Several states have independent commissions that redraw legislative and congressional districts. Some have commissions for legislative redistricting only.
A few states have commissions that serve in advisory capacities, while in some states, independent commissions take over redistricting if the legislatures fail to enact plans by specified deadlines.
"My concern is, if we're going to have a commission, I want to make sure it's truly independent and not being beholden to those who appoint it," Unger said.
Redistricting -- which is required every 10 years to make districts conform with population changes reported by the U.S. Census -- was particularly contentious in 2011.
It prompted five lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of House and Senate redistricting plans. Those suits were dismissed by the state Supreme Court in November.
However, in a sixth lawsuit, a panel of federal district judges overturned the state's congressional redistricting plan in January as being unconstitutional.
Shortly after, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of that order, pending arguments before the high court.
Unger said Tuesday that if the study of an independent redistricting commission moves forward, legislation could be enacted in time for such a commission to redraw Congressional districts for the 2014 elections, if the Supreme Court ultimately upholds the district court ruling.
The resolution calls for the Joint Committee to report its findings and recommendations, along with any draft legislation, to the full Legislature during the 2013 regular session.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.