Raleigh, N.C. — State lawmakers met this week to lay out the ground rules for drawing new legislative district maps, and since federal judges tossed the old maps because some districts were racially gerrymandered, lawmakers said the race of voters wouldn't even be considered when drafting the replacement maps.
Instead, they said, district lines would be drawn to maintain the partisan advantage of Republicans in both the House and the Senate, and as much effort as possible would be made to ensure incumbents wouldn't be drawn into the same district.
Lawmakers also decided to draw a line on a request by the state Department of Environmental Quality and the state Department of Health and Human Services for about $2.6 million in funding to address the GenX contamination in the Cape Fear River. A group of senators sent a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper, suggesting that his administration has mishandled the problem and asking a series of questions about how exactly the money would solve it.
The North Carolina Republican Party drew its own line, calling for the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement to investigate campaign contributions Cooper received at a reception during the state trial lawyers association's convention in June. Because the legislature was still in session, the governor couldn't legally take campaign cash from a political action committee or a group employing a lobbyist. Both Cooper's campaign and the trial lawyers association said the donations were from individuals and were therefore legal.