A rumored plan to redraw the state’s congressional districts is raising the ire of some Kansas lawmakers. A legislative committee has begun work on the redistricting process. One plan being discussed would expand the First District in western Kansas eastward to include Wyandotte County. There are concerns that this plan would reduce the influence of Democratic voters in an area that has historically been a Democratic stronghold. Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, is the top Democrat in the Senate. He says party officials drew a test map to see if Wyandotte County could be put in the First District.
Some lawmakers say Hensley is jumping the gun, because no official maps have been released. Republican House Speaker Mike O'Neal, of Hutchinson, co-chairs the redistricting committee.
The committee will continue holding public hearings on redistricting next month. Lawmakers will redraw the maps during next year’s legislative session.