2:28pm

Mon May 9, 2011
State Politics

Redistricting Fight Moves into Final Days

Colorado’s 120 day legislative session ends on Wednesday and lawmakers are plowing ahead with plans to debate congressional redistricting – despite a lack of agreement on how they’ll handle it.

Lawmakers are required to draw up new congressional lines every ten years after a census, but the issue has been politically charged as both sides try to maximize their chances. For anything to get done during the regular session the House must introduce legislation today.

“You know, you can’t circumvent that deadline. It’s prescribed in the law as to the process of how many days before a bill can be passed,” says Colorado Statesman Publisher Jody Hope Strogoff.

House Speaker Frank McNulty (R) says the House will take up the current GOP map this afternoon, and Senate majority leader John Morse (D) has also told colleagues to be ready to debate a competing plan today. But it’s uncertain if the two sides can broker a deal before the end of the session at midnight on Wednesday.

“What likely will happen is that the Republicans will get their bill passed in the House, where they have a majority but it’ll die in the Senate. Likewise, with the Democrats it will likely pass the Senate which Democrats control and then die over in the House,” says Strogoff.

After that, the legislature could be called into special session or the issue could be left to the courts to decide. That’s what happened the last time the state had to redraw congressional boundaries in 2000.

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