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State House Committee Approves Redistricting Maps

A Republican-led state House committee has approved a G-O-P plan for re-mapping the state’s congressional districts. The plan is poised for a House vote over the objections of Democrats and government watchdogs who say the plan is not fair and neutral.

The plan pits Democratic incumbents against each other, and strengthens the G-O-P base for some vulnerable Republicans. Democrats say that’s no accident. They are also complaining that voters dissatisfied with the plan can’t challenge it. It has a 30 thousand dollar appropriation – a technicality that would make it immune to a voter referendum on the law.

“This is partisan politics at its worst.”

State Representative Barb Byrum is the ranking Democrat on the redistricting committee.

“It’s sick. It’s absolutely sick.”

The Republican chair of the committee says the new congressional map follows the law and complies with court rulings. The Legislature is expected to approve all the maps for Congress and the Legislature by the end of the month, but it appears likely the redistricting controversies will ultimately be decided in court.