House leader gives Senate ultimatum on redistricting

JACKSON — House Speaker Billy McCoy has given the Senate an ultimatum: approve his chamber’s redistricting plan as is, or the matter will immediately go to the U.S. Department of Justice.
McCoy, D-Rienzi, released a statement Wednesday informing Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant and others he has no intention of negotiating a compromise.

Legislators are redrawing the 122 House districts and 52 Senate districts to reflect population changes revealed by the 2010 Census.

The House plan reduces the number of split precincts from 449 to fewer than 200. It goes from 39 majority-black districts to 44. But Bryant and other Republicans have said the plan is unfair to the GOP.

“Should the Senate choose to invite conference on JR201, I will not entertain that request nor will I appoint conferees. In addition, the House will immediately transmit JR 201 to the Department of Justice and seek preclearance of the plan for use in the upcoming election,” McCoy said in his statement.

AP
3/16/11