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Ivey calls redistricting-only special session

Gov. Kay Ivey has officially set the Legislature’s special session on redrawing the state’s congressional districts to begin Monday, July 17.

The reapportionment issue is the only item Ivey put in her special session proclamation Tuesday. That means if lawmakers want to bring any other legislation, it will need a two-thirds vote in both chambers to pass.

“It is of the utmost importance that this special session only address the congressional map and nothing else,” Ivey said in a written statement. “The task at hand is too urgent and too important. The Alabama Legislature has one chance to get this done before the July 21 court deadline. Our Legislature knows our state, our people and our districts better than the federal courts or activist groups do.”

The proclamation comes as the legislative redistricting committee meets today for a public hearing on the proposed maps.

A three-judge panel this month gave lawmakers until July 21 to adopt a new congressional map. It takes five days to approve a bill in the Alabama Legislature, meaning lawmakers won’t have time to spare in the July special session. 

The deadline comes after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the panel’s finding that Alabama likely violated the Voting Rights Act with a congressional map that had only one majority Black district out of seven in a state where more than one in four residents is Black.

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