After months of inaction, Sunflower State lawmakers will take the first major step to pass a new Congressional map this week.
The proposal — named “Bob Dole 1” — aims to make three of the state’s four Republican Members safer, especially freshman Rep. Kevin Yoder, by splitting parts of Topeka.
Kansas is one of just two states still without a new Congressional map following the decennial census. And even though a serious proposal is making its way through the Legislature, a Kansas source warned that a final House map could still be weeks away from enactment.
Under any new map, the suburban 3rd district around Kansas City must shed 58,000 in population, and the rural, western 1st district must gain that same number of people.
The new map would move population into Rep. Tim Huelskamp’s 1st district by picking up parts of Topeka. In exchange, two-term Rep. Lynn Jenkins, the dean of the House delegation, would pick up Democratic strongholds in Douglas County from Yoder’s district.
Republicans are particularly wary about Yoder’s district because it has been competitive in past cycles. Former Rep. Dennis Moore (D) held the seat for six terms before Yoder came to Congress last year.
The state House will probably pass “Bob Dole 1” this week before leaving for its scheduled three-week recess, a well-placed source said. The Kansas Senate could either pass the map this week or wait until lawmakers return in late April to send the proposal to the governor’s desk.
Florida: Democrats Ask Court to Trash New House Map
The Florida Democratic Party filed a motion in state court Monday asking a judge to declare the Sunshine State’s Republican-drawn Congressional map unconstitutional.
Democrats asked a Tallahassee circuit court to throw out the map — which would cement a significant GOP advantage in the federal delegation for the next decade — and prohibit elections from being held using the new lines.
The FDP also offered its own map, which it said meets constitutional muster but which few in Florida believe would be adopted by the court.
A 2010 voter-enacted constitutional amendment prohibits, among other things, crafting Congressional lines with “the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent.” That amendment is the crux of the Democrats’ case. In the court filing, a large part of the party’s legal rationale rests on a recent state Supreme Court decision throwing out state Senate maps for violating a similar amendment.