Panel unveils Miss. Senate redistricting proposal

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Mississippi Senate released its own redistricting plan Monday, and the map quickly won its first level of approval from a House-Senate committee.

But the proposal could be derailed if Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, as expected, releases his own plan to redraw the 52 state Senate districts.

The lieutenant governor presides over the Senate. Lawmakers say it’s unprecedented for the lieutenant governor to release a separate map.

There are currently 12 majority-black Senate districts. The plan released Monday would increase that to 15, including one in the Hattiesburg area. The committee’s plan also would reduce split precincts from 129 to 17.

Meanwhile, Gov. Haley Barbour says the House redistricting plan “would leave many Mississippians without fair representation,” particularly in growing suburbs around Jackson and Hattiesburg.