The Senate gave final approval to the House redistricting plan on Wednesday in a 30-15 vote, finalizing the adjusted House districts, while the House has placed the Senate plan on its calendar for Wednesday afternoon.
The House will meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday to take up final votes on the Senate map, barring a legislator objecting to having both second and third reading on the same day the required redistricting would be over, ahead of the deadline set by the courts.
Legislators have been directed to send the new maps to the courts for review by this Friday, Sep. 1.
The court ruling said that the districts were unconstitutional gerrymanders, taking race too heavily into account in the drawing of the districts, and the maps will need their approval before the 2018 elections.
In response to this, legislative leaders decided to redraw the maps without taking race into account, but still drawing the voting lines to maintain their Republican advantage, leading to criticism from those that would like see Democrats in charge or better represented in the legislature.
So far, the courts have supported the understanding that redistricting is a political process, wherein the ruling party holds the cards and can draw the maps to suit their needs, however it is not a foolproof plan.
In 2010 Republicans swept Democrats in the House and Senate out of their leadership roles and won super majorities allowing them to override gubernatorial vetoes without a single Democrat vote. The 2010 elections were conducted under maps previously drawn by Democrats.
With 74 of the 120 House seats and 35 of the 50 Senate seats, Republicans have been able to maintain their supermajorities across the last three elections and will next face reelection in 2018. If under the new maps Republicans lose three House seats, or six in the Senate, they would lose their super majority.
Legislators were required to redraw 28 districts in total, nine in the Senate and the remaining 19 in the House, but to fix those districts requires finagling with all, or nearly all, of the 170 legislative districts.
Democrats have been critical of adjustments to the map that are not directly adjacent to the 28 districts that the courts ordered must be redrawn, some even equating the changes to unconstitutional changes, as redistricting is only done every 10 years following the census.