After two weeks of no movement, legislative leaders are hopeful they’ll reach a compromise on Congressional redistricting soon. That hope is the reason they’re giving for extending the filing deadline until February 7th, as the General Assembly did last week. State Senator Damon Thayer says so far, the problem has been wildly different approaches to drawing new maps.
“The House wants to change the lines drastically and the Senate does not," Thayer said. "It’s the position of the Senate that we should keep the lines similar to what they’ve been the last 20 years.”
That’s because the Senate is controlled by Republicans, and the current lines give Republicans a 4-2 advantage in Congressional seats. The Democratic-controlled House wants to get the seats more even in representation by party. A 3-3 split would be considered fair, House Speaker Greg Stumbo has said.
Stumbo says he’s submitted a few new maps for the Senate to consider. But so far, each map gets a cold reception in that chamber. He says he’s heard the Senate has finally drafted a counter-proposal, and he hopes to see that map soon. If the two sides can’t agree in time for the February 7th deadline, it’s likely that Congressional redistricting will have to wait.