New state legislative districts are on the horizon for Arkansas and one of the city's most impacted in the state would be Maumelle.
But, maybe in a good way.
Currently, Maumelle is served by three state senators, two of whom – Mark Johnson and Linda Chesterfield – live in Little Rock and the third – Jane English – lives in North Little Rock.
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The new maps, which were approved Friday by the Arkansas Board of Apportionment, does away with that.
Maumelle, along with Sherwood, would be combined into one state Senate seat in 13, while the Crystal Hill area would remain with North Little Rock in 12 but that seat would stretch south of the Arkansas River and would include Sweet Home and Wrightsville.
A state-wide map of the state Senate seats can be viewed by clicking here.
There's 35 state Senate seats, and the new districts don't match the current seats in almost any way.
The state's population has to be divided equally among those 35 seats with 86,044 people each with some deviation allowed and the map for Pulaski County can be seen above.
The north Pulaski state Senate seats are:
12 ... 88,141 ... 2.44%
13 ... 87,995 ... 2.27%
“I think the combination of Sherwood and Maumelle will be a good senate district since it combines two similar cities along with northern Pulaski County and reduces the footprint of the area covered,” said Maumelle City Council member Chad Gardner.
He noted that Johnson’s district included Maumelle but also, “much of rural Pulaski County along with rural Faulkner County to include Clinton in Van Buren County.”
The Arkansas House has 100 seats with the ideal population for each being 30,115 but some deviation is also allowed. The state House map can be viewed by clicking here.
The map of Pulaski County seats can be seen below.
House District 63 would include most of Maumelle, with a portion of Pulaski County. House District 69 would include the north end of Maumelle and along with a portion of Faulkner County east of Mayflower and would include Lake Conway, and then back into Pulaski County to take in Little Rock Air Force Base.
It would leave Maumelle with two House members but only one will be back for the 2022 elections with incumbent David Ray but Mark Lowery, who is term-limited and running in the Republican primary for Secretary of State, would be out regardless.
Street-level maps were released on Tuesday and can be viewed by clicking here for the Senate and here for the House. The maps can also be commented on and Maumelle’s division was already noted.
Said Robin Benetz, “It is pretty obvious why you are structuring the district this way and it is to keep David Ray inside our district. We want someone local to represent our district. We are tired of politicians changing things to suit them. Either change it or I will go to the press about it and let you explain why you moved the line to this point. District 71 is low and we are over. This line needs to be shifted appropriately.”
North Little Rock would be split into several house districts with 66 covering the eastern portion of the city to Scott, then 67 would be south of Interstate 40 to the Arkansas River, while 72 would be west of I-30, and go along the river and include Crystal Hill but be bounded on the west by Maumelle's 63. North of I-40 in North Little Rock would be in with Sherwood's 64 that would also include the extreme north end of rural Pulaski County.
Those districts would be:
63 ... 29,965 ... -0.50%
64 ... 30,482 ... 1.22%
66 ... 30,632 ... 1.72%
69 ... 31,021 ... 3.01
72 ... 30,115 ... 0.00%
Legislative redistricting is done every 10 years after the Census and the public can comment on the proposed maps until Nov. 29. That’s also when the state board will vote to approve them.
Then there’s 30 days allowed for any legal challenges, which would end on Dec. 29 and barring any legal action, the maps would take effect on Dec. 30.