How they voted
Here is how the Douglas County legislative delegation voted Friday to advance the congressional redistricting map that would place a portion of Lawrence in the 1st U.S. House district.
TerriLois Gregory, R-Baldwin City
Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence
Anthony Brown, R-Eudora
Ann Mah, D-Topeka
Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence
Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, was absent due to having to appear at court hearing.
Topeka A move to put a portion of Lawrence in the 1st congressional district advanced Friday but final approval of the measure in the House remained unclear.
The redistricting plan moved forward on a 56-54 vote, but to gain final House approval requires 63 votes, which is a majority in the 125-member chamber.
That final-action vote is planned for today, House Majority Leader Arlen Siegfreid, R-Olathe, said. Even if it is approved by the House, the measure would face a chilly reception in the more moderate Senate.
“I don’t believe this is a fair map for Kansans,” said Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence. “If this was your community, you would say no,” Ballard told the House.
Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, said the proposal was “antithetical” to preserving communities of interest in congressional districts.
But Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, called the plan a “good map.” He said the House should approve it as a way for the measure to gain consideration for judicial review during redistricting challenges in court.
Lawrence is now divided between the 2nd and 3rd congressional districts. Under the proposal, north and east Lawrence would be placed in the vast 1st district, which covers western Kansas and most of central Kansas. The Kansas University campus area would be in the 2nd district.
In effect, the measure would put one of the most liberal areas of the state in one of the most conservative congressional districts in the country.
Democrats said the Republican-dominated Legislature wanted to dilute Democratic voting strength. Earlier plans pushed by Republican leaders would have split other Democratic areas, such as east Topeka and Kansas City, Kan.
Kinzer acknowledged those splits focused on Democratic areas, but said there were no political motives behind that. He said those areas were targeted to add population to the 1st district, which is losing population.
Democrats were joined by some Republicans in opposition to the plan. Some said they were unhappy that the proposed map would place Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth in different districts.
Rep. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, offered an amendment that would have placed Douglas County in the 3rd District.
“This is not a political map,” Brown said of his proposal.
Brown’s amendment would have put the proposed federal bioterrorism lab, called the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, in the 1st District, which is represented by U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler.
Some Republicans have argued that Huelskamp would be unable to protect funding of NBAF, but Brown disagreed with that. He said it was wrong for Kansas legislators to say that.
Brown’s amendment failed 44-67.
Rep. Mike Slattery, D-Mission, said public statements by officials indicated that the four U.S. House members from Kansas, who are all Republicans, had input on the proposed map. Slattery said it was a “protectionist” map intended to make it easy for incumbents to win re-election.