Senate Committee Introduces Plan To Overhaul Redistricting Process

May 15, 2012

A committee in the Kansas Senate is proposing a constitutional amendment that would change the redistricting process. The amendment would create a commission that would draw redistricting maps.

Currently, state lawmakers draw the maps for congressional and legislative districts.

Republican Senator Tim Owens, of Overland Park, chairs that chamber's redistricting committee. He says the dispute this year shows the process needs reform.

"As far as I'm concerned, I think that's the right way to do it," Owens said. "And I've seen the wrong way to do it by being the chair of a committee."

Under the proposal, most members of the commission would be appointed by the Legislature. A similar proposal failed earlier this month in the House. Some opponents said the process would still be contentious, even with an appointed commission.