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Maryland GOP ridicules redistricting reform bill as ‘a joke’

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland Republicans are ridiculing a congressional redistricting reform bill supported by Democrats as an insincere “joke.”

The Maryland Senate gave the measure initial approval Wednesday.

Earlier this week, a House panel rejected Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s redistricting reform bill, which would have put the drawing of congressional districts in the hands of an independent commission.

But Maryland Democrats don’t want the state to change its redistricting process, unless other mid-Atlantic states do as well.

The Senate has advanced a bill that creates a compact with New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. If all six states pass similar legislation, each state would have a nonpartisan independent commission draw congressional lines. Republicans, however, say that’s very unlikely to happen and that Maryland should act on its own.