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Senate panel OKs Redistricting Commission funds

redistrictingAn Arizona Senate committee has approved $500,000 in extra funding for the Independent Redistricting Commission that will allow the commission to pay for lawyers defending it from lawsuits.

The commission had asked for nearly $2.3 million to pay lawyers defending it and for reserves in case it faces more lawsuits or has to redraw district maps.

Senate President Andy Biggs told the Appropriations Committee Wednesday that he’d spoken with commission Executive Director Ray Bladine and they agreed the $500,000 would be enough for now. It passed on a 7-2 vote and moves to the gull Senate.

A House committee takes up an identical request Wednesday afternoon.

The commission redraws Legislative and congressional districts every 10 years. It faces several Republican-backed lawsuits challenging district maps the commission approved last January.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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