidates. A decision is expected by June.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
4 hours ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

4 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.