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Lawmakers OK extra Redistricting Commission funds

PHOENIX — The Arizona Legislature has approved $500,000 in extra funding
for the Independent Redistricting Commission to allow the commission to pay
lawyers defending it from lawsuits.

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

The full Senate voted 25-3 Thursday with two members absent to authorize the
funds. The House of Representatives approved the bill by a 51-9 vote.

Rep. John Kavanagh told the House the $500,000 would be enough for the
commission to operate for several months.

The commission redraws Legislative and congressional districts every 10 years.

It faces several Republican-backed lawsuits challenging district maps the
commission approved in January 2012. The first lawsuit is set for trial in late
March.

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