Tennessee State Senate Approves House Legislative District Maps

 

In their final vote on redistricting, the Tennessee State Senate has approved the state house legislative district maps by a vote of 23-6.

The new district map proposal for the State House was the remaining item on the Senate’s redistricting agenda. The new maps now head to Governor Lee’s desk for his signature.

It has been a longstanding tradition in the Tennessee General Assembly, for one chamber to defer to the other on the drawing of their own district lines. In this case, the Senate waited to pass the House lines until they were passed in the other chamber, which was done on January 24th, 2022.

The Senate approved the congressional and senate legislative district proposals on January 20. The House approved both legislative district proposals and the new congressional lines on January 24, 2022. The vote in the state House was 70-27, 70-26, and 70-26 on the house legislative district, senate legislative district, and congressional redistricting plans, respectively.

Six districts were kept the same and there are now six districts that do not have an incumbent.

Director of Communications for Speaker Cameron Sexton, Doug Kufner, said in a statement to The Tennessee Star:

For several months, the Select Committee on Redistricting gathered input from citizens, community organizations, and legislators to formulate fair and constitutional House, Senate, and Congressional redistricting plans. These plans balance out population loss in both west and east Tennessee while meeting all state and federal constitutional and statutory requirements. The plans — which have now passed in both the House and Senate — represent the distinctive voices of all Tennesseans.

The Tennessee Democrat Party blasted all the maps on Monday, tweeting:

Today, the House is poised to pass maps rigged by
@TNGOP
to maintain unchecked power at the state legislature for another decade.

Voting for these maps is a vote against democracy, against the principles our country was founded on.

One person one vote — We’re preparing to sue.

It remains unclear exactly what recourse the Tennessee Democrat Party is looking for with their stated lawsuit plans, given they are making their public plans to sue the Tennessee Republican Party – not the General Assembly that drew the new maps, Governor Bill Lee, or the state of Tennessee. After the Tennessee Senate voted today, the Tennessee Democrat Party tweeted: “100% — we are taking @TNGOP to court.”

It was previously reported that the Tennessee Democrat Party has sent out a fundraising email, raising dollars off of their potential lawsuit on redistricting: “We can’t do this without you — we’ve set an ambitious goal of raising $30,000 this month for our legal fund so we can effectively mount a lawsuit against them. Can you chip in now to help us get there?”

The Tennessee Star reached out to the House Democratic Caucus for comment on the passage of the new maps, but has not heard back as of press time.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

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