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Senate committee OKs House district maps

POSTED: August 22, 2011 11:29 a.m.

The Senate committee charged with reviewing a plan for new state House districts in Georgia has given the map a pass.

The committee deliberated for less than an hour on the House districts Monday and accepted no substitutions.

It is tradition in Georgia for each chamber to accept the district map drawn by the other chamber without revision.

No substitution bill was offered for the House districts that include Hall County. Lawmakers from the area have said they have been negotiating behind the scenes to get the local delegation reduced for the county.

No sign of that negotiation surfaced Monday and no member of the House delegation was present at the meeting.

Still, two Southeast Georgia representatives made an effort to have their districts redrawn.

Neither Rep. Mark Hatfield, R-Waycross, nor Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, were allowed to submit their proposal for Southeast Georgia districts Monday.

The plan would have kept the two men from having to battle at the polls for control of their districts.

But Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, chairman of the Senate's reapportionment committee, said the plan had not been submitted in time to be considered by the committee.

Seabaugh said a substitute map needed to be submitted at least 24 hours before Monday's hearing to be considered by the committee.

Both Hatfield and Spencer said they did not know about the deadline, and challenged whether or not such a deadline could have been met.

Georgia's General Assembly is beginning its second week of a special session to redraw the state's political boundaries in accordance with new population numbers provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Republican-drawn maps for state House and Senate districts were given an easy pass last week, and each sits in the hands of the opposite chamber.



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