Archive for Thursday, January 16, 1992

REDISTRICTING BATTLE PUTS COUNTY IN JEOPARDY OF BEING CHOPPED UP

January 16, 1992

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— A Lawrence legislator said Wednesday that she thinks she's successfully prevented Douglas County from being split up into parts of seven Kansas House districts.

Rep. Betty Jo Charlton, D-Lawrence, who is a member of the House Reapportionment Committee, said members of the committee still have not agreed on a map to reapportion all of the 125 House districts, using the 1990 census figures.

However an earlier version of the map drafted by a subcommittee during the interim, which carved Douglas County's current 3 districts into parts of seven districts, won't be used because of her objections, Charlton said.

"I was saying, `Let's have only four. And let's have three whole districts and most of a fourth in Douglas,'" she said. "Because of asking for that, it's going to cut down the number of districts in which Douglas County is chopped."

CHARLTON SAID she thinks a compromise will be reached to split Douglas County into parts of five districts.

However, Charlton said the map is far from finished lawmakers still are battling over district lines in the Wichita area. She said the reapportionment committee is expected to meet soon, when maps will be unveiled of the redrawn districts.

The ideal Kansas House district would have a population of 19,563. A district could have no more than 5 percent above or below the ideal figure, or no more than 20,541 residents nor less than 18,585.

The earlier proposed map would have pushed the House 42nd District, which is represented by Stevi Stephens, D-Tonganoxie, into Grant Township and into Lawrence's 6th Ward, which includes all of North Lawrence.

North Lawrence is currently in the 46th District, which is represented by Charlton. Grant Township is now in the 43rd District, represented by Judith Macy, D-DeSoto.

THE SUBCOMMITTEE'S plan would have also pushed the 47th District, now represented by Joann Flower, R-Oskaloosa, into Lecompton. Lecompton is now in the 45th District, represented by John Solbach, D-Lawrence.

The subcommittee's plan would have put Eudora Township, which includes the city of Eudora, into the House 40th District, now represented by Al Ramirez, R-Bonner Springs. Eudora Township is now in Macy's 43rd District.

The subcommittee's plan would put Palmyra Township, which includes Baldwin and Vinland, into the 14th District, represented by Walker Hendrix, R-Ottawa. Palmyra is now in the 45th District.

The subcommittee's plan had made only a few changes in Lawrence, besides the North Lawrence change. It would have taken two city precincts now in the western Lawrence 44th District and put them into the mostly rural western Douglas County 45th District.

CHARLTON said her own plan would leave North Lawrence in the 46th District and Lecompton Township in the 45th District and make only minor changes in the city precincts.

Her map would also put Grant, Eudora, Palmyra, Willow Springs and Marion townships into a new rural district, which also would include the northern townships of Franklin County, but not Ottawa.

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