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Legislature set for redistricting session to start next week

4 months 2 weeks 3 days ago Monday, January 08 2024 Jan 8, 2024 January 08, 2024 8:15 PM January 08, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- Members of the Louisiana House and Senate took their oaths of office at the state Capitol Monday. They will have to buckle down quickly for the first special session set to begin next week.

"It's awesome, it's always good to be sworn in to the LA state senate, but the real challenge is what's ahead, we have a lot of challenges ahead," said State Senator Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge.

The session starting Jan. 15 will have lawmakers focusing on redrawing the state Congressional districts. 

"We are embarking on redistricting for the Congress because Louisiana has to come into compliance with the Voting Rights Act. We also will probably redistrict for the Supreme Court as well," Fields said.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick ruled that the Legislature must draw a second majority-Black district within its six existing U.S. House seats before February. It's necessary in order to comply with federal voting rights laws. Changes would not take affect until the next term.

Fields said the most important part of the discussion is making sure Louisiana doesn't infringe on the rights of voters.

"It's not about who loses their seat, it's about complying with the Voting Rights Act, and complying with the federal laws of our country. When you look at it like that, it's not about the personalities, not an individual. We do not want this to be about personalities. It should be about the law," Fields said.

Fields said he believes the Legislature can meet Dick's Jan. 30 deadline. 

"I absolutely think so. I think this Legislature will pass a map that complies with sub-section 2, and I think the governor will sign a map that complies with sub section 2," he said.

During the redistricting session, Governor Jeff Landry is also expected to push for closed primary elections.

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