AZ redistricting panel OKs possible funding suit

AZ redistricting panel OKs possible funding suit

CREATED Mar 3, 2012

Web Producer: Marissa Pasquet

PHOENIX, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona's nearly broke redistricting commission has authorized its lawyers to file a lawsuit to demand additional funding if the Legislature doesn't quickly approve a requested $1.1 million supplemental appropriation.
   
The commission's vote Friday was 3-2, with the two Democrats and the independent voting to authorize the lawsuit and the two Republicans voting in opposition. That follows a pattern seen on many of the commission's key important votes.
   
The commission's spending has outstripped its budget because of unanticipated expenses from political and legal fights with Republican elected officials and prosecutors.
   
The panel has already submitted maps of new congressional and legislative districts to federal officials for review under the Voting Rights Act.
   
However, the commission's executive director says there's no money to pay for any further work that might be required.
   
A bill to provide a supplemental appropriation to the commission has been introduced in the Legislature, but key Republican lawmakers say they want to be sure the commission's spending is reasonable.

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