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Senate Judiciary Subcommittee approves redistricting plans

On Monday, the Senate and the House are back in session, deciding the new redistricting lines for South Carolina.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Monday morning, the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Subcommittee met to discuss and vote on their version of the state's redistricting map. According to the census, some portions of the Palmetto State saw growth while others declined in population, calling for new districting lines. 

Senator Dick Harpootlian said the senate's map moves his district to Charleston County, and this change would allow three senators in Richland County, "Which is a first," he said. "So, while it sacrifices my district to Charleston because the population's down there, I still remain in Senate district 26."

RELATED: The Midlands may lose a senate seat if new district plan passes

RELATED: Redistricting in South Carolina: Richland may lose while Charleston gains

Subcommittee members passed the proposed map with a 22 to 1 vote. By the afternoon, senators had their first hearing on the proposed maps and discussed the plans during their session.

Senator Luke Rankin, R-Horry County, said according to the latest census report, the state saw growth and lack of growth in portions of the state. He said without a doubt, the state saw dramatic changes within the past decade. 

RELATED: Columbia grew, but South Carolina's coast saw the most growth in last decade, Census shows

During the Senate meeting, Senator Ronnie Sabb, D-Williamsburg County, emphasized the importance of new district lines because of population changes. 

"Because of the proximity of these districts to the North Carolina border, geographic expansion into the area by rural districts to the south is necessary to absorb the excess population," Sabb said. 

Sabb also said portions of the Midlands are part of the problem. "Fairfield County losing 12.56% of its population from the previous decade to Lancaster County having a 25.26% population increase." 

RELATED: How redistricting may affect Orangeburg County

After nearly two hours in session, state senators agreed to adjourn for the day and have a second hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

House members also had their final hearing and vote on their proposed district map. Members voted 100 to 15, to approve their district changes. The map will now be taken up by the senate for review and approval.

RELATED: Redistricting: What is it and why do lawmakers need your help?

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