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South Carolina Senate takes another step forward on its redistricting plan
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South Carolina Senate takes another step forward on its redistricting plan

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Senate's redistricting plan has taken another step forward. 

The Senate voted 43-1 Tuesday to approve the second of three readings of a bill changing the Senate districts in accordance with the results of the 2020 Census and the "one man, one vote" rules developed by the Constitution and the courts. 

All Pee Dee senators were among the yes votes. The no vote was cast by Rex Rice, a Republican from the Upstate. Sen. Dick Harpootlian was excused from the meeting. The remaining Senate seat is vacant due to the death of Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. 

The Senate plan consolidates the Pee Dee into four districts from the current six districts. In short, Senate District 36 [Democrat Kevin Johnson] moves southward and out of the Pee Dee, giving up its parts of Florence County to District 31 and Darlington County to District 29 [Democrat Gerald Malloy].  And Senate District 28 moves eastward, giving up its portion of Dillon County to District 30 [Democrat Kent Williams].

The Senate is expected to return Thursday to consider third and final approval of the plan and possibly the plan approved by the South Carolina House of Representatives on Monday. 

The House is also expected to return on Thursday to consider the Senate plan. 

After both plans are approved, they would go to Gov. Henry McMaster for a signature to become law. Legal battles over the plan could arise at any time during this process. 

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