Gov. Janet Napolitano agreed Monday to let lawmakers provide more cash for the Independent Redistricting Commission by taking up the issue in the current legislative special session.
At issue are legal challenges to the congressional and legislative boundaries drawn by the fivemember commission.
The challengers, including Democrats, Hispanics, the Navajo Nation and Flagstaff charge the commissioners did not follow all the requirements of the voterapproved 2000 constitutional amendment that created the commission to do the redistricting. Before then, it had been done by the Legislature.
A trial is set to begin Nov. 12, but the commission has gone through its original $6 million appropriation, leaving nothing for legal fees, expert witnesses and exhibits.
Napolitano said her review of the $6 million already spent by the commission "did not find anything outrageous."
At worst, the governor said, commission attorneys may have filed legal motions that were illconceived and had little chance of success.
Commission member Joshua Hall, a Democrat, told lawmakers at a briefing late Monday the additional $4.2 million requested is a worst-case scenario.
He said it presumes the commission loses the lawsuit, loses the appeal and then has to come up with a new set maps.
When Napolitano balked at the funding, Republicans charged she was playing politics. That is because the districts being challenged are largely favorable to Republicans.
Napolitano said she only wanted a chance to review what has been spent so far.
House Minority Leader John Loredo, D-Phoenix, said he will oppose any funds for the commission until lawmakers approve more cash for Child Protective Services.
But, House Majority Leader Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, said that won’t happen.