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Redistricting Plans Approved for House, Senate

No consensus on congressional district lines.

The bipartisan commission drawing new state Senate and House district lines approved redistricting plans for both chambers of the General Assembly on Wednesday afternoon.

The Reapportionment Commission unanimously approved both redistricting proposals, which now must go to the Secretary of the State for her approval before they go into effect. The new districts, if approved by the secretary, would be in place for the 2012 General Assembly election cycle.

The commission, which was facing a deadline today to approve the redistricting proposals, was unable to reach consensus on a plan to redraw Connecticut’s congressional district lines. Under state law, the panel must now ask the Connecticut Supreme Court to give it a 30-day extension to draft and approve a plan.

The 9-member commission began work on redrawing the House and Senate districts in April after it was appointed by the legislature. Connecticut law requires that the districts be studied and, if necessary, their lines be redrawn if necessary, following each federal census. The most recent census was conducted in 2010 and showed that Connecticut’s population grew by nearly 5 percent to about 3.6 million people.

One of the biggest changes under the redistricting plan approved by the commission was the creation of a new House district that would encompass largely just the town of Windsor, which previously had been split into three House districts.

The House-redistricting plan that was approved also will shift 994 people in Groton’s 41st District into the 40th District, which is also in Groton. The move, commission members said, was needed to correct an error in the 2010 federal census data, which moved those residents from the 40th to the 41st district.
Commission leaders said the redistricting effort was a daunting task, but a fair and open process devoid of the political shenanigans that often accompany such efforts in other states.

“We didn’t always agree and sometimes things got hot in the room, but this was a fundamentally bipartisan process,” said Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams, a Brooklyn Democrat.

Maps and reports of the commission’s redistricting plans will be available on the panel’s Web site sometime Thursday, commission staffers said.

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