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Indiana Legislature OKs redistricting proposal

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Republican-drawn maps for new Indiana legislative election districts have gained final approval from the GOP-dominated General Assembly.

The state Senate approved the plan 37-12 Wednesday despite calls from a watchdog group that legislators allow more time for public review of the maps.

Republicans say the new districts for 50 Senate and 100 House seats are more compact and keep more cities and counties together. Democrats say the proposed districts will reduce the number of closely contested races and unfairly dilutes black and Hispanic voting strength.

Leaders of the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission say legislators could have allowed public hearings over the summer on the new districts. The maps were released to the public April 11.

The plan now goes to Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, for consideration.

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