BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The first day of the special redistricting session has just wrapped up and there has already been a lot of debate over six maps that redistrict the congressional map for Louisiana. Now those maps are going to be sent over to their committees where the first hearing will take place Thursday.
Already, debates and controversial votes are being taken against the maps that have not been presented. A federal judge has ordered the legislature to pass a new map with two majority-minority districts.
GOP leadership is saying the six-day session is not enough time to pass a map, others say it is plenty of time.
“One federal judge has said that we can’t use these maps,” said Rep. John Stefanski, R-Crowley. “In five to six days, a special session that we’re going to try to have in five to six days on an issue this controversial and this important to so many people around this state, in my opinion, is simply unattainable.”
Members of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus were in both chambers sharing their own stories and pleas to hear a map that creates two majority-minority districts.
“The special session is premature and unnecessary until the legal process has played out in the court systems,” said House Speaker Clay Schexnayder. “But based on the federal judge and the call into the special session by the governor — here we are.”
Two maps were objected to but were sent on anyway that do not create a second Black district. This caused some Republicans to retaliate and try to hold back some of the democratic maps. That motion failed and the maps are headed to their first public hearing.
“Time is now and we can make this happen,” said Rep. Vincent Pierre, D-Lafayette. “Members, I ask that you do the right thing, and let’s correct the wrong let’s move forward with this additional congressional map.”
There are two maps ahead of the Senate committee on Thursday, and there will be four options in front of the House committee on Friday.