The Latest: North Carolina Senate approves replacement map
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the North Carolina legislature debating new House and Senate maps (all times local):
The North Carolina state Senate has agreed to a new map of nearly half of its electoral districts to comply with a state court order that declared current boundaries partisan gerrymanders.
The Senate voted 38-9 on Monday night in favor of the new district lines, which were fashioned in committee last week. The plan now goes to the House, which already approved a replacement map of dozens of that chamber’s districts.
The maps will be enacted once each is approved by both chambers. A three-judge panel has ordered legislators to approve them by Wednesday, after which the judges will review the work.
The Senate proposal reworks districts in seven counties or multicounty groupings, including those in and around Raleigh and Charlotte. Monday’s Senate vote for approval was bipartisan, even as some Democrats complained about the process.
Speakers at a public hearing about the latest court-mandated redistricting in North Carolina told legislators the redrawing process is improved but are split on whether replacement maps are any better.
The House and Senate redistricting committees met on Monday and took comments from over 50 citizens and representatives of interest groups from different political stripes.
General Assembly members face a Wednesday deadline to enact new maps. State judges earlier this month declared 2017 boundaries illegally tainted by partisan motivations that favored Republicans.
The judges said no political data or election results could be used in drawing new plans. Some speakers like Renee Sekel of Cary said lawmakers are still violating the spirit of the judges’ directive because they’ve been tweaking lines to protect current incumbents for the 2020 elections.