Redistricting commission poised to get $700,000

March 19, 2012

The Arizona House of Representatives is poised to give the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission less than what it had originally asked for…but more than what the Senate had proposed. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Mark Brodie reports.

 MARK BRODIE: The IRC had asked lawmakers for $1.1 million to cover its expenses through the end of the fiscal year, and had threatened to sue to get the extra money. The state house on Monday gave preliminary approval to a bill giving the commission $700,000. That’s after a senate committee earlier this month offered the panel a buck. House Appropriations Committee Chair John Kavanagh says he’s not happy about giving the IRC more money, but that the state Constitution requires it.

JOHN KAVANAGH: Frankly, most of the people I’ve spoken to say that if we gave them $1 or zero, as some would like, that we’re simply asking for a quick, slam-dunk lawsuit loss, and then we’ve accomplished very little, except to embarrass ourselves. We looked at what they asked for, we’re giving them less, we think this is reasonable.

BRODIE: The IRC’s Executive Director, Ray Bladine, says $700,000 will pay the current bills, but he did not rule out the possibility of the panel having to ask for more money in the future. He anticipates the senate will follow the House’s lead, and that there could be final legislative approval by Wednesday. Bladine also says he expects the extra money will eliminate the need for the IRC to sue.

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