North Carolina Senate Gives Initial OK To Remap
Updated 2:30 p.m., August 25, 2017
The North Carolina legislature has taken significant steps toward passing reworked boundaries for dozens of House and Senate districts in light of court rulings declaring that Republicans relied too heavily on race.
The GOP-controlled Senate gave tentative approval Friday to its redistricting of the chamber's seats. A final Senate vote is expected early next week. Separately the House redistricting committee voted for its remap. The full House plans to consider its boundaries Monday.
Republican senators turned back amendments by Democrats, who said their proposal would make the districts more politically competitive and cure racial gerrymandering found by the courts. The GOP maps were drawn based on criteria that directed racial data of voters not be used.
The maps must be given final General Assembly and sent to a panel of federal judges by next Friday.
North Carolina legislators have one week to get new General Assembly districts approved and sent to federal judges for review, so they're holding unusual Friday sessions to work before the Sept. 1 deadline.
The full Senate planned to hold Friday the first of two required votes on the boundaries for the chamber's seats, which already cleared the Senate's redistricting committee. The House redistricting panel also is meeting to debate and vote on the House remapping proposal.
Republicans in charge of the General Assembly directed the retooling of House and Senate maps after judges declared nearly 30 districts illegal racial gerrymanders. Election data show the proposals should help the GOP keep control of both chambers. Democrats say the proposals don't adequately address the racial makeup of the districts.