Kan. House Panel Backs Conservative Senate Remap

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A Kansas House committee dominated by conservative Republicans has approved a plan for redrawing the boundaries of the state Senate's 40 districts.

Many lawmakers believe the plan approved Monday on a 12-5 vote will help conservatives wrest control of the Senate from its moderate GOP leaders.

The House is expected to debate the proposal Wednesday.

It's an alternative to a bipartisan redistricting plan approved last week by the Senate. Lawmakers must redraw their districts to account for changes in population over the past decade.

GOP conservatives argue they're trying to make all 40 Senate districts as close as possible to the ideal population of 71,000 residents and preserve Hispanic voting strength in southwestern Kansas.

Critics of the plan say conservatives' main concern is helping challengers to moderate incumbent senators in GOP primaries.

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