Kansas House Votes for the Topeka Split

(AP) – The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a congressional redistricting bill that splits Topeka between two U.S. House districts.

The 77-43 vote Wednesday advanced the measure to a final vote, expected Thursday.

Topeka is now entirely in the 2nd District of eastern Kansas. The bill would extend the 1st District of western and central Kansas into the capital city.

The 1st District would take in the Statehouse and heavily minority neighborhoods in eastern Topeka. Republican-leaning, predominantly white neighborhoods in the city’s west side would remain in the 2nd District.

Kansas lawmakers must adjust the lines of the state’s four U.S. House districts to account for changes in population over the past decade. The Senate has passed a different version, meaning the two chambers would have to agree on compromise.

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