BATON ROUGE, L.a. — The redistricting session is now underway in Baton Rouge and over the next few weeks, lawmakers will re-draw the state's political maps to better reflect population changes in the 2020 Census.
Tuesday's opening of the redistricting session was largely ceremonial. Lawmakers are now getting to work to fine-tune the maps that will define political boundaries for the next decade.
"We'll only be in session for just over three weeks, hopefully, we'll get our work done in less time than what is necessary and allow them to call for the special session," said District 104's state representative Paul Hollis. "But really, we're just redrawing the district lines from house seats all the way up to congressional seats and everything in between."
The special session was gaveled in just hours after the first proposed maps were posted online. We asked state senator Sharon Hewitt why they weren't published sooner.
"The bills were posted as quickly as we could do them," Sen. Hewitt of District 1 said. "The proofreading of those bills by our staff is very tedious because you're not proofreading paragraphs, you're proofreading long lists of precinct numbers and so they want to make sure there aren't any mistakes because of course that would be devastating."
Among the proposals — a second majority-minority district. District 24's senator Gerald Boudreaux said statistics show this is long overdue.
"The African American population in the state has increased I think we have to recognize that and without a doubt, without hesitation, I'm a proponent of looking at what's fair and what's equitable," Sen. Boudreaux said. "And to have one congressional member representing the minority community at this time does not when you look at the numbers, equate to a fair, reasonable, or a balance of what we think the state needs to look like."
Lawmakers told KATC the debate on where to re-draw these lines really takes place starting tomorrow with Senate Bill 1. They said that's when they'll begin looking at where Acadiana's districts fall with the population shift from the north of the state to south-central.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
To reach the newsroom or report a typo/correction, click HERE.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Evening News Headlines, Latest COVID-19 Headlines, Morning News Headlines, Special Offers