Kansas About to Tackle Congressional Redistricting, Dispute Brewing over the ‘Big 1st’

(AP) – House Speaker Mike O’Neal opposes a congressional redistricting proposal that would expand the 1st District of western and central Kansas to include the Manhattan area.

O’Neal, a Hutchinson Republican and chairman of the House Redistricting Committee, said Friday that Manhattan officials want their community to stay in the 2nd District of eastern Kansas.

The plan came from Senate Reapportionment Committee Chairman Tim Owens. The committee is meeting Monday to review it.

Owens, an Overland Park Republican, says his plan is only a starting point for the discussion.

But Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat, says he likes the plan.

The state must redraw its four congressional districts to account for shifts in population. The 1st District is under-populated and must pick up territory.

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