New DeKalb commission maps pass; senator still pursuing bigger changes

November 7, 2012 - Atlanta, Ga: Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Decatur, holds an email that he says shows Georgia Legislators knew the ballot language was misleading on the state charter school amendment that passed Tuesday but chose to do nothing about it shown in his office at the State Capitol Wednesday afternoon in Atlanta, Ga., November 7, 2012. Jones has filed requests with the Georgia attorney general and the U.S. attorney general to open investigations of voter fraud in connection with the amendment. He has also filed a lawsuit. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

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November 7, 2012 - Atlanta, Ga: Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Decatur, holds an email that he says shows Georgia Legislators knew the ballot language was misleading on the state charter school amendment that passed Tuesday but chose to do nothing about it shown in his office at the State Capitol Wednesday afternoon in Atlanta, Ga., November 7, 2012. Jones has filed requests with the Georgia attorney general and the U.S. attorney general to open investigations of voter fraud in connection with the amendment. He has also filed a lawsuit. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

New DeKalb County commission maps that make mostly minor tweaks to existing districts have passed the General Assembly and now await Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature.

One local lawmaker, meanwhile, is still pursuing separate legislation that could pave the way for more dramatic changes.

The redistricting maps approved this week by the state House and Senate are largely the same ones submitted for consideration by county officials. They make some adjustments to the DeKalb Board of Commissioners’ current district lines — including uniting the entire city of Chamblee in District 1 — but otherwise maintain the local government’s existing structure.

Another proposal from state Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Decatur, would not.

Jones confirmed Friday he is still pursuing Senate Bill 465, legislation that would effectively eliminate the county commission’s two “super districts.” Each of those districts currently represent about half of the county, overlapping with the commission’s five more traditional districts.

Under Jones’ plan, lines would be redrawn to create a total of seven smaller districts.

The senator originally put forth his plan, which would require a public referendum, as part of the decennial redistricting process. But he has since divorced it from that more time sensitive effort.

Should the bill pass, it would trigger a November referendum. If that were approved by DeKalb voters, changes would be in place for the 2024 election cycle.

The current legislative session is scheduled to end April 4.