Published: Feb. 3, 2022
By: Allison Kadlubar, LSU Manship School News Service
BATON ROUGE — Black residents and civil rights groups on Wednesday objected strongly to a Republican proposal to redraw the districts for the state Senate, pushing for at least two more districts that would likely elect Black senators.
The concerns arose as Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, pitched his proposal to the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee, explaining that it was based on technical strategies to ensure that all districts match representation based on population.
But more than 80 people filled out cards signaling their opposition to Cortez’s proposed outline, and 20 of them voiced their concerns to the committee.
Some supported an alternative proposal by Sen. Ed Price, D-Gonzales, who would redraw the maps to include two more districts than Cortez’s plan — one in Shreveport and one near Baton Rouge — that would include a majority of Black voters.
The 2020 Census showed an increase in minority population in Louisiana and a small decrease in white population.
But Cortez’s proposal, Senate Bill 1, would leave the number of likely minority seats at 11 of the 39 in the Senate. Price’s proposal would increase that number to 13 to align it with Census data showing that almost one-third of the state’s population is Black.
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