House Republicans Offer Redistricting Counter-ProposalBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 14 Mar 2011 05:13pm |
The Mississippi house is expected to vote on a Republican drawn redistricting map this week. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that the new map was unveiled yesterday.
Republican house members spent the weekend tweaking and changing the house approved redistricting map.
Representatives Phillip Gunn of Clinton and Mark Baker of Brandon revealed the new map and held a meeting with leading house democrats Monday afternoon.
Representative Baker says they used the approved map as a starting point and then made changes from there.
"This is not a map and does violence to the majority-minority districts in the state. This is not a map that does violence to any particular group. What it is is a map that recognizes the changes in population and recognizes that some changes in the map needed to be made and this is what that does," Baker said.
The Republican plan has fewer majority minority districts, 42 compared to 44 in the competing plan.
But Representative Gunn says their districts make it easier for a minority to be elected.
"It actually has 42 majority-minority districts which give a legitimate chance for a minority to win those seats. Now under their plan they have 44, but 7 of those are watered down so to speak. The majority is in the low 50's," Gunn said.
Last week, a Senate committee killed the house approved map.
The Senate redistricting plan is working its way back to the house for debate which is when Republicans will have a chance for a vote on their counter proposal.
House Redistricting chairman Tommy Reynolds of Charleston says he needs to examine the map more closely but remains suspicious of the Republican drawn lines.
"The bible says 'by their fruits you shall know them'. Just look at the plans and see who does the most harm to the other side. We don't try to harm anyone we try to help everyone. And that is what we need to do," Reynolds said.
The House is expected to debate the Senate's redistricting plan this week and will likely add their own map as an amendment and send both back to the Senate.
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