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Redistricting has Kansas lawmakers planning to return May 23

April 29, 2022 GMT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The possibility that the Kansas Supreme Court will overturn new political redistricting laws has prompted the Republican-controlled Legislature to reconvene May 23.

Lawmakers wrapped up almost all of their other business for the year early Friday and adjourned for almost a month. In a typical year, they’d come back only for a single day set aside for an annual adjournment ceremony.

But the state’s highest court is reviewing new congressional and legislative districts, and it’s expected to rule on whether they comply with the Kansas Constitution by May 23. Reconvening gives lawmakers a chance to enact new maps just ahead of the June 1 candidate filing deadline.

The new districts under review were drawn by Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature, and the congressional map has been criticized heavily by Democrats. The legislative maps had bipartisan support, but the state constitution mandates a review by the Kansas Supreme Court.

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Senate President Ty Masterson, an Andover Republican, said lawmakers don’t know how many days they’ll have to be in session. If they don’t need to tackle redistricting again, they’ll adjourn for the year, he said.

The nearly monthlong break also will allow lawmakers to see whether Kelly issues any new vetoes.