First Special Session of 2022: Talk of Redistricting at State Capitol

state capitol
Posted at 10:29 PM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-31 23:29:00-05

Lawmakers will begin the process of redrawing the state's political lines Tuesday — to better reflect population changes from the 2020 Census.

This comes after months of talk — including redistricting roadshows across the state. The work will soon begin at the State Capitol to redraw these district lines.

The special redistricting session gets underway in Baton Rouge Tuesday at 5 pm. Lawmakers have until Sunday, February 20 to finalize plans and give the public enough time to weigh in — but some already have concerns.

"Well let's see if we can actually see the maps and let's see what some of the proposals are and see if there are counter-proposals and if we could get that information, that'd be really helpful," said Steven Procopio, president of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR).

On the eve of the special session, Procopio called for more transparency. The first proposed maps were filed late Monday night.

"The other thing would be the schedule — what's this going to look like and what's the timeline? There are some draft schedules floating around, but as these maps are starting to circulate, what's this really going to look like and how quickly are they going to wrap this up?"

State Senator of District 24 Gerald Boudreaux told KATC once maps are published, the public will have an opportunity to comment.

"This week once we get into session on the Senate side, the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee will begin having hearings," Sen. Boudreaux said. "And then those maps will be presented and become public documents so we can see exactly what they'll be proposing with these."

The big issues — shifting congressional districts to reflect a population shift from north Louisiana to south-central — and a possible second majority-minority district.

"While you want to encourage additional minority participation and get representation that reflects the state, you also have to deal with some mathematical realities and some geography," Procopio said. "Because not everyone all lives next to each other and so it can be very difficult to draw these maps."

It's not just congressional lines, either.

Lawmakers will consider redistricting for the state legislature, Supreme Court, and BESE districts.

KATC will keep you up to date with further information on this special session.

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