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State Legislature sends redistricting bills to governor; plans would split Pulaski County into 3 parts

by Rachel Herzog | October 7, 2021 at 11:04 a.m.
FILE — The state Capitol is shown in this file photo.

The Arkansas House and Senate voted to send twin redistricting bills that would trisect the state’s most populous county to the governor Thursday morning.

The Senate passed House Bill 1982 by Rep. Nelda Speaks, R-Mountain Home, on a 21-12 vote. A short time later, the House passed Senate Bill 743 by Sen. Jane English, R-North Little Rock, 53-35.

The Arkansas Legislature reconvened in the 93rd regular session last week after taking an extended recess to wait for the latest U.S. Census data from the federal government, which it needed to work on reconfiguring the state’s four congressional districts.

The proposed map would divide Pulaski County, home to the state capital of Little Rock, between three congressional districts and Sebastian County between two. Opponents of the bills have said they separate the majority-minority parts of Pulaski County from the rest of the county.

[ARKANSAS MAP: Interactive state and Pulaski County maps not appearing above? Click here » arkansasonline.com/2021maps/]

Asked about the bills at his weekly news conference Wednesday, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he had some concern about diluting minority representation but had not looked at the demographic details of how the districts would end up under the proposed map and wanted to study it more closely.

Read Friday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for the full story.

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