Legislature Redistricting Plans Eliminate One Local House Seat

Both chambers of the Louisiana Legislature have approved new districts for members that would maintain the current number of minority-majority districts, rejecting numerous proposals to expand minority representation. The House plan eliminates District 23 in this area and creates a new district in the New Orleans area. Final approval of the plans must come by Sunday when the special session on redistricting ends. The Governor will have 20 days after that to sign or veto the bills.

Black lawmakers and voting rights advocates in both chambers offered several proposals to increase the number of Black-leaning districts, citing statistics from the 2020 census that showed the Black population in Louisiana grew by 3.78% while the white population decreased 6.3% over the past decade.

The biggest change from the current House map is a shift of House District 23 from north Louisiana to New Orleans, driven by population growth there. Local Representative Kenny Cox, who is term-limited, also voiced objections to eliminating the district he represents, House District 23. “All my people will be pushed off in little corridors, where they won’t be represented,” he said.

The House and Senate maps now are in committees in opposite chambers but are not expected to receive major changes. The Legislature has until Sunday to approve the proposals before they head to Gov. John Bel Edwards for consideration. Edwards, a Democrat, would have 20 days to act on the measures.

Portions of this report is from The Center Square