Topeka When it came to redrawing their own political boundaries, Kansas House members generally got along well.
"I applaud the House for their extensive communication and cooperation in keeping communities of interest together," said House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson.
Proposed Douglas County House map ( .JPG )
House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence agreed but added on Friday that Democrats "certainly took our licks. But some of that is to be expected for the minority party."
Republicans outnumber Democrats in the House 92-33.
Legislators must redraw boundaries for legislative, congressional and State Board of Education districts to accommodate population shifts over the past 10 years.
The House approved the new district lines on a 109-14 vote and the proposal next goes to the Senate. Usually the Senate doesn't alter the House plan and the House doesn't alter the Senate plan. The Senate hasn't approved its map yet.
Population migration and loss resulted in western, central and southeastern Kansas each losing a House district, and the Kansas City metro area picking up districts.
Davis said Douglas County legislators — Republican and Democratic — met numerous times to work out a plan for Douglas County. "We have an eclectic group," he said. "But we worked together."
Essentially, Davis and state Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, had to take in more residents. This is because of a census readjustment based on a state constitutional provision that excludes non-resident college students and non-resident military personnel from being counted for redistricting purposes.
The district represented by state Rep. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, has been readjusted to allow a new district in Johnson County. So his district takes in a little bit more of southeast Lawrence.