Archive for Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Graves vetoes Senate redistricting map

March 5, 2002


— Gov. Bill Graves on Tuesday vetoed a Senate redistricting plan that was put together by a coalition of Democrats and conservative Republicans.

The action will likely ignite an already contentious legislative session in which lawmakers are facing a record budget shortfall.

Graves said the redistricting plan did not go through the proper process of review by the general public and a legislative committee.

In vetoing the plan, Graves sided with moderate Republican colleagues in the Senate. Senate President Dave Kerr, R-Hutchinson, and Senate Vice President Sandy Praeger, R-Lawrence, had called on Graves to kill the measure.

A veto can be overturned by a two-thirds vote in the Senate and House, but it is doubtful Graves' veto will be overridden because the bill was passed by the slimmest of margins in the Senate, 21-19.

The Senate redistricting map was approved by Democrats and conservative Republicans over the wishes of Republican leaders.

Democrats said the proposal was fairer to Democrats and rural interests than a plan earlier endorsed by a Senate committee, which critics said would help conservative Republicans gain seats.

One key difference was over the treatment of Sen. Janis Lee, D-Kensington. Under the Republican leadership plan, Lee's rural district would have been placed in a district represented by Stan Clark of Oakley, a conservative Republican. Neither Lee nor Oakley wanted that.

Under the plan adopted by the Senate, Lee would be matched against Sen. Larry Salmans, R-Hanston. Democrats say Lee would have a better chance of competing against Salmans for re-election.

Those who passed the Senate plan said it represented a bipartisan effort. They said Graves' veto will complicate other issues during the session.

  • You can find further updates by picking up a copy of Wednesday's Journal-World.

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