Ga. state Senate map debate focuses on voting rights
ATLANTA - Democrats and liberal-leaning groups are attacking a Republican plan to redraw districts for the Georgia state Senate.
They said at a hearing Thursday that it violates the federal Voting Rights Act by unnecessarily dividing minority populations.
The state Senate’s Republican majority is moving toward voting their preferred map out of committee as early as Friday.
Challenging the plan as racially discriminatory is one of the only avenues open for people who dislike the proposed map.
Outside groups say it would likely produce a 33-23 Republican majority.
That’s down from the current 34-22 Republican majority.
Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Macon defends the maps, saying they are not racially biased.
Georgia lawmakers on Wednesday began a special session to redraw congressional, state Senate and state House districts.
The General Assembly needs to adjust district boundaries at least once every decade to equalize their populations after the U.S. census.
Also on the agenda for the special session is consideration of amendments to the state code based on recently passed changes to federal tax laws.
The General Assembly also needs to consider any local laws that legislators deem necessary to avoid unreasonable hardship of undue impairment of public functions.
Lawmakers are also set to ratify the provisions of several executive orders suspending the collection of fuel taxes. The measures were meant to ensure continued flow of fuel to the state.
The Senate will also need to confirm Gov. Brian Kemp’s appointments of people to various positions since the regular session adjourned.
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