Baltimore could lose Senate seat, census data shows
"We still have a lot to consider," said House Majority Whip Talmadge Branch, an East Baltimore Democrat. "We are going to look at every possible angle before we concede."
Instead, political clout could shift to places like Frederick or southern Maryland which grew at a faster clip than the rest of the state.
The city contracted by about 30,000 from 2000 to 2010; and now has a population of about 621,000. On balance the state added residents, which will make Baltimore's loses stand out as lawmakers redraw legislative and congressional lines over the next year.
State law requires that Maryland's 47 senators each represent roughly the same number of people. Ten years ago the ideal senate district included 112,691. The new ideal size for each seat is 122,842 -- which would give Baltimore five seats.
The state prison population is about 23,000, with about 6 in 10 from Baltimore city. State planners are still trying to determine if they will receive address data for federal prisoners.
Lawmakers will need to readjust the state and congressional districts to reflect the shifts in population. The congressional map will need to be approved in a special legislative session, which is probably going to be scheduled in the fall. Gov. Martin O'Malley will offer new state senate and house lines on the first day of the 2012 session.
Ten years ago there were ten senators who represented at least some part of Baltimore; half were completely within the city boarders and the rest also represented Baltimore County.
The city lost 84,860 residents between 1990 and 2000 and former Gov. Parris Glendening, a Democrat, attempted to preserve the city's political clout by putting forward a map with eight senate seats: Three were in the city; four were mostly in the city; and one was mostly in Baltimore county with a small portion in the city.
The state's court of appeals objected -- ruling that the districts included too many boarder crossings. The court redrew the map in 2002 with six Baltimore senators. Their districts are completely contained to the city.