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Redistricting on hold as lawmakers take weekend off

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Written by Mike Hasten
mhasten@gannett.com

 

BATON ROUGE — Plans to wrap up the special session on redistricting early fell apart Thursday when a mix-up led to the House and Senate adjourning for the weekend.

But Speaker of the House Jim Tucker said “it’s not bad,” because it would give time to work out what he says is a serious problem with the Senate redistricting plan, SB1 by Senate President Joel Chaisson.

The House staff found precincts in Rapides Parish that were counted for population purposes in two senators’ districts when they’re actually in another senator’s district, he said.

Chaisson said he doesn’t think there’s a problem.

“I’m aware of the situation in Rapides,” he said. “Staff tells me it’s a permissible drawing of that senatorial district. It may give the impression that it’s not contiguous, but it is.”

The confusion began soon after the Senate convened at 11 a.m. — an hour after the posted time. Chaisson told the body that the House of Representatives had adjourned for the weekend, so the Senate should, too.

But in the House, Speaker Jim Tucker had not adjourned the House. Instead, it was in recess until 2 p.m. waiting for the bills that the Senate was supposed to debate so they could move through the legislative process and be introduced in the House.

One of the bills was a congressional redistricting plan by Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia, which failed by one vote earlier this week but was to be reconsidered. Several senators said complications with that bill probably would have delayed a vote, anyway, but they could have handled other measures on the schedule.

After hearing that the Senate adjourned until Monday, Tucker adjourned the House.

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Written by demon53

April 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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