Legislature back for redistricting UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Monday, April 4, 2011

Legislature back for redistricting UPDATE

Posted By on Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 1:37 PM

All eyes are first on the Senate this afternoon as the legislature reconvenes for purposes of attempting to complete action on a congressional redistricting plan.

The Democratic plan — Fayetteville to the 4th and the rest — can pass if 18 senators vote to pull it out of committee and then vote to approve it (though they'll have to wait until Thursday to do it). Democrats can lose up to three senators. Sounds to me like four are in play.

PS — Cassandra says Kim Hendren is bragging that his procedural move Friday to block a second reading of the redistricting bill is responsible for extending session. I don't know if that's true. I do know that if it's demonstrated Democrats have the votes and pass the same plan they wanted to pass Friday that all the extra costs of keeping the legislature open should be blamed on those supposed budget hawk Republicans.

UPDATE: Republican Johnny Key has a plan to help Republicans. It puts Garland County, Tea Party ground zero, in the 2nd district.

UPDATE II: The House adjourned until Thursday. That sounds like an expectation that the Democrats are sticking with the House plan and will eventually pass it when a sufficient waiting period has elapsed.

UPDATE III: As expected, no bill in Senate committee can muster five votes. Sen. Sue Madison ruled a voice vote failed to recommend the Democratic plan. Now to the floor. Will Sen. Larry Teague, a Democrat, vote with Republicans who backed him for Senate president or his own party? Will Sen. Gene Jeffress continue to press a plan best suited for his Democratic run for Congress in 2014? Will Sen. Jerry Taylor, who gerrymandered his own state Senate district, vote like the Republican he essentially is or back the party that allowed him to be a committee chairman? Will Sen. Stephanie Flowers act rationally? Is Sen. Mike Fletcher that spooked by the Garland County Tea Party? Will Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Ross try to weasel out of his long-standing tacit support for Fayetteville to the Fourth? Will Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Womack continue to push the party line and insist he gives a damn about where Fayetteville goes, though he really cares more about Sebastian, Boone and Pope? Will the whiners ever show the concern for the other 170,000 or more people who switch districts in Arkansas or continue to focus on the poor babies in Fayetteville?

UPDATE IV: Answers will have to wait until at least tomorrow. Senate adjourned until 10 a.m. Tuesday without taking further action. If there is a vote tomorrow to pull from committee, it will be a two-day wait before final action barring 24 senators suspending the rules. I guess they might do that in the face of the inevitable, but that would make too much sense.

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