By GRANT SCHULTE, Associated Press
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Lawmakers who’re drafting Nebraska’s new political boundaries agreed Thursday to current two units of legislative and congressional maps to the general public after hitting a significant deadlock and buying and selling accusations that the maps have been skewed to favor a particular political celebration.
Members of the Legislature’s Redistricting Committee failed to attain an settlement over anyone set of plans throughout a meeting simply forward of subsequent week’s particular legislative session. The committee has scheduled hearings subsequent week in Omaha, Lincoln and Grand Island the place members of the general public can testify.
One proposed map seems to assist Republicans by splitting northwestern Douglas County out of the 2nd Congressional District, which at present encompasses all of Douglas and a part of Sarpy County.
Another map backed by Democrats would hold Douglas County entire however transfer Democrat-friendly Bellevue, in Sarpy County, again into the 2nd District, the place it was situated prior to the Legislature’s 2011 redistricting. The Democratic plan would additionally take away suburban areas of the 2nd District that lean Republican.
Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden every received the Omaha-centric district as soon as, claiming certainly one of Nebraska’s three electoral votes within the presidential election. Nebraska is solidly Republican however certainly one of simply two states that’s ready to cut up its electoral votes. The 2nd District is at present represented by Republican U.S. Rep. Don Bacon however was held by Democrat Brad Ashford from 2015 to 2017.
The proposed GOP map would shift northwestern Douglas County into the extra rural and Republican 1st Congressional District. The new 2nd Congressional District would embody southern Douglas County, plus all of GOP-heavy Sarpy and Saunders counties.
The proposal’s sponsor, Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, argued that her map is smart as a result of its boundaries run alongside the “very recognizable border” of Interstate 680 and West Dodge Road. Everything north and west of these traces would transfer into the first District.
Linehan, a Republican and the committee’s chairwoman, stated Douglas County has been divided for years into totally different districts for legislative and different places of work, and he or she would not see why it could not be the identical for congressional districts.
Democrats known as the map gerrymandered and vowed to struggle it. Sen. Adam Morfeld, of Lincoln, blasted it as “fully partisan, fully political.”
Lawmakers additionally squabbled over proposed legislative maps. One plan backed by Democrats would cut back the variety of rural lawmakers by shifting Legislative District 44, in rural southwest Nebraska, to fast-growing suburban Omaha. The district, which has been shedding inhabitants, is represented by state Sen. Dan Hughes, a Republican.
A unique Republican-supported plan would hold the variety of rural senators the identical however tweak the maps in Omaha and Lincoln to shift a number of Democratic state lawmakers out of their very own districts.
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