CARSON CITY — Democratic leaders on Friday put a hold on a final Senate vote on their redistricting plan because Republicans released the redistricting information they sought.
But chances of an agreement before the Legislature adjourns June 6 appear slim. Upon release of the new data, Republicans insisted that the Democrats approve “benchmarks” that they already have disregarded. Republican leaders have said they expect redistricting to be resolved in court.
In particular, Republicans want Hispanic majorities in one congressional district, four state Senate districts and eight Assembly districts, and enough competitive legislative districts so that no party will have a monopoly on power.
“We believe the (federal) Voting Rights Act requires fair representation for Hispanics,” Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, said. “We also believe no political party should have a monopoly on power.
All 10 Hispanics in the Legislature are Democrats who voted for the Democratic redistricting bill, Assembly Bill 566. Assemblyman Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, has said there must be more Democratic districts than Republican districts simply because there are more registered voters who are Democrats.
On Friday, Republicans gave legislative staff data that identifies the streets that bound their proposed legislative and congressional districts.
Earlier this week, Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, complained that street data was necessary to determine whether representations made by Republicans were accurate.
In response, Assembly Minority Leader Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, said, upon advice of attorneys, the streets were not listed in the initial redistricting maps they released. He said he would seek to release the street information.
Rather than waiting, Democrats on a 26-16 party-line vote Wednesday approved their latest redistricting bill. Now that they have the information, Oceguera and Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, said in a statement that they will “temporarily hold” final action on their bill and will compare Republican plans with their own.
“Nevadans will now, for the first time, have the ability to review and analyze both proposals, verify data independently and make suggestions regarding how we move forward,” they stated.
Gov. Brian Sandoval on May 15 vetoed the Democrats’ original redistricting plan, saying it diluted the voting strength of Hispanics by concentrating them in as few districts as possible.
The bill is now before the Senate Legislative Operations and Elections Committee.
Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3901.Legislative, congressional redistricting proposal maps