Redistricting maps start to stack up - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Redistricting maps start to stack up

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Members of the Legislature are still holding out hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will grant a stay in the redistricting debate, but in case that doesn't happen, several plan B's are starting to emerge.

Monday Senate Bill 199 was introduced. It would join the Eastern and Northern Panhandles, isolate Kanawha County and the central region of the state, and leave the southern 3rd Congressional District unchanged. Lead sponsor Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley, touted the "drive-ability" of the new districts for a potential candidate.

Senate Bill 223 was introduced Jan. 17. It's similar to the bill passed last year and signed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, but lead sponsor Sen. Donna Boley, R-Pleasants, said it's the "simple solution." This proposed plan would take 1,500 people from Lewis County and include them in the first district, then take 1,600 people from Braxton County and assign them to the third district.

Senate Bill 225 also was introduced Tuesday. Its lead sponsor, Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, would combine the Northern Panhandle with Kanawha County. Snyder told legislators his map splits Randolph County, which is "not acceptable," but it gives the idea of the shape he's going for with his districts.

All three bills have been referred to the Select Committee on Redistricting, which is not yet scheduled to meet.

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