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Legislature approves more money for redistricting commission

State lawmakers have approved sending more money to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission and giving the panel more flexibility in how it spends the cash it already has. The House and Senate on Thursday each approved the bill with bipartisan support. The measure will send a little more than $635,000 to the IRC, to help cover its legal costs. The bill also allows the commission to use money set aside for the next fiscal year in this one.

The IRC says without the extra cash, it will have a deficit of close to $254,000 by the end of the month.

Earlier this year, lawmakers voted to give the panel an extra half million dollars to cover legal fees. There are three pending lawsuits against the redistricting commission over the election maps it drew based on the 2010 Census. So far, the commission has spent more than $6.1 million since this redistricting process started, two years ago.