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Special session begins

4 years ago March 20, 2011 Mar 20, 2011 Sunday, March 20 2011 Sunday, March 20, 2011 9:20:14 PM CDT in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Stephanie Ryan

BATON ROUGE- The first special session of its kind in a decade got underway Sunday evening.

Lawmakers gathered at the Capitol to begin a serious of discussions on redistricting.

"Every ten years, after the Census does its work, it is now the legislature's responsibility to redraw the lines within our state," Governor Bobby Jindal said.

Because of population shifts after Katrina, New Orleans could lose represenation, while Baton Rouge could gain representation.

Other areas are likely to be changed, promising heated discussion over the next three weeks.

Sunday night, however, lawmakers didn't talk about redistricting.  Instead, they talked about how they'll talk about redistricting.

"You can't just run to the amendment room and have an analyst prepare an amendment-- it's a lot more involved," House and Governmental Affairs Chairman Rick Gallot (D-Ruston) said, referring to the maps and statistics legislators will have to provide to propose a change.  Gallot has urged all legislators to submit their proposals before today.

Governor Jindal asked lawmakers to cross party lines during what will likely be a very heated debate.

"At the end of this process, we will heal our wounds and come together again," Governor Jindal said.

The special session is expected to last until April 13.

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